Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

25 February 2009

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to New Zealand

Mr Paul O’Sullivan is to be Australia’s new High Commissioner to New Zealand with concurrent accreditation to the Cook Islands.  Mr O’Sullivan succeeds Mr John Dauth LVO who was High Commissioner from 2006 until 2008.  Mr O’Sullivan is expected to take up his appointment in March 2009.

Australia’s relations with New Zealand are the closest and most comprehensive we have with any country, reflecting our shared history, geography, common values and institutions, and extensive economic and other ties. 

The relationship continues to grow and diversify, driven by strong people-to-people, business, government and defence links. 

Visitor numbers between Australia and New Zealand are about one million per year in each direction, and around 520,000 New Zealanders live in Australia, while about 65,000 Australians live in New Zealand.

There is a strong level of engagement between the two Governments across a very broad range of areas, including through New Zealand involvement in many of the Australian Ministerial Councils. 

In the international arena, we share many common interests and objectives, and work particularly closely in the South Pacific, a region on which both countries place a high priority.

Prior to taking up his current appointment as Director-General of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in 2005, Mr O’Sullivan was the Senior Adviser (International) in the office of the Prime Minister (2004-05). 

Mr O’Sullivan was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2003 until 2004.  He served overseas as Australia’s Ambassador in Bonn and Berlin (1999‑2003), Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington (1996-98) and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Disarmament issues, based in Geneva (1991-94).  Mr O’Sullivan has also served in the Australian Embassies in Rome and Cairo.

In Canberra, Mr O’Sullivan has held a range of senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade including First Assistant Secretary International Organisations and Legal Division (1995-96) and First Assistant Secretary, Americas and Europe Division (1994-95).

Mr O’Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Sydney.  His is married and has three sons.

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555