High Commissioner to New Zealand

Media release

25 June 2012

Michael Potts will be Australia's new High Commissioner to New Zealand, with concurrent accreditation to the Cook Islands. Mr Potts succeeds Mr Paul O'Sullivan AO, who has been High Commissioner since 2009. He is expected to take up his appointment in July.

Mr Potts is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He is currently Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative, Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), Vienna, a position he has held since August 2009.

He has previously served as Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, Assistant Secretary Trade Policy and Industrials Branch, Trade Negotiations Division and Assistant Secretary, ASEAN Bilateral Branch. 

He also held the position of First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Mr Potts was High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ambassador to Vietnam and Counsellor, Australian Mission to the UN in New York. He has also been posted to Dar es Salaam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Zambia and Spain.

Australia's relations with New Zealand are among our closest and most comprehensive, reflecting a shared history, geography, common values and institutions, and extensive economic and personal ties.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders cross the Tasman annually. Over 600,000 New Zealanders live in Australia, while about 65,000 Australians reside in New Zealand.

There is a strong level of engagement between the two Governments across a broad range of areas, including through New Zealand involvement in many of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meetings which span the Australian domestic policy agenda.

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