Today I announce the appointment of Mr Ewen McDonald as Australia’s next High Commissioner to New Zealand. Mr McDonald will also have non-resident accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue.

Australia’s relationship with New Zealand is the closest and most comprehensive of all our bilateral relationships, and is built on a foundation of strong historic and cultural ties. Together we work to promote economic growth, stability and security in the Pacific region and beyond. We are committed to further deepening our relationship and to continuing collaboration on the basis of our shared values and interests.

Australia remains New Zealand’s largest two-way trading partner for goods and services, and is New Zealand’s second largest export destination. We cooperate closely to strengthen the trans‑Tasman Single Economic Market. In 2016-17, two‑way trade was valued at $26.8 billion, with two-way investment stock valued at $153.1 billion in 2016. Australia is New Zealand’s largest foreign investment source, and accounts for more than half of the foreign direct investment in New Zealand.

Mr McDonald is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Most recently he served as a Deputy Secretary overseeing the Australian government’s aid and development work, which has a focus on the Pacific region where over 25% of the aid budget is spent.

In Canberra he has held a range of positions including Deputy Director General, AusAID; Deputy Secretary, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; and Division Head, Department of Education, Science and Training. He has also worked in a range of departments in the Victorian state government.

Mr McDonald holds a Bachelor of Business from Deakin University.

I thank previous High Commissioner Peter Woolcott AO for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in New Zealand since 2016.

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