Today I announce the appointment of the Hon Patricia Forsythe AM as Australia’s next High Commissioner to New Zealand, who 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, underpinned by enduring cultural, economic, defence and sporting links.

We work together to promote security, stability and prosperity in the Pacific. Globally, we stand together to uphold the rules-based international order.

The openness and integration of the Australian and New Zealand economies benefits both countries and our region. Australia is New Zealand’s second largest export destination and largest source of foreign investment. In 2017-18, two‑way merchandise trade totalled $17.3 billion, while two‑way trade in services totalled $11 billion.

Ms Forsythe has served as Executive Director of the NSW Business Chamber for the past 12 years. She serves on a number of Boards including Business Events Sydney, Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, Destination NSW, Council of Macquarie University, Port Authority NSW and Cricket NSW.

Ms Forsythe is also a member of the Advisory Board of the UTS Business School and an Honorary Associate of the Graduate School of Government at Sydney University.

Ms Forsythe had a distinguished political career as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1991 to 2006.

Ms Forsythe holds a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Education from the University of Newcastle.

I thank outgoing High Commissioner Ewen McDonald for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in New Zealand and look forward to him taking up his new position as head of the Office of the Pacific.

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