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Mateparae NZ's next UK High Commissioner

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/12/2016
Although the celebration marks the official Queen's Birthday holiday, the Queen actually turned 90 in April. © Getty Images Although the celebration marks the official Queen's Birthday holiday, the Queen actually turned 90 in April.

Sir Jerry Mateparae has just been announced as New Zealand's next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

The former Defence Force chief and former governor-general will replace Sir Lockwood Smith in London early next year. Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced the appointment on Friday.

It ranks alongside Washington as one of New Zealand's most important diplomatic positions.

"Sir Jerry has been Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force and Chief of Army, and until recently he was New Zealand's Governor-General," Mr McCully said. "His appointment underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the UK."

Mr McCully says New Zealand is currently working with the UK on the shape of its post-Brexit relationship, and Sir Jerry will lead the effort.

The High Commission in London also conducts New Zealand's business with Ireland and is its official contact with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Mr McCully acknowledged the work Sir Lockwood has done, saying he had furthered the relationship.

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