Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced the appointment of Dame Annette King as High Commissioner to Australia.
The former Rongotai MP was Parliament’s longest serving female MP, with 30 years’ service, from 1996 to 2017.
She held a number of senior Cabinet portfolios in the fifth Labour Government, including Justice, Police and Health, and served as Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2011, and from 2014 until 1 March 2017.
“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian,” said Mr Peters.
“As High Commissioner Dame Annette will be working on one of New Zealand’s most significant relationships. The Trans-Tasman bond is exceptionally strong however the relationship is not something we take for granted, and the new High Commissioner will be tasked with keeping the connections strong,” he said.
“The new appointment is notable because Dame Annette is a former MP on a diplomatic posting. In this sense she is an exception. Of the 25 Head of Mission appointments announced this year all have been career diplomats.”
Dame Annette is expected to start her High Commissioner duties at the end of the year.