Thursday, June 13, 2024

Four Heads of Mission announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced four New Zealand Head of Mission appointments.

Clare Kelly (pictured) has been appointed as New Zealand’s Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva; while Craig Hawke will take up the post of Ambassador to Germany; Michael Ketchen has been appointed Consul-General to Honolulu and Susannah Gordon is the nation’s new Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Ms Kelly is currently serving as Assistant Secretary of the Trade and Economic Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has previously served as Ambassador to Mexico and accreditations in Central America and the Caribbean, and has had previous postings to Chile and the Permanent Mission to the WTO.

“As a trading nation, we are supporters and defenders of the rules-based trading system underpinned by the WTO. Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the WTO, and we are active participants in its reform,’ said Minister Mahuta.

Mr Hawke is currently New Zealand’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He has held several senior roles at MFAT including Acting Chief Executive, and Deputy Secretary – International Development. He has had previous postings to Korea, Samoa and New York.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to lifting our cooperation with Germany across the board: in international affairs, trade and commerce, sustainability, science and innovation, and cultural exchange. Germany shares our values and many of our interests and there is so much more that we can do together,” Ms Mahuta said.

Mr Hawke will be accredited to Switzerland, Czech Republic and Liechtenstein.

Ms Gordon has most recently served as Deputy Ambassador to France and New Zealand’s Ambassador to UNESCO, with previous postings to Viet Nam and Malaysia, and as New Zealand’s representative to East Timor. Her work at MFAT has ranged from environment to international security and arms control, trade advocacy to working on the Government’s COVID-19 response.

“Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with the Netherlands is based on shared values and a strong economic and trade partnership. Today, more than 150,000 New Zealanders claim Dutch heritage,” the Minister said of her appointment.

Ms Gordon will be accredited to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Court of Justice and other international organisations based in The Hague.

Mr Ketchen is a career diplomat who has held postings in Australia and the Solomon Islands. He has worked in the Pacific Development Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, and NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and close relationship with the United States,” said Ms Mahuta.

“Our two countries share interests in maintenance of the international rules-based system, human rights and democracy. We collaborate on a wide range of issues, including through liaison with the United States Indo-Pacific Command in Hawai’i.”

Mr Ketchen will be accredited to Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

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