Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism.
“As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said.
“The appointment of these high-calibre career diplomats to these four important roles demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to working with our partners to accelerate the recovery at home and abroad.”
The four appointments are:
• Diana Reaich as Ambassador to Belgium
• Richard Griffith as High Commissioner to Nauru, based in Wellington.
• Helen Tunnah as High Commissioner to Niue.
• Cecile Hillyer as Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, based in Wellington.
“New Zealand has a close and constructive relationship with Belgium,” Mr Peters said. “We share a strong commitment to the international rules based system and work together internationally in support of peace, security and human rights.”
Ms Reaich, who has previously been posted to Geneva and the Pacific, will also be accredited as New Zealand’s Ambassador to Luxembourg, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria.
“New Zealand and Nauru share a long-standing and warm bilateral relationship,” Mr Peters said. “We work closely together in the Pacific and cooperate on key issues impacting our region.”
Mr Griffith, who currently works in MFAT’s Pacific Branch, has previously been posted in Australia and Solomon Islands.
“Niue and New Zealand have a deep and close relationship founded on historical ties, our constitutional arrangements and a common citizenship,” Mr Peters said. “This close bond will be particularly important as Niue manages its response to COVID-19.”
Ms Tunnah, who currently works in MFAT’s COVID-19 Response Programme, has had previous postings to Vanuatu and Brazil.
“New Zealand has consistently played an active role internationally on counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism issues,” Mr Peters said. “The appointment of a Counter-Terrorism Ambassador is a high-profile demonstration of the importance we place on this work, and of our coordinated approach to engagement across government.”
Ms Hillyer, who manages MFAT’s International Security and Disarmament Division, has had postings in Mexico, New Caledonia, the United Kingdom and Russia.