Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments:
• Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
• Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.
“New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready to take our relationship with Sri Lanka to a new level,” Mr Peters said. “In our current COVID world, it is more important than ever to have New Zealand diplomats in the field pursuing our national interest.”
“Our countries have a lot in common – as island nations with large neighbours, a love of cricket and rugby, and traditions of Parliamentary democracy. We look forward to working more closely with Sri Lanka to promote a peaceful, prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”
Mr Appleton, a career diplomat since 2005, is currently the Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has had previous postings in India, the United States and Timor-Leste.
“New Zealand and Viet Nam enjoy a warm and constructive relationship, which was recently upgraded to ‘strategic partnership’,” Mr Peters said.
“Viet Nam is projected to be one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies in the next few years and there is considerable scope to work together on trade and economic recovery from COVID-19,” Mr Peters said.
“Our two countries will also advance our shared interests in regional peace and security, multilateral rules-based order and regional economic integration.”
Ms Dobson, a career diplomat since 2003, has previously served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to Iraq. She has also had previous postings in Indonesia and South Korea. She is currently Unit Manager in the International Security and Disarmament Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.