High Commissioner to Singapore announced

  • John Key
Foreign Affairs

Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Minister John Key has named diplomat Dr Jonathan Austin as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Singapore.

“New Zealand has a strong relationship with Singapore going back to its foundation in 1965, and it is one of our most valued partners in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Key says.

“Singapore is our 8th largest partner in merchandise trade and ranks in the top five for foreign direct investment into New Zealand. At the same time tourism between or countries is growing, thanks in no small part to the recent Air New Zealand - Singapore Airlines alliance which has increased seat capacity between both countries by 30 per cent.

“Singapore is also New Zealand’s largest defence partner in Asia and our armed forces exercise and train together regularly.

Dr Austin will also be accredited to the Maldives.

“The relationship with the Maldives has been based on Commonwealth ties and engagement on governance. We also work closely with the Maldives on Small Island Developing States issues,” Mr Key says.

Dr Austin is currently the Director of Intelligence and Assessment in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  His most recent diplomatic posting was as High Commissioner to Tonga.  He has previously served in Solomon Islands, South Africa, East Timor and Tonga.