New High Commissioner In Pretoria

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to South Africa will be career diplomat Rene Wilson, Foreign Minister Don McKinnon announced today.

Mr McKinnon said the position Mr Wilson was taking up in Pretoria was of increasing importance to New Zealand, as the relationship with South Africa was developing quickly.

"We have recently completed the inaugural meeting of the New Zealand/South Africa Relations Commission and the outcomes were very encouraging for New Zealand," Mr McKinnon said.

"South Africa's economy is still emerging from a long period of isolation but our exports there are growing at a healthy pace and there is potential for South Africa to become a significant trading partner."

Mr McKinnon said New Zealand and South Africa also enjoyed an excellent political relationship.

"We work closely together in a wide range of international organisations, which is particularly valuable for us given South Africa's leading role in Africa, the G-77, and the Non-Aligned Movement."

Mr Wilson's previous postings were in Bangkok, Jakarta and Tokyo. He also served as Deputy Secretary General to the South Pacific Forum Secretariat at the end of the 1980s.

Mr Wilson will take up his posting in February, and will be accredited to Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique. He replaces Brian Absolum, who is returning to Wellington.