New High Commissioner to Solomon Islands announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Schwass as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

“Aotearoa New Zealand and Solomon Islands have a long history of close engagement as Pacific whānau,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Our partnership is founded on cooperation in areas such as education and youth, economic diversification, and provincial connectivity. We are also committed to our people to people links through the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme, scholarships programme and our work alongside the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

“Mr Schwass’ has previously served as Deputy High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and his breadth of experience across the Pacific will be vital in strengthening our relationship even further.

“Alongside our Pacific neighbours, New Zealand remains committed to supporting stability in Solomon Islands and promoting a peaceful and secure Pacific region. We know ensuring strong diplomatic relationships is more important than ever as we continue to address the need for cooperation and cohesion across the region.

“Together our countries will continue to work together to weather the profound challenges that face our region, as we have through COVID-19 and last year’s unrest in Honiara. Mr Schwass is well placed to represent New Zealand in this work,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Jonathan Schwass was most recently Unit Manager in the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and recently returned from four years as High Commissioner to Vanuatu. He has also served as Ambassador to Timor-Leste and Deputy High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

He is also a former Unit Manager of the South East Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has been a Special Adviser in the Ministry’s Asia-Pacific Regional Integration Division as well as a Senior Policy Officer in the South East Asia Division.

Mr Schwass takes up his position in May.