7th August 2002
New High Commissioner in Kiribati
New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the Republic of Kiribati will be John Goodman, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.
“The Pacific has a special place in New Zealand’s foreign policy, and it is very pleasing to announce the appointment to Kiribati of someone with Mr Goodman’s professional skills and experience,” Mr Goff said.
Mr Goodman, a career diplomat and international lawyer, has served previously in Tehran, Geneva and Brussels, and has represented New Zealand at the United Nations in New York. He has been an Assistant Head in the Ministry’s Economic Division and, most recently, has led New Zealand official delegations to international climate change meetings and to the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency.
Kiribati has been an independent republic since 1979. It was previously part of the United Kingdom Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and was the scene of intense fighting between Japanese and American forces during World War II.
Although its land resources are few, Kiribati has a large Exclusive Economic Zone of over 3.5 million sq km. About half of Kiribati’s population of 86,000 lives on South Tarawa, where the High Commission is located.
Mr Goodman will also be accredited as Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. He takes up his posting in December, replacing Neil Robertson who is returning to Wellington.