New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Who is in the Embassy
New Zealand Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
Patrick Rata is New Zealand Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. He is also cross-accredited to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He arrived in Seoul in February 2012.
A career diplomat, Ambassador Rata's career has had a particular focus on multilateral issues, with postings to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he worked on Security Council issues and was also elected a Vice Chair of the UN Third Committee, and London, where he covered Commonwealth issues.
In 2009 and 2010, Ambassador Rata headed the Koreas and Japan Unit in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ambassador Rata has also had a separate career in the trade field, working for ten years as a senior official at the World Trade Organization, including as Chief du Cabinet in the Director-General's office in 2002.
Ambassador Rata attended Auckland University where he received a Master of Arts (First Class) degree. His wife, Karen Lee Rata, is a lawyer working at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. They have two children. Ambassador Rata's interests include music and sport.
Deputy Head of Mission
John Riley grew up in Auckland and graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2000.
His first diplomatic posting was to Seoul 2001-2005 where he cut his teeth dealing with barriers to agricultural trade.
He was then assigned to the Ministry’s Trade Negotiations Division for four years where he worked on tariff negotiations both in the context of Non-agricultural Market Access in the WTO Doha Round and several of NZ’s FTAs.
In 2010 he was posted to the New Zealand High Commission in London as First Secretary (Trade & Economic) for 3 years. While in London John had the privilege of singing and performing with the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club where he served as Chairperson throughtout 2012.
John speaks both Maori and Korean fluently. His tribal affiliation is Te Rarawa. In his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar and exercise.
In April 2013, John was appointed to the role of Deputy Ambassador for the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul.
New Zealand Trade Commissioner
As Trade Commissioner in Seoul, Ryan is responsible for promoting trade opportunities and building strategic relationships for New Zealand business in South Korea, New Zealand’s fifth largest export market. Ryan’s professional experience covers a wide range of primary industries, including steel, coal, natural gas and automotive components, over a number of regions including, South Korea, India, South East Asia and Australia. Prior to joining NZTE, Ryan worked for an international consulting firm delivering energy market studies for major coal producers, logistic companies and traders. Ryan has spent 9 years living in South Korea gaining professional experience with Korean multinational corporations, the public sector and SMEs. In 2006, Ryan received an MA from Seoul National University’s Graduate School of International Studies.
Group Captain Rod Fortune
New Zealand Defence Attaché
Group Captain Rod Fortune, Royal New Zealand Air Force, assumed the appointment of New Zealand Defence Attaché to Korea and Chief, New Zealand Liaison Mission to United Nations Command in July 2014. He will hold the appointment for three years.
Group Captain Fortune is an experienced military pilot and flying instructor, and has over thirty five years service with the New Zealand Defence Force in a wide variety of command and staff appointments. Operational experience includes flying Iroquois helicopters on peacekeeping operations in Sinai in 1984, and again in Singapore 1985-87.
His first diplomatic posting was to Canberra as Air Advisor in the High Commission 1999-2001, and then as Defence Attaché to Thailand for 3 years from 2005. Rod is married with two adult sons, holds a BSc in mathematics from Canterbury University, and is a Fellow of both the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii and the National Defence University, Beijing. He maintains a keen interest in sport, enjoys travel and reading.
Second Secretary (Trade)
As Second Secretary (Trade) in Seoul, Brody is responsible for maintaining and expanding the trade relationship between New Zealand and Korea by assisting with the negotiations of a free trade agreement through to dealing with specific market access issues as they arise.
He joined the Embassy staff in January 2013 after working on Korean issues for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington since 2009.
Prior to joining the Ministry, he worked as a journalist for 10 years and has spent time living in the west coast of the United States and the United Kingdom to fund his love of travel.
He received an MA in Politics from the University of Auckland.
He is married with three young daughters.
Second Secretary (Political)
Laura Young is Second Secretary Political, covering political issues, including New Zealand-Korea bilateral relations, South Korean domestic politics, North Korea, and international fisheries issues. Prior to taking up this role she worked in the South and South East Asia Division of MFAT covering Indonesia and the Philippines, and in the Trade Negotiations Division working in the Free Trade Implementation Unit. She holds a Master of Arts in Political Studies and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland.