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.
Colonel Jeremy Ramsden
New Zealand Defence Attaché
Colonel Jeremy Ramsden assumed the appointment of New Zealand Defence Attaché to Korea and Chief, New Zealand Liaison Mission to United Nations Command in July 2011. He will hold the appointments for three years. Colonel Ramsden has over thirty years service with the New Zealand Defence Force in a wide variety of operational and staff appointments, particularly at the strategic level. He is married with two children, has a Master of Philosophy degree in Development Studies and is a Fellow of both the Asia Pacfic Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii and the National Defence University, Beijing.
Second Secretary (Political)
Charles Boulton is Second Secretary Political, covering political issues, including New Zealand-Korea bilateral relations, South Korean domestic politics, North Korea, and international fisheries issues. He studied Korean for two years before starting in the Embassy, and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2006. Prior to that he studied philosophy and physics at the University of Otago.