New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Who is in the Embassy

H.E. Clare Fearnley, New Zealand Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

H.E. Clare Fearnley

New Zealand Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 

Clare Fearnley has served as New Zealand Ambassador in Seoul since February 2015.  Her background is in trade policy, law and Asia-Pacific matters. 

Off-shore, Clare has headed the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei and was Consul General in Shanghai, as well as having served in Geneva and Ottawa.  Immediately prior to taking up her current role she was Director-General for North Asia, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2014), Director General for Asia-Pacific Regional (2011-2014), Acting Director-General for Legal Affairs (2010) and head of Trade Law (2007-2010).  

Prior to joining MFAT Clare lived and worked in North Asia for almost five years.  She is a fluent Mandarin speaker and is enjoying becoming acquainted with the Korean language!


John Riley

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.


Ryan Freer

New Zealand Trade Commissioner

Ryan Freer’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 - New Zealand's 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.


Brody Sinclair

First Secretary (Trade)

Brody Sinclair 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.


Erin Duncan

Second Secretary (Political)

Erin Duncan joined the Embassy in December 2014. Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2008, she has worked on defence and security issues in the Legal and International Security and Disarmament Divisions, and on bilateral relations with the US and Canada in the Americas’ Division.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Spanish) from Victoria University in Wellington.

In her spare time, Erin can be found travelling around South Korea to try out Korea’s regional specialty foods.



Of interest

United Nations Handbook 2015-16

United Nations Handbook

The UN Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the UN system and how it works.  Read more

Prime Minister's media release |

New Zealand wins Security Council seat

New Zealand has secured a place on the UN Security Council for 2015-16. Read the Prime Minister's media release

Registering your overseas travel made easier

Registering your overseas travel made easier

New Zealanders travelling or living overseas, registering your travel online now made easier. Read more

Korea Update, Embassy's Quarterly Publication

Korea Update is a quarterly newsletter keeping you informed with what is happening in the land of the morning calm. Read more

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

News about how the donations are contributing to the rebuild, ways to donate and more.