New Zealand High Commission London, United Kingdom
Who is in the High Commission
The New Zealand High Commission is an overseas post of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The High Commission is staffed by a team of 20 diplomats and local staff.
Dr the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith is the current High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom. Dr Smith served as a Member of Parliament from 1984 until his retirement in early 2013 to pursue a diplomatic career.
During his parliamentary career, Dr Smith served as a senior minister in various portfolios including Education, Agriculture, and Trade. Dr Smith also served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Minister of Forestry, Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for Contact Energy Ltd, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, and Minister Responsible for the National Library.
Dr Smith was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2008 and three years later and was unanimously re-elected to the role a position he held until his retirement.
Prior to entering politics, Dr Smith was the New Zealand Dairy Board’s marketing manager for Central and South East Asia. He had previously been a university lecturer and also hosted educational children’s television shows in Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Smith was educated at Auckland Grammar School and Massey University. A Commonwealth Scholar, he graduated from Adelaide University with a PhD in Animal Science in 1980. Dr Smith is a keen sportsperson and fitness enthusiast. He is a trained opera singer and also ran a beef farming operation with his wife, Alexandra.
Dr Smith is also Ambassador-Designate to Ireland and High Commissioner-Designate (Resident in the UK) to Nigeria. Dr Smith took up his posting in March 2013 and is joined in London by Alexandra.
Deputy High Commissioner
The Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom is Mr Rob Taylor. Mr. Taylor is a career diplomat. He has worked for many years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), most recently as Director and Chief of Protocol in Wellington.
Before that, he was the Official Secretary to the New Zealand Governor-General. Earlier assignments have included Consul-General in Los Angeles, Senior Private Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, High Commissioner to Vanuatu, as well as postings to Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
His background is in charitable organisations, including Riding for the Disabled, IHC and Oxfam. Mr. Taylor took up his posting in April 2012.