19 Dec 2012

Lockwood Smith to become High Commissioner to UK

9:49 pm on 19 December 2012

Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith has been named as New Zealand's new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully confirmed the appointment on Wednesday.

He said Dr Smith is one of Parliament's longest-serving members and his experience in international marketing and senior portfolios including education and trade make him an ideal diplomatic appointment.

He entered Parliament in 1984 as the National MP for Kaipara and at the last election took a place on the list in anticipation of his departure during this term.

Dr Smith said his four years as Speaker, away from the hard edge of politics, makes the transition easier.

"Whereas as a partisan politician, you get quite critical of other members on the other side of the house, actually there are a lot of good people all around the house, and that's one of the nice things as Speaker."

He says the role has also honed his diplomatic skills. Mr Smith is expected to take up his new position in March 2013.