21 Jan 2010

Moore to be next ambassador to US

9:43 pm on 21 January 2010

Former prime minister Mike Moore has been named as New Zealand's new ambassador to the United States.

Mr Moore was prime minister for several months, before Labour was defeated at the 1990 election. He went on to lead Labour in opposition for three years, leaving Parliament in 1999 to become director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says domestic politics were put aside in selecting a former Labour leader as the country's new ambassor to the US. He says that with trade deals at the forefront of talks between the US and New Zealand, Mr Moore is the best person for the job.

Mr Moore says that with the Americans agreeing to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiation, he will be working closely with Trade Minister Tim Groser.

Mr Moore will take up his new role next year, replacing career diplomat Roy Ferguson, who has been New Zealand's ambassador to the US since 2006.