Pacific Change Makers: NZ High Commissioner Dame Annette King on the Pacific, geopolitical competition, and her time serving in Australia
In this episode of Pacific Change Makers, Research Fellow of the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program Dr Jess Collins speaks with Dame Annette King about her role as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia.
In this episode of Pacific Change Makers, Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program Dr Jess Collins speaks with Dame Annette King about her role as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia.
At the end of last year and with just a few weeks left in the role, Dame Annette sat down with Dr Collins in Canberra to reflect on her five-year term as High Commissioner to Australia — a post she considers one of New Zealand’s most important.
As Dame Annette notes, “Australia and New Zealand — there are no two closer countries on the planet.”
They discussed Dame Anette’s priorities for the Trans-Tasman arrangement, building the family-like relationship with Australia, the Australia–Tuvalu deal, New Zealand’s unique and strong relationship with the Pacific, and her country’s relationship with China amid growing tensions in the region.
In a wide-ranging discussion, they also touched on the Lowy Institute Poll, the war in Ukraine, New Zealand movies, cheese pies, and sport.
Dame Annette King commenced duties as the New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia in December 2018 and concluded her assignment in December 2023.
Prior to taking up this position, she served as Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2011 and from 2014 until 2017.
She was a Senior Cabinet Minister in the Fourth and Fifth Labour Governments of New Zealand and was the MP for the Rongotai electorate in Wellington from 1996 to 2017. Dame Annette is New Zealand’s longest-serving female MP, with 30 years in parliament. Her portfolios included Health, Police, Transport, Justice, Immigration, Employment and States Services.
Pacific Change Makers is a podcast from the Lowy Institute: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/