|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
|Reports to||Prime Minister of New Zealand|
|Appointer||Governor-General of New Zealand|
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure|
|Inaugural holder||James Allen|
|Formation||24 November 1919|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a senior member of the Government of New Zealand heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and responsible for relations with foreign countries.
The Government of New Zealand, or New Zealand Government, is the administrative complex through which authority is exercised in New Zealand. As in most parliamentary democracies, the term "Government" refers chiefly to the executive branch, and more specifically to the collective ministry directing the executive. Based on the principle of responsible government, it operates within the framework that "the Queen reigns, but the government rules, so long as it has the support of the House of Representatives".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the government on foreign and trade policy, and promoting New Zealand's interests in trade and international relations.
The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is Winston Peters, who has held the position since 2017.
Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician who has served since 2017 as the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. Peters has led the populist New Zealand First party since its foundation in 1993. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2011, having previously served from 1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 2008.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for overseeing New Zealand's relations with foreign countries and the promotion of New Zealand's interests abroad.The Minister is in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including New Zealand's diplomatic staff. The office is often considered to be one of the more distinguished ministerial posts, and has at times been counted as the most senior role below that of the Prime Minister. In terms of actual political power, however, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not as prominent as in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the Minister of Finance being considerably more influential.
The foreign relations of New Zealand are oriented chiefly toward developed democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies. The country’s major political parties have generally agreed on the broad outlines of foreign policy, and the current coalition government has been active in promoting free trade, nuclear disarmament, and arms control.
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with one or more other states or international organizations. The main functions of diplomats are: representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state; initiation and facilitation of strategic agreements; treaties and conventions; promotion of information; trade and commerce; technology; and friendly relations. Seasoned diplomats of international repute are used in international organizations as well as multinational companies for their experience in management and negotiating skills. Diplomats are members of foreign services and diplomatic corps of various nations of the world.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.
Historically, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been a member of Cabinet, with the exception of the Rt Hon. Winston Peters between 2005 and 2008. This situation came about as the result of coalition negotiations in which it was agreed that New Zealand First would take a senior ministerial portfolio but would not join Cabinet.
The Cabinet of New Zealand is the New Zealand Government's body of senior ministers, responsible to the New Zealand Parliament. Cabinet meetings, chaired by the prime minister, occur once a week; in them, vital issues are discussed and government policy is formulated. Though not established by any statute, Cabinet has significant power in the New Zealand political system and nearly all bills proposed by Cabinet in Parliament are enacted.
The first New Zealand foreign minister was James Allen, appointed to the post of "Minister of External Affairs" by William Massey in 1919. Before this time, there was no dedicated ministerial portfolio for foreign relations. A Department of External Affairs was created in 1919 but its functions were limited to administering New Zealand's Island Territories in the Pacific; namely the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and the League of Nations Mandate of Samoa.In 1943, a new Department of External Affairs was created to conduct the country's external relations. The older department was then renamed the Department of Island Territories and a separate portfolio called the Minister of Island Territories was subsequently created.
Sir James Allen was a prominent New Zealand politician and diplomat. He held a number of the most important political offices in the country, including Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also New Zealand's Minister of Defence during World War I.
William Ferguson Massey, commonly known as Bill Massey, was a politician who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from May 1912 to May 1925. He was the founding leader of the Reform Party, New Zealand's second organised political party, from 1909 until his death.
The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi). The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.
From 1943, the Minister of External Affairs became the main ministerial portfolio for conducting New Zealand's external relations.Like its similarly named Australian and Canadian counterparts, the portfolio was called "External Affairs" rather than "Foreign Affairs" in deference of the British Government’s responsibility for conducting foreign policy on behalf of the British Empire and later the Commonwealth of Nations. The title was changed to "Minister of Foreign Affairs" in 1970 after the Department was renamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The title became "Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade" following the abandonment of the short-lived "Minister of External Relations and Trade" title, created in September 1988 when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs absorbed the Trade functions of the old Department of Trade and Industry. In 2005 responsibility for trade was split into a separate portfolio, with the title reverting to "Minister of Foreign Affairs".
The Department of External Affairs was an Australian government department that existed between December 1921 and November 1970.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, and historically the British Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
Historically it has been common for Prime Ministers to take on the role of Foreign Minister themselves, particularly if they have an interest in the field. Several New Zealand Prime Ministers including Peter Fraser, Walter Nash, Keith Holyoake, and David Lange held the External Affairs portfolio.The most recent Prime Minister to do this is Helen Clark in 2008 as Acting Minister, and prior to her was Mike Moore, in 1990. Thirteen Prime Ministers have served as Foreign Minister for all or part of their terms.
New Zealand has had 27 foreign ministers (regardless of exact title). The longest-serving was Keith Holyoake, who held the post for the duration of his 11-year premiership. The second longest-serving, and the longest-serving who was not also Prime Minister, was Don McKinnon, who became Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Reform United Labour National NZ First
|No.||Name||Portrait||Term of office||Prime Minister|
|1||James Allen||24 November 1919||28 April 1920||Massey|
|2||Ernest Lee||17 May 1920||13 January 1923|
|3||Francis Bell||7 June 1923||18 January 1926|
|4||William Nosworthy||24 May 1926||24 August 1928|
|5||Gordon Coates||25 August 1928||10 December 1928|
|6||Joseph Ward||10 December 1928||28 May 1930||Ward|
|7||George Forbes||28 May 1930||6 December 1935||Forbes|
|8||Michael Joseph Savage||6 December 1935||27 March 1940||Savage|
|9||Frank Langstone||1 April 1940||21 December 1942||Fraser|
|10||Peter Fraser||7 July 1943||13 December 1949|
|11||Frederick Doidge||13 December 1949||19 September 1951||Holland|
|12||Clifton Webb||19 September 1951||26 November 1954|
|13||Tom Macdonald||26 November 1954||12 December 1957|
|14||Walter Nash||12 December 1957||12 December 1960||Nash|
|15||Keith Holyoake||12 December 1960||8 December 1972||Holyoake|
|16||Norman Kirk||8 December 1972||31 August 1974||Kirk|
|17||Bill Rowling||6 September 1974||12 December 1975||Rowling|
|18||Brian Talboys||12 December 1975||11 December 1981||Muldoon|
|19||Warren Cooper||11 December 1981||26 July 1984|
|20||David Lange||26 July 1984||24 August 1987||Lange|
|21||Russell Marshall||24 August 1987||9 February 1990|
|22||Mike Moore||9 February 1990||2 November 1990|
|23||Don McKinnon||2 November 1990||10 December 1999||Bolger|
|24||Phil Goff||10 December 1999||19 October 2005||Clark|
|25||Winston Peters||19 October 2005||29 August 2008|
| Helen Clark |
|29 August 2008||19 November 2008|
|26||Murray McCully||19 November 2008||2 May 2017||Key|
|27||Gerry Brownlee||2 May 2017||26 October 2017|
|(25)||Winston Peters||26 October 2017||Incumbent||Ardern|
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "Minister of State" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister and the ministers of state with independent charges. In other countries a "Minister of State" is a holder of a more senior position, such as a cabinet minister or even a head of government.
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