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Lockwood Smith to head our London Mission

The Government has appointed Parliamentary Speaker Dr Lockwood Smith as the country’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Based in London, he will also be accredited to Ireland and Nigeria, respectively as non-resident Ambassador High Commissioner.

Appointment of non-career diplomats is considered a good turn and expression of appreciation by political parties of their prominent members. The Labour government had appointed Jonathan Hunt to the same post for a three-year term in 2005, after he had served as the Speaker.

Dr Smith (who is little known by his first name of Alexander) was a Member of Parliament as a representative of the National Party since 1984, elected first from the Kaipara constituency and later from Rodney. He served as a minister at various times, including those of Agriculture Education and International Trade. He was also Associate Minister of Finance.

Distinguished career

He distinguished himself as the Speaker of the House of Representatives since the general election held in 2008.

He is credited with a ‘more direct, innovative and demanding’ approach as the Speaker, requiring ministers to provide answers to oral questions in the debating chamber.

Prime Minister John Key said that the nomination of Dr Smith as the next High Commissioner to UK was a mark of high esteem for the politician.

“The nomination emphasises the importance of relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom,” he said.

Educated at the Matakohe Primary School, Ruawai District High School, Auckland Grammar School and Massey University, Dr Smith was a Commonwealth Scholar, obtaining his PhD in Animal Science from Adelaide University in 1980.

Keen sportsman

Prior to entering politics, Dr Smith was the Marketing Manager (Central & South East Asia) of the New Zealand Dairy Board, a university lecturer and a host of educational television shows for children in Australia and New Zealand.

He remains a keen sportsman, having represented Adelaide University and South Australia in rowing, winning five state championships. He served as captain of the Adelaide University Boat Club and Chairman of the Lyall Bay Surf Lifesaving Club in Wellington.

Dr Smith has been a reader and friend of Indian Newslink for the past several years and has visited our offices as a Member of Parliament.


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