What is the role of the New Zealand Mission to ASEAN?

The New Zealand Mission to ASEAN is responsible for conducting the New Zealand Government’s official business with ASEAN (both the Secretariat and representatives of member states). New Zealand is a long-standing and committed partner for ASEAN. The ASEAN region is of sizable and growing economic significance to New Zealand, and the establishment at the end of 2015 of the ASEAN Community underlines the importance of engaging deeply with ASEAN as a political entity.  The appointment of a dedicated New Zealand Ambassador to ASEAN in 2014 and the establishment of the New Zealand Mission to ASEAN in 2015 both demonstrate New Zealand’s commitment to strengthening our relationship with ASEAN and pursuing the opportunities that engagement offers for enhancing regional security and prosperity. 

More specifically the New Zealand Mission to ASEAN aims to:

  • Deepen New Zealand’s engagement with ASEAN as an institution along lines mandated by the NZ Inc Strategy and NZ-ASEAN Partnership Relationship.
  • Contribute to the delivery of the programme of activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN/NZ relations.
  • Work with ASEAN members to agree and support implementation of a new 5-year Partnership Plan of Action that delivers a step-up in shared ambition and a more mature level of reciprocity from ASEAN.
  • Along with the New Zealand Senior Official, lead New Zealand’s engagement with key ASEAN processes such as the EAS and ARF.
  • Manage arrangements for NZ participation in high-level meetings.
  • Support New Zealand trade negotiators to maximise benefits from AANZFTA and to negotiate an RCEP agreement which maximises the return to New Zealand.
  • Engage with business, Track II and civil society organisations to demonstrate New Zealand’s value to ASEAN. Identify ways in which New Zealand can support ASEAN activities, particularly the establishment of the ASEAN Community. 

Who works in the Mission?

The Mission is led by the Ambassador to ASEAN who has overall responsibility for New Zealand’s relationship with ASEAN. The Ambassador is supported by two other staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), including the Deputy Head of Mission and a First/Second Secretary. The Ambassador also has a locally employed executive assistant.

The Mission is co-located with the New Zealand Embassy to Indonesia and is supported with staff and resources by the Embassy.