12 Feb 2008

New Zealand MP with strong links to the Cook Islands confirmed as new High Commissioner

2:10 pm on 12 February 2008

New Zealand's Foreign Minister has officially confirmed the next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands will be Brian Donnelly.

Mr Donnelly, who has just resigned as a Member of Parliament for the minority NZ First party , has extensive experience in the Cook Islands.

He worked there in the late 1970s; represented the islands in rugby, and has two adopted Cook Islands children.

He is currently co-chairman of the Pacific Parliamentary Friendship Committee.

Mr Peters said the Cooks Islands have been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1965, which means cooperation between the two countries is exceptionally close.

Mr Donnelly takes up his appointment in late February, replacing John Bryan, who has retired.