5 Apr 2011

NZ foreign minister hints at setting up Guam post

6:52 pm on 5 April 2011

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, has suggested to extend New Zealand's diplomatic and trade presence to Guam.

In a speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Mr McCully says some form of representation should be considered in Guam as the US government plans to spend more than 360 million US dollars in the next financial year to move 8,000 military personnel from Japan to the island.

He says at the moment, New Zealand's closest post to Guam is in Kiribati.

In his speech, Mr McCully outlined a gradual change in recruiting diplomats, by acknowledging experience in the private sector.

He says to get the best person for the job, an advertisement for the role of High Commissioner in Kiribati was recently placed in a newspaper, adding that the Tarawa posting is the toughest New Zealand foreign ministry assignment in the Pacific.