High Commissioner to New Zealand

  • Media release
31 March 2022

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Harinder Sidhu as Australia’s next High Commissioner to New Zealand.

Australia's relationship with New Zealand is our closest and most comprehensive, and its special nature is underpinned by enduring cultural, economic, defence and sporting ties. 

Australia and New Zealand stand together to meet strategic challenges and work closely to promote an open, inclusive and resilient Indo‑Pacific and the global rules‑based order.  We are strong supporters of a multilateral trading system. We promote free, fair and predictable trade benefiting businesses and consumers in both countries and our region. 

Australia and New Zealand benefit from having one of the world’s most open and successful free-trade agreements. This means our businesses and exporters face less red tape and enjoy easier access to each other’s markets. Harmonised investment rules have opened opportunities for Australian investors in New Zealand and New Zealand is one of the top ten investors in Australia, with $66.3 billion in foreign investment from New Zealand to Australia in 2020. The integration of the Australian and New Zealand economies has contributed to our countries’ economic resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with two-way trade valued at $23.7 billion in 2020.

Australia and New Zealand have a proud history of working together with our Pacific family to promote development and a sovereign, resilient and prosperous region. We have worked closely to respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in the Pacific, and this will continue. 

Ms Sidhu is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Secretary. She has previously served overseas as Australia’s High Commissioner to India and in Moscow and Damascus. In Canberra, she has served in DFAT in senior leadership roles, as well as in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Office of National Assessments and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Ms Sidhu holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.

I thank outgoing High Commissioner the Hon Patricia Forsythe AM for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in New Zealand since 2019.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555