Former Labour MP Shane Jones has been officially appointed to the newly created Pacific Economic Ambassador post and will make his maiden voyage in the role on a Pacific Mission with the Prime Minister next week.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced this morning Mr Jones was appointed as the Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development and would also serve as High Commissioner to several small island countries in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Jones resigned from Parliament this month after discussing the possibility of the role with Mr McCully earlier in the year.

"The role to which Shane Jones is being appointed is a new one.


It is intended to supplement, not replace, the work already been undertaken by Ministers and officials. Mr Jones is uniquely placed to play this new leadership role on New Zealand's behalf and I am delighted he has chosen to accept these responsibilities."

Jones is expected to be a on the Prime Minister's 'Pacific Mission' to Samoa, Tonga and Niue next week. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a delegation including Labour's David Shearer, the Green Party's Metiria Turei and about 40 business people and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

He said Jones would focus on developing sectors such as tourism, agriculture, horticulture and fisheries. New Zealand gives about $300 million in development funding to the Pacific each year.