From being homeless on the streets of Waikanae all the way to the NZ High Commission in London - New Zealand's newest diplomat has quite the backstory.

Boots the "diplo" cat is on the way to join his owners Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae in Britain, after Sir Jerry recently took over as High Commissioner.

The NZ High Commission's official Twitter account has posted a picture of its newest employee, saying "our No. 1 #DiploCat" is on the move from Government House.


Sir Jerry was Governor-General from 2011 until August last year, and such was Boots' importance he has his own section on the Governor General's official website.

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That includes a profile written by St Peter and Paul School students Aisling Stewart and Francesca Cooper after their primary school class visited Government House last year.

"Boots was once a homeless cat, roaming the streets of Waikanae. Now he is so lucky that he has people to open doors for him," the profile states. "Boots is named Boots because when the SPCA found him he was hiding in a boot."

Cat diplomacy can be as fierce as the real thing. Last year the British press covered in detail the running battles between Larry the Downing Street cat and his enemy Palmerston, owned by staff at the Foreign Office.

Larry, Number 10 chief mouser with an unofficial Twitter account with 112,000 followers, faced more controversy this year when he was caught on camera letting a rodent go free.


Sir Jerry and Boots will represent New Zealand's interests at a critical time as Britain prepares for a snap general election on June 8, called by British Prime Minister Theresa May who claimed divisions at Westminster risked hampering Brexit negotiations.

Brexit will mean New Zealand will need to secure a free trade agreement with the UK as well as the EU.

Prime Minister Bill English and May met at 10 Downing Street in January and emerged with warm words about the long relationship between the two countries.

Although Britain can't enter free trade agreements until it has left the EU, which would take at least two years, both leaders made it clear New Zealand would be among the first.

Prior to his time as Governor-General, Sir Jerry had a brief stint as head of the GCSB and before that served as Chief of the NZ Defence Force and Chief of Army.