New Zealand's top trade official, Vangelis Vitalis, is what you'd call a live wire.

That is just as well because New Zealand's trade agenda in these tumultuous times - Britain's Brexit crisis, superpower trade wars, and the vandalism of the World Trade Organisation - demands a high-energy approach.

"Irrepressible" is how Trade Minister David Parker describes Vitalis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy secretary of trade and economics.

"He'll hate me for naming [him] …but everywhere you are with him in the world people are greeting him like a long lost friend because there is something irrepressible as well as

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