Chris Seed has been named as New Zealand's next High Commissioner to Australia.

The diplomat, currently a Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has extensive experience in the Pacific and Australia, including a one-year secondment to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

From 2004 to 2008 he was a Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Defence in Wellington.

Mr Seed replaces outgoing High Commissioner Martyn Dunne who is returning to Wellington to take up the role of Director General at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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"Australia is our closest neighbour, our most important bilateral trading partner and the largest source of tourists to New Zealand," Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.

"The new High Commissioner will be responsible for ensuring this important relationship is further strengthened."