New Zealand's High Commissioner to Australia, Chris Seed, has been appointed as the Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Seed has worked in the diplomatic field for more than 30 years and as Secretary, will oversee approximately 1500 staff, including a network of 60 posts in 53 countries. In 2018/19, the Foreign Affairs and Trade budget was $1.3 billion.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said he was pleased to see Seed appointed.

"He is an experienced diplomat and public servant who recently returned home after five years as New Zealand's High Commissioner to Australia."

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He has been in that role since 2013.

Before being the High Commissioner to Australia, Seed was the Deputy Secretary of Australia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa and the Europe Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade where he led a team of more than 400 staff across 29 international locations.

Alongside his diplomatic career, Seed also spent four years as the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Defence.

"Seed is a well-respected senior foreign service leader who has led a number of key initiatives to advance New Zealand's Foreign Affairs and Trade agenda, including working to raise New Zealand's profile in the Pacific region," Hughes said.

Seed will be responsible for delivering on the Government's foreign, international trade, development and climate change policy objectives, as well as contributing to New Zealand's broader security, economic and environmental objectives, Hughes said.

"Seed's strong spirit of service can be seen by the positive impact he has had on the interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders throughout his career.

"His ability to build strong, open and trusting relationships is well-respected both in the Ministry and internationally," Mr Hughes said.

Seed will take up his new role on February 1, 2019, for five years.