Kiwi women given the chance to be British High Commissioner for a day


The winner will have the opportunity to become an ‘honorary High Commissioner’ and get an insight into what it is like to be an Ambassador or High Commissioner, and lead a diplomatic mission.

She will accompany Laura Clarke on an exciting programme to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, including meeting with influential leaders and taking over the mission’s social media pages.

To apply, applicants need to submit a one-minute video to the UKinNZ application portal setting out how they think we can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to build a more gender-equal society.

Applications open from Friday 22 January to Monday 22 February, with the winner announced shortly afterwards.

HE Laura Clarke, British High Commissioner to New Zealand, said:

This competition is a great opportunity for young New Zealanders to meet inspiring women and learn about some of the exciting issues we work on – from negotiating trade agreements to tackling climate change.

It gives our future female leaders the chance to not only see what life is like inside a diplomatic mission, but to be given a platform to talk about how we can improve the lives of women and girls globally.

I encourage any young Kiwi women with an interest in international affairs and tackling gender inequality to apply.

Last year’s competition winner was University of Otago student Kate Hellings, who sat in on various meetings with leading women and attended the High Commission’s annual International Women’s Day Wonder Women function at Laura Clarke’s official residence, Homewood.

Kate Hellings said:

I encourage all young women who would think about applying to be High Commissioner for the Day to really take the time to think about how they can improve gender inequality in New Zealand. Not only did I get to meet some of the most amazing females in the industry, but the British High Commission team made the most amazing programme for me.

I was honoured to be selected as it is an extremely valuable and educational experience, and one that I will not forget.

The winner will need to be available for the duration of the day on Monday 8 March 2021. If the winner is not based in Wellington, flights and accommodation will be covered by the British High Commission.

Notes to editors

  • British High Commissioner Laura Clarke is the UK Government’s representative in New Zealand. She was appointed in January 2018 and was the youngest person to be appointed the role.
  • She was recently awarded an OBE for services to foreign policy in the 2021 New Year’s Honours.
  • A panel at the British High Commission will select the winner of the ‘Be a High Commissioner for a Day’ competition, who will be announced on UKinNZ social media channels.
  • For media enquiries, contact: Sadie Miles at [email protected] or +64 (0) 21 273 6563


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