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Brownlee’s change of tact as Foreign Minister

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Newly appointed Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has wasted no time dealing with the diplomatic intricacies of his new role, reaching out to Israel and advocating for Kiwis' rights in Australia. He spoke to Sam Sachdeva about the difficulty of following in Murray McCully's footsteps, and the legacy he leaves behind in Christchurch.

Gerry Brownlee, natural diplomat?

The reaction of some to his appointment as Foreign Minister is perhaps no surprise - after all, this is the man who took it upon himself to insult the people of Finland during a parliamentary debate.

However, take into account Brownlee’s experience as defence minister and his time forging cross-party consensus as Leader of the House, and it’s easier to see why Prime Minister Bill English saw him as a safe pair of hands.

Brownlee sees his new role not so much as a promotion, rather a progression on the work he has been doing for the past few years.

“I’ve always kept a fairly close eye on foreign relations and what was happening in that particular portfolio, and in defence you do quite a lot of 'defence diplomacy' if you like, so it seemed like a natural progression in a way.”

|  A NewsRoom release  ||  May 04, 2017   |||  Continue to read full article here