Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, 16TH February 2024, The President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Nobel Peace Laureate, J. Ramos-Horta received the diplomatic credential of the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of New Zealand to Timor-Leste, Her Excellency Helen Jane Tunnah, at an official ceremony held at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace.

Ambassador Tunnah brings extensive prior diplomatic experience to her new position, having served New Zealand abroad as High Commissioner to Niue and Deputy Head of Mission in Vanuatu, Brazil and Indonesia. Her background as a Journalist and Policy expertise across the Asia-Pacific region will serve her well as she assumes this important post.

The presentation of Ambassador Tunnah’s credentials represents another positive milestone in the strong bilateral ties between Timor-Leste and New Zealand. This strong friendship has its roots in New Zealand’s pivotal peacekeeping contribution through the INTERFET mission in 1999 during Timor-Leste struggle for independence.

Over the years, New Zealand has been a generous development partner for Timor-Leste with annual aid cooperation reaching almost 21 million NZD (13 million USD) per year. Timor-Leste deeply appreciate New Zealand’s staunch support for nation-building across priority areas including education, agriculture, community policing, tourism development and coffee production.

Timor-Leste looks forward to continued robust cooperation with New Zealand in trade, people-to-people connections and sustainable development under Ambassador Tunnah leadership. Timor-Leste is confident that Ambassador Helen Tunnah’s appointments will further elevate and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.