The Council has two Patrons - the current NZ Ambassador to Korea, and the current Korean Ambassador to NZ:
Korea’s Ambassador to New Zealand, His Excellency Mr Yongkyu Park Mr Yongkyu Park
A career diplomat, presented his credentials as Ambassador to New Zealand in September 2011. Prior to coming to NZ he was Professor at the Institute.
Graduating B.A.in Political Science and International Relations at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, he joined the Ministry in November1977. In 1983 he graduated with an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tafts University in the USA. of Foreign Affairs and National Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul.
His first overseas assignment began in 1984 as Consul in the Korean Consulate General in Vancouver. Since then he has undertaken diplomatic postings in Islamabad, Geneva, London and The Hague. From December 2006 he was Korean Ambassador to the Slovak Republic.
In between his various postings Ambassador Park has performed a number of roles in the Ministry in Seoul or in related institutions.
Ambassador Park is married with one son.
New Zealand’s Ambassador to Korea, His Excellency Mr Patrick Rata
Patrick Rata is New Zealand Ambassador-designate to the Republic of Korea. He will also be cross-accredited to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He arrived in Seoul in February 2012.
A career diplomat, Ambassador-designate Rata's career has had a particular focus on multilateral issues, with postings to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he worked on Security Council issues and was also elected a Vice Chair of the UN Third Committee, and London, where he covered Commonwealth issues.
In 2009 and 2010, Ambassador-designate Rata headed the Koreas and Japan Unit in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ambassador-designate Rata has also had a separate career in the trade field, working for ten years as a senior official at the World Trade Organization, including as Chief du Cabinet in the Director-General's office in 2002.
Ambassador-designate Rata attended Auckland University where he received a Master of Arts (First Class) degree. His wife, Karen Lee Rata, is a lawyer working at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. They have two children. Ambassador-designate Rata's interests include music and sport.
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