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Biography Lockwood Smith

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Lockwood Smith Lockwood Smith
Lockwood Smith
The current High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom.


Lockwood Smith Biography



Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith KNZM (born 13 November 1948) is the current High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom and a former New Zealand politician who served as the 28th Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2013. Smith is a member of the New Zealand National Party and served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1984 until his retirement to pursue diplomatic roles in 2013. He represented first the Kaipara electorate and then Rodney, and has held a number of Cabinet positions; he was Minister of Education from 1990 to 1996 and subsequently served as Minister of Agriculture, Minister for International Trade, and Associate Minister of Finance.


Political career

Smith was first elected in 1984 as the MP for Kaipara. He represented this electorate until it was abolished in 1996 during the shift to MMP. Since then he has been the representative for Rodney. Smith served as Minister of Education from 1990 until 1996 in the Fourth National Government of New Zealand.


In opposition, Smith held a number of spokesperson roles for the National Party, including those of Foreign Affairs, Commerce, and Immigration. In his role as Immigration spokesman, Smith challenged Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field over alleged impropriety in Field's dealings with constituents.


Following the National Party's successes in the 2008 election, Members of Parliament unanimously elected Smith as Speaker of the House. Smith has taken a rather different approach from his predecessor, being more active in requiring ministers to provide answers to oral questions. Smith was re-elected as Speaker of the House again on 20 December 2011.


Smith was expected to retire from Parliament and to be appointed High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom later in 2012, but stayed on until February 2013. In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2013, Smith was appointed a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a Member of Parliament and as Speaker of the House of Representatives.




updated: 2013-09-09

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