Press Release

Biographical Note



Don MacKay, who was elected Chairman of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on 10 June, has been Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations since January 2001.

Prior to his appointment as Permanent Representative, Mr. MacKay was Deputy Secretary in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade since September 1997.  He entered that Ministry in 1975, and has since occupied a number of senior positions within it, including Director of its Legal Division (1995-1996), Ambassador to Fiji and High Commissioner to Nauru and Tuvalu (1991-1995), Director of its Disarmament and International Security Division, and head of its Special Arbitration Unit.

During his service with the Ministry, Mr. MacKay acted as Counsel in the Rainbow Warrior Arbitration (New York) and Co-Agent and Counsel in the New Zealand v. France (Nuclear Tests Case) before the International Court of Justice.  He also served in the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations from 1977 to 1981, and as New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from 1986 to 1988.

Prior to entering the Ministry, Mr. MacKay was a Solicitor and a Law Clerk to the Judges of the Court of Appeal and High Court, Wellington.

Mr. MacKay graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws degree (first class honours) in 1970.  He completed his law professional qualifications and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 1971.  He spent two months as Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in 1996.

Born in 1948 in Waipukurau, New Zealand, Mr. MacKay is married with two children.

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*     This supersedes Press Release BIO/3340 of 10 January 2001