Tim Groser

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The Honourable
Tim Groser
The East Asia Context Tim Groser (8408582251).jpg
Minister of Trade
Assumed office
19 November 2008
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Phil Goff
Minister Responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations
Assumed office
27 January 2010[1]
Prime Minister John Key
Minister of Conservation
In office
19 November 2008 – 27 January 2010[1]
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Steve Chadwick
Succeeded by Kate Wilkinson
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1950-03-06) 6 March 1950 (age 65)
Perth, Scotland
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National
Occupation Diplomat
Religion Islam

Timothy (Tim) John Groser (born 6 March 1950) is a current New Zealand politician and former diplomat. A member of the New Zealand National Party, Groser has been a Member of Parliament since 2005 and a cabinet minister since 2008.

Early years[edit]

He was born in Perth, Scotland and came to New Zealand with his parents in 1958.[2] After completing his education at Victoria University of Wellington he served as a policy adviser in a number of key departments including Treasury, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Prime Minister's Advisory Group under Robert Muldoon.

In the 1980s he was appointed New Zealand's chief agricultural negotiator in the GATT Uruguay round before being promoted to Chief Negotiator midway through negotiations. He subsequently became New Zealand's ambassador to Indonesia from 1994 to 1997.[3]

Since then Groser has served as New Zealand's Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and as the WTO's chairman of agricultural negotiations. He was heavily involved in the Doha round of discussions.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th List 13 National
2008–2011 49th List 15 National
2011 – 2014 50th List 12 National
2014 – present 51st List 14 National

In 2005 Groser opted to leave the civil service and run for Parliament. He was selected to stand as a list-only candidate for the National Party in the 2005 elections. He was placed 13th on the list and as a result was comfortably elected.

After the 2008 election he was given a Cabinet position with the Conservation and Trade portfolios.

Groser made international headlines in late 2012 when his governing National Party said New Zealand would be withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol.[4] The climate minister said the 15-year-old agreement was outdated, and that New Zealand was "ahead of the curve" in looking for a replacement that would include developing nations.[5]

Groser speaking at the WTO Director-General selection process in 2013

In December 2012, the New Zealand Government announced that it was supporting Groser's bid to become the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, a position which became vacant at the end of May 2013 with the retirement of Pascal Lamy.[6] Groser's bid was eventually unsuccessful and the Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevêdo was elected as the Director General of the WTO on May 2013..[7] On 22 March 2015, Edward Snowden's The Intercept news website claimed that New Zealand's signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, had spied on other WTO directorship contenders on behalf of Groser. Known targets included candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Jordan, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, and South Korea.[8]

Despite no official announcement having been made, New Zealand media report that Groser is "widely expected" to replace Mike Moore as ambassador to the United States.[9][10]

In July 2015, Mr Groser said he believed reasonable people were being "whipped up into a frenzy" over issues like pharmaceutical costs and investor-state dispute settlement by people who, for ideological reasons, oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which is currently under negotiation.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1996, Groser married Milda Emza. During his tenure in Indonesia, Groser converted to Islam after marrying his second wife, an Indonesian citizen.[3][12]


  1. ^ a b "John Key announces Cabinet reshuffle". The New Zealand Herald. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Who is Tim Groser". New Lynn Nats. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Bennett, Adam (14 April 2012). "Indonesian visit by Key indicates fresh focus". The New Zealand Herald. 
  4. ^ "Key defends 'no' to Kyoto Protocol". 3 News NZ. 12 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Groser defends quitting Kyoto Protocol". 3 News NZ. 3 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "PM supports Tim Groser's WTO bid". New Zealand National Party. 21 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Groser misses out on top WTO job". 3News. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Fisher, David (23 March 2015). "GCSB spies monitored diplomats in line for World Trade Organisation job". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (20 June 2015). "Moore 'on leave' as US ambassador". The Press. p. A9. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Former PM Moore in US hospital after stroke". The New Zealand Herald. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Trade Minister: Anti-TPP activists 'politically irrelevant'". 3 News. 
  12. ^ Young, Audrey (6 August 2007). "Key accepts high-flyer's promise he never smoked dope as ambassador". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
Preceded by
Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation
Succeeded by
Kate Wilkinson