Timothy John Groser (born 6 March 1950) is a New Zealand politician and diplomat. A member of the New Zealand National Party, Groser was a Member of Parliament between 2005 and 2015, and a cabinet minister between 2008 and 2015. He resigned from Parliament on 19 December 2015 to take up the role of New Zealand's ambassador to the United States of America.

Tim Groser
The East Asia Context Tim Groser (8408582251).jpg
New Zealand Ambassador
to the United States
In office
Preceded byMike Moore
Succeeded byRosemary Banks
10th Minister of Trade
In office
19 November 2008 – 14 December 2015
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byPhil Goff
Succeeded byTodd McClay
Minister for Climate Change Issues
In office
27 January 2010[1] – 14 December 2015
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Succeeded byPaula Bennett
Minister of Conservation
In office
19 November 2008 – 27 January 2010[1]
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded bySteve Chadwick
Succeeded byKate Wilkinson
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
In office
17 September 2005 – 19 December 2015
Succeeded byMaureen Pugh
Personal details
Born (1950-03-06) 6 March 1950 (age 69)
Perth, Scotland
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyNational
Spouse(s)Milda Emza (m. 1996; div.)
RelationsJohn Groser (grandfather)[2]

Early yearsEdit

He was born in Perth, Scotland and came to New Zealand with his parents in 1958.[3] 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.[4]

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 ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th List 13 National
2008–2011 49th List 15 National
2011–2014 50th List 12 National
2014–2015 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 election. 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 he said that the New Zealand Government would not sign up for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.[5][6] Tim Groser 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.[7]

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 Organization, a position which became vacant at the end of May 2013 with the retirement of Pascal Lamy.[8] Groser's bid was eventually unsuccessful and the Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevêdo was elected as the Director General of the WTO on May 2013.[9] 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.[10]

Despite no official announcement having been made, New Zealand media reported earlier in 2015 that Groser was "widely expected" to replace Mike Moore as ambassador to the United States.[11][12] This was confirmed by prime minister John Key on 7 December 2015, with Groser relinquishing his roles on 14 December.[13] Groser will take up his post as ambassador in early 2016.[14]

In July 2015, 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.[15]

He resigned from Parliament on 19 December 2015 to take up the role of New Zealand's ambassador to the United States of America.

Personal lifeEdit

Groser converted to Islam to marry Milda Emza, an Indonesian Muslim and his second wife, in 1996, during his tenure as ambassador to Indonesia. They are no longer married.[16]


  1. ^ a b "John Key announces Cabinet reshuffle". The New Zealand Herald. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  2. ^ Venter, Nick (28 May 2005). "Master of Compromise". The Dominion Post. Wellington. p. B5 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ "Who is Tim Groser". New Lynn Nats. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  4. ^ Bennett, Adam (14 April 2012). "Indonesian visit by Key indicates fresh focus". The New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ NZN/RadioLIVE (12 November 2012). "Key defends 'no' to Kyoto Protocol". TV3 News NZ.
  6. ^ Vernon Small (9 November 2012). "Government 'turns its back' on Kyoto commitment". Stuff/Fairfax.
  7. ^ "Groser defends quitting Kyoto Protocol". 3 News NZ. 3 December 2012.
  8. ^ "PM supports Tim Groser's WTO bid". New Zealand National Party. 21 December 2012. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Groser misses out on top WTO job". 3News. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  10. ^ Fisher, David (23 March 2015). "GCSB spies monitored diplomats in line for World Trade Organization job". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (20 June 2015). "Moore 'on leave' as US ambassador". The Press. p. A9. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Former PM Moore in US hospital after stroke". The New Zealand Herald. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  13. ^ Small, Vernon (7 December 2015). "Groser makes way for Collins' return". The Press. p. A1. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  14. ^ Davison, Isaac (7 December 2015). "Groser out, Collins back in reshuffle". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Trade Minister: Anti-TPP activists 'politically irrelevant'". 3 News.
  16. ^ 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 linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation
Succeeded by
Kate Wilkinson
Preceded by
Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
Succeeded by
Todd McClay