Paul Foster-Bell will be retiring as an MP at the 2017 General Election.
Nicola Willis is the National Party Candidate for Wellington Central
Paul is the National List Member of Parliament based in Wellington Central. He is passionate about Wellington as New Zealand’s creative, high-tech, hospitality and events capital. Paul loves our city’s stunning harbour setting, its vibrant streets, and its beautiful town belt. Working hard to support the local IT and entertainment industries which employ so many here is a key area upon which Paul focuses. He aims to serve Wellington Central citizens by assisting them to resolve issues, acknowledging their achievements and engaging with local community groups.
From advancing New Zealand’s economic and political interests globally, assisting in consular emergencies and reporting from around the world as a diplomat, Paul has served New Zealand in a variety of different fields at home and abroad.
Right up until his election to Parliament in mid-2013, Paul was Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During this time he was also accredited to many of the affluent Gulf States: Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. Prior to that, Paul worked in a range of different roles within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: including as a Regional Security Manager; Deputy Head of Mission in Tehran (also accredited to Pakistan and Afghanistan); Deputy Chief of Protocol (Head of Visits, Honours and Ceremonial) and Acting Deputy Director for the Middle East and Africa. Paul’s previous work experience includes ACC, the Ministry of Justice, and the University of Otago.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (Archaeology) and Diploma for Graduates (Business Studies) from the University of Otago and undertook post-graduate study at the University of Oxford.
Paul is a board member of Commonwealth Youth New Zealand and an active member of the Royal Commonwealth Society, one of the world’s oldest educational charities. He is a former Vice-Chair of constitutional lobby group, Monarchy New Zealand. He has a keen interest in youth development and civic engagement.
In terms of parliamentary roles, Paul is the Deputy Chair of the Government Administration Select Committee and a member of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. He chairs the National Education Caucus and takes a keen interest in education policy and scientific research. Paul also chairs the NZ-UK, NZ-Scotland and NZ-France Parliamentary Friendship Groups. He is the Pacific Regional Representative on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association executive committee and a Trustee of the Association.