Tim Groser coming home, ending term as Ambassador to US

Tim Groser.
Tim Groser. Photo credit: AAP

Tim Groser is coming home, ending his time as Ambassador to the US.

The former National MP, who as Trade Minister worked on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, will stay on until the end of the year.

"New Zealand Ambassador to the United States Hon Tim Groser will be leaving his position at the conclusion of his three-year appointment," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Newshub in an email.

"The process to appoint a successor is underway and an announcement will be made in due course, as with all New Zealand Heads of Mission appointments."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has since confirmed Mr Groser is leaving his position, denying earlier reports he was recalled.

"The New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Hon Tim Groser, is leaving his position this year at the expiry of his three-year-term. He was appointed by the previous government and his contract was only ever for three years.

"Mr Groser himself asked to finish at the conclusion of his three-year-term and did not seek any extension. Any suggestion he has been recalled by the Minister or Ministry is baseless."

Sources reportedly told Stuff the Government has already lined up a successor, unhappy with Mr Groser's inability to get New Zealand an exemption from the Trump administration's steel tariffs, while Australia did.

Donald Trump recently signed the KIWI Act into law, giving New Zealanders access to E1 and E2 visas, the latter which allows an individual to enter and work inside of the US based on an investment. 

US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown said Mr Trump "signed it right away".

Former NZ Ambassador to the US Jim Bolger told Stuff the "uncertainty of the the Trump administration policies would make it difficult" for anyone taking on the role.

Mr Groser was appointed in December 2015, resigning from Parliament.