Alastair was the Chair of the Land and Water Forum from its inception at the end of 2008 until 30 June 2016.
He was Secretary of Transport from 1998-2004.
He was a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 31 years where he became Deputy Secretary and New Zealand’s Principal Trade Negotiator (1994-8). During his time in Foreign Affairs, he was seconded to the Department of Trade and Industry (1976-7) and the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group (1978-9).
In the course of his diplomatic career, he was posted in London, Brussels, Sydney, (Consul-General from 1982-86) and Geneva, as Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva (1991-94).
He was a member of the New Zealand Meat Board for 8 years from 2005-2012.
In 2017 he was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order.