Hon Chris Finlayson will represent the New Zealand Government at the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis I in Rome on 19 March.
"This will be a momentous occasion for the worldwide Catholic community, including Catholics in New Zealand," said Mr Finlayson.
Pope Francis I is the 266th Roman pontiff, the first pope from the southern hemisphere, and the first pope from the Americas.
"On behalf of the Government, I wish him the best for his term of office and congratulate the people of Argentina on a hugely significant day in the history of that country," said Mr Finlayson.
Mr Finlayson will depart New Zealand for Rome this weekend, and will return on Thursday 21 March.