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Embassies and consular services for Belgium
|Embassy of Belgium|
|New Zealand Embassy to Belgium||Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Moldova, Republic of, Romania|
Our relationship with Belgium
As trading nations with an international outlook, Belgium and New Zealand are like-minded on many global issues. We are also connected by a shared history through New Zealand's role in Belgium in World War I. This involvement has created a legacy of close and warm relationships which continue to this day: Mesen (Messines) is the twin town of Featherston in the Wairarapa. A twinning relationship was established between Waimakariri and Zonnebeke during the 90th commemorative year of the Battle of Passchendaele.
Remembering World War I
New Zealand's participation in World War I is still commemorated with warmth in Belgium and this lies at the heart of the relationship between our two countries. Between 1917 and 1918, around 5,000 New Zealand servicemen were killed in battles at Belgium’s ‘Flanders Fields’, a huge loss to a country of little over a million people at the time. More than 4,600 of these servicemen are buried in around 80 cemeteries in Belgium. We have always worked closely with Belgium on common heritage issues, including the laying to rest of unknown New Zealand soldiers on Belgian soil in 2012 and 2013. Four Belgians were made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June 2015 for their services to commemorating New Zealand’s role in Belgium during World War I.
We have two Shared Memory Arrangements with Belgium, which promote cooperation in preserving and strengthening our shared history of the two World Wars.
A pou maumahara was gifted to Zonnebeke by the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, at an Anzac Day ceremony in 2019. The eight metre tall pou maumahara is a tribute to Māori who served in the First World War, including the New Zealand Māori (Pioneer) Battalion. The ceremony was both a commemoration of the contribution that Māori made in the First World War and a tribute to the continued connections between the people of New Zealand and Belgium.
New Zealand’s trade with Belgium is available on the New Zealand Trade Dashboard(external link).
New Zealand traditionally enjoys a favourable balance of trade with Belgium. A large proportion of New Zealand's exports to the European Union enter through Belgian ports.
- New Zealand is represented in Belgium by the New Zealand Embassy, Brussels
- Belgium is represented in New Zealand by the Belgian Embassy in Canberra, Australia
Recent official visits
New Zealand to Belgium
- June 2021: Minister for Trade and Export Growth & Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor visited Brussels from 21-24 June. He undertook an intensive programme of calls with the EU’s Trade and Agriculture Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament, union and business representatives, and key figures in the European agri-food sector.
- April 2018: Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters, visited Belgium where he met with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
- June 2017: H.E. the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO the Governor-General of New Zealand visited Belgium to represent New Zealand at the centenary commemorations for the battle of Messines in June 2017, meeting with King Philippe, Minister President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois, and Minister of Defence Steven Vandeput during this visit.
Belgium to New Zealand
- November 2012: Crown Prince (now King) Philippe, accompanied by the Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem led a trade mission to New Zealand