Our contribution to New Zealanders' wellbeing

The Ministry aims to contribute to New Zealanders’ wellbeing in line with our four value propositions Kaitiakitanga, Influence, Security and Prosperity.

Below is an overview of what the Ministry delivered in 2019-20 under each value proposition.


Generations of New Zealanders benefit from sustainable solutions to global and regional challenges.

An image of three people on bicycles, cycling on a track with New Zealand mountains and a lake in the background..

New Zealanders’ long-term wellbeing depends on the international community working together to safeguard shared global resources, promote global norms and achieve sustainable development. We lead New Zealand’s contribution to these efforts, ensuring New Zealand has a say on decisions that affect them and people around the world now, and in the future. This year we:

  • supported the Pacific to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, with funding, measures at the border to protect Pacific countries, and maintenance of supply chains.
  • launched negotiations on the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability, with Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
  • supported the WHO’s role in the global COVID-19 response.
  • advocated for the defence of human rights, including in Hong Kong, Myanmar, Philippines and Xinjiang.
  • secured Cabinet approval of a Policy Statement on New Zealand’s International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development.


New Zealanders have confidence their country can influence others on issues that matter for them now and in the future.

An image of New Zealand's seat at the World Trade Organisation meeting. .

The international dimension of New Zealanders’ wellbeing depends on New Zealand’s ability to influence the decisions of other countries and organisations. The Ministry works to ensure that New Zealand has the relationships and levers to achieve what matters to us. This year we:

  • supported the Prime Minister’s leading role in the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit.
  • sustained virtual engagement by Ministers with international counterparts to enable New Zealand to benefit from our close partnerships during the COVID crisis.
  • helped shape and launch the COVAX Facility, an international mechanism to support the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and equitable access to them.
  • used our diplomatic connections  with countries in the Gulf region and with Singapore to maintain vital air links and medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.


New Zealanders are able to live, do business, travel and communicate more safely at home and offshore.

An image of the Bougainville police..
The New Zealand led Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission. Credit: MFAT.

New Zealanders’ ability to operate in safe environments, whether in New Zealand, offshore or online, can be threatened by international factors ranging from conflict to cyber-attacks. The Ministry is New Zealand’s voice in the fora that address security issues affecting New Zealand, our region and the world. We also provide the consular services that help keep New Zealanders safe and informed when they live or travel overseas. This year we:

  • undertook the largest and most complex consular response ever to assist New Zealanders in difficulty overseas due to COVID-19, including by helping with the repatriation of over 5,000 New Zealanders.
  • led work to ensure that the Christchurch Call has processes and structures in place to deliver on its aim of eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online.
  • supported the peaceful conduct of the non-binding referendum on Bougainville’s future political status.
  • chaired the Missile Technology Control Regime to help reduce the proliferation of missiles.


New Zealanders have better job opportunities and incomes from trade, investment and other international connections.

A farmer walking through a field.

International trade and investment are essential for New Zealanders’ prosperity and standard of living. One in four jobs depend on exports. The Ministry negotiates the reduction and removal of barriers to trade and investment, defends access to overseas markets and helps exporters succeed. This year we:

  • played a leading role in setting up the Multi-Party Interim Appeal arbitration arrangement at the WTO, preserving the benefits of the dispute settlement system for international trade.
  • concluded negotiations on the NZ/China FTA Upgrade and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and launched negotiations on a FTA with the UK.
  • actively supported New Zealand businesses affected by supply chain issues and other impediments during the COVID-19 crisis and developed a Trade Recovery Strategy to help New Zealand exporters  in the wake of COVID-19.
  • concluded the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement with Singapore and Chile to increase opportunities for New Zealand businesses to trade digitally.

Download the A3 on 'MFAT's contribution to New Zealanders' wellbeing' [PDF, 791 KB].


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