Our relationship with Europe

New Zealand has strong relationships with individual countries in Europe, and with the EU. Our connections vary from the new and friendly, to enduring relationships with countries that we share deep historical ties with. Shared experiences in both World Wars created strong connections with Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, the UK, and other countries in Europe. 

As well as the British, Italians, Germans, French, Scandinavians and Dalmatians were among early European immigrants to New Zealand. After World War II, there was another wave of immigration from the Netherlands and Wellington became home to more than 700 Polish orphans. More Polish immigrated in the 1980s. In 2017 the UK was the fourth largest source of long-term migrants to New Zealand. There's also a strong sporting rivalry with France and England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the rugby field.

Formal connections

Our formal connections with European countries include our work with international organisations such as the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the EU.  

Read more about our relationship with the EU

Our cooperation with European partners spans a number of spheres including political and security issues, climate change and the evironment, and development in the Pacific. European countries are our most significant science and innovation partners. More than half of New Zealand’s researchers have an active collaboration with a European partner.

New Zealand also has working holiday schemes with 25 European countries.


Most of our two-way trade with Europe is with countries in the EU. The EU is the world's largest economic entity and New Zealand's third largest trading partner overall. Two-way trade was valued at $23.7b in goods and services in the year to March 2019.

Our main goods exports to this region are sheep meat, followed by wine, fruit, butter and dairy spreads. Imports from the EU are dominated by motor vehicles, aircraft and retail medicines. We also have significant two-way trade in tourism, transport, education and commercial services. Within the EU, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Denmark are our largest individual export destinations.

New Zealand has been exploring options for further liberalising our trade and economic relations with the EU. In 2018 New Zealand and the EU launched free trade agreement negotiations.

Embassies and consular services

Embassy or High Commission

Representing New Zealand in:

Austria, Vienna Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic
Belgium, Brussels Belgium, Bulgaria, the European Union, Luxembourg and Romania
France, Paris France, Monaco and Portugal
Germany, Berlin Germany, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and Switzerland
Italy, Rome Italy, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, San Marino and Serbia
Ireland, Dublin Ireland
The Netherlands, The Hague The Netherlands
Poland, Warsaw Poland, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine
Russia, Moscow Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan,  Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Spain, Madrid Spain, Andorra, Holy See and Malta
Sweden, Stockholm Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland
Switzerland, Geneva World Trade Organisation and United Nations agencies
United Kingdom, London United Kingdom

Working holidays

New Zealand has working holiday schemes with 25 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.