EU and NZ: Stronger Together

The European Union is a close and like-minded partner for New Zealand

New Zealand’s relationship with the European Union is significant. We share values, perspectives and interests that bind us more closely than pure geography would suggest.

More importantly, our people and cultures have a long history of partnership, as the following case studies demonstrate.

A long history of partnership

Long before European explorers were sailing the Pacific Ocean, the Māori people navigated their passage to Aotearoa - New Zealand across the mighty Pacific.

It was only in 1642 that Dutch navigator Abel Tasman became the first European to voyage to New Zealand and encounter the Māori people.

Within 150 years his visit was followed by English, French, German, Italian and other European explorers who helped to shape the beginning of the relationship between New Zealand and Europe.

Since that time our diverse peoples have traded together, learned from one another, fought with and against each other, in war, and then on the sports field, negotiated treaties on key global issues, traveled to and from each other, and now we stand shoulder to shoulder in facing the challenges of the future with a shared vision for a free and prosperous world.

New Zealand engages closely with the EU, and individual European nations, on areas as diverse as climate change, renewable energy, trade, human rights, and staunch support for multilateralism and the rule of law.

In these challenging times, it is important to strengthen key and like-minded partnerships, and ensure our shared future can be brighter.

“Europa und Neuseeland müssen enger zusammenarbeiten. Die Europäer haben die Herausforderungen des Indo-Pazifischen Raums erkannt und natürlich hat Neuseeland hier eine außergewöhnliche Rolle.”

“Europe and New Zealand must work more closely together. The Europeans have recognized the challenges of the Indo-Pacific and of course New Zealand plays an exceptional role here.”

Ulrike Müller MEP
Head of the Delegation for Relations with Australia and New Zealand

A European perspective on New Zealand

To understand the depth of the relations between the EU and New Zealand we talked with a range of Europeans about their relationship with New Zealand.

“Questa connessione è stata assolutamente facile con queste persone, proprio perché molto probabilmente, parlavamo la stessa lingua. Quindi ci siamo trovati in un ambiente che per noi era casa anche se esattamente all’opposto dell’Italia.”

“We speak with the same values related to family, business, and the environment. For this reason, we found ourselves in an environment that was home for us even if it was exactly at the opposite end of the world to Italy.”

Francesco Botto Poala
President and Chief Operating Officer of Reda

Case study: Italian fashion made with sustainable Kiwi wool

“Die Zusammenarbeit mit den neuseeländischen Forschern war außergewöhnlich gut. Man hatte nach wenigen Tagen das Gefühl, man kennt sich über Jahrzehnte.”

“The cooperation with the New Zealand researchers was exceptionally good. After just a few days, we had the feeling that we had known each other for decades.”

Prof Dr Michael Lierz
Director of the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Case study: Saving the world’s rarest parrot with German tech

“In Germany there is lots and lots of grassland.

“There is a lot of potential here for the German farmers to set up a more New Zealand-like system but they just need the help and they need the advice on it.”

Case study: The best grass-fed milk in Germany

“Het leren van Māori waarden en het besturen of het zijn op een Waka. In de eerste instantie overweldigend. Het is heel bijzonder. Het zijn hele andere waarden die zij hanteren, en hele andere blik op de wereld.”

“Learning about Māori values and sailing and being on a Waka. In the first instance, it’s overwhelming. It is very special. They hold very different values and have an entirely different worldview.”

Peer van der List
Member of the Leiden waka crew

Case study: Paddling Māori culture through the Netherlands

“Ce qui ressort pour moi de mon expérience avec les entreprises de Nouvelle-Zélande, c'est que, de ce que j'ai vu, c'est que les entrepreneurs sont souvent ancrés dans des relations de transparence, de confiance et surtout, qu'ils envisagent les choses à long terme.”

“What stands out for me in my experience with New Zealand companies is that, from what I've seen, entrepreneurs are often rooted in relationships of transparency, trust and, most importantly, they take a long term vision.”

Sophie Delcroix
Managing Director, Green Seed France

“Tout le monde connaît (ou peut-être pas d’ailleurs) le fait que la Nouvelle-Zélande envoie des satellites, envoie des fusées. Il y a peu de pays aujourd'hui qui arrivent à le faire et dans d'autres domaines, que ce soit sur de la data, que ce soit sur du numérique, il y a vraiment des offres de solutions en pointe de Nouvelle-Zélande.”

“Everyone knows (or maybe not) that New Zealand sends satellites, rockets into space. There are few countries today that manage to do this, and in other fields, whether it's data or digital. There are some really cutting-edge solutions coming out of New Zealand.”

Boris Bourdin
Conseiller, développement économique Nouvelle-Zélande

Case study: Technology, creativity and integrity in business: a French perspective

“Moja pierwsza, mój pierwszy wywiad z Panią Aleksandrą spod Krakowa zaskoczył mnie tym, że ponad osiemdziesięcioletnia, już starsza kobieta, pani w podeszłym wieku, zatańczyła przede mną, taniec wojenny haka, który jest niesamowity, jest ekspresyjny i no …”

“My first, my first interview with Mrs. Alexandra from Kraków surprised me with the fact that this over eighty-year-old, elderly woman danced haka in front of me which is incredible, expressive and …”

Martyna Wojtkowska
Researcher for the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw

Case study: A long-term welcome for Polish refugees

“Si j'avais un conseil à donner à d'autres agriculteurs qui seraient curieux de voir différemment: il ne faut pas avoir peur d'aller voir d'autres modèles.”

“If I had one piece of advice for other farmers who are curious to see things differently: don't be afraid to look at other models.”

Ludovic Merlant
Agriculteur - La Fenache, France

A progressive and inclusive relationship

A progressive and inclusive free trade agreement is a chance to deepen that partnership, deliver significant economic gains, and agree on high standards in areas that matter to New Zealanders and Europeans.  New Zealand and European Union citizens are like-minded: we think that trade should build prosperity for all, support efforts on climate change, encourage sustainable development, help companies of all sizes to grow, and improve quality of life by delivering safe, high-quality products to consumers.

“We have entered an era of formidable environmental, health, and geopolitical difficulties. And in this era, each nation is faced with choices. We either ignore the impact our domestic decisions have on others and choose a path of isolationism and nationalism, or we take the view that concerted collective action is the necessary response.”

“We may be far from others, but we are not, and have never been, isolated from the impacts of global politics.”

Jacinda Ardern