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Our relationship with France
France and New Zealand enjoy deep and enduring cultural and historical links, shared values, consistent two-way trade, and a common interest in the stability and prosperity of the Pacific region.
In recent years, ties between our two countries have continued to deepen. Our mutual interests in the Pacific are an important feature of our relationship — these include cooperation on maritime surveillance, joint defence exercises, disaster relief and development, and the closer integration of the French Pacific territories within the region.
During Prime Minister Ardern’s first official visit to France in April 2018, a New Zealand-France Joint Declaration was launched highlighting priority areas for future bilateral engagement. The Declaration has a strong focus on cooperation on climate change, on trade and economic issues and in the Pacific.
Our two countries continue to work closely on the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online(external link) following its launch in Paris on 15 May 2019.
The New Zealand France Friendship Fund was established in 1991 following the Rainbow Warrior incident. The Fund’s objective was to encourage friendly relations between the people of New Zealand and France by providing grants for a range of cultural, educational, literary, school and sporting exchanges. The New Zealand France Friendship Fund was closed in 2019. Read about its history and achievements.
New Zealand and France jointly fund collaborative projects in biotechnology and nanotechnology, under the Dumont d'Urville Programme established in 2005.
We also remember one of New Zealand's greatest writers, who lived her final years in France, with the Katherine Mansfield Literary Fellowship in Menton.
The Education Cooperation Agreement signed in September 2013 strengthens education ties with France and the French Pacific by promoting student and teacher exchanges, and language learning.
New Zealand and France signed a Status of Forces Agreement in May 2014. This supports our strong ongoing defence cooperation in the Pacific (we have regular joint exercises with the French Armed Force in New Caledonia) and ongoing cooperation as part of the France-Australia-New Zealand (FRANZ) Pacific humanitarian relief arrangement.
Working Holiday Scheme
Information on New Zealand’s Working Holiday Scheme with France(external link) is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Other Bilateral Agreements
Other bilateral agreements between our two countries include a Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement, Double Tax Agreement, Driver License Agreement, Agreement regarding the Status of Visiting Forces and Defence Cooperation. There are more than 50 agreements between France and New Zealand, the full list of treaties is available on New Zealand Treaties Online(external link).
Information on New Zealand’s trade relationship with France is available on the New Zealand Trade Dashboard(external link).
France is our third-largest largest individual trading partner within the EU, with imports from France dominating two-way trade. It also provides a significant source of investment into New Zealand with around half of this in manufacturing (particularly in the wine industry). French companies have set up or bought into operations in New Zealand and New Zealand companies are doing the same in France, focusing on technology (banking and healthcare software, telecommunications) and high-end food and beverages.
The FNZCCI (formerly the French New Zealand Business Council) was created in 1985 from the desire to foster stronger and sound business relationships between France and/or French Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Today, the FNZCCI is managed by an Auckland-based Board of Executives, business people themselves, who are elected annually by Members. Further information is available on the Chamber’s website(external link).
As France is a European Union member state, the EU-NZ FTA will apply to trade between France and New Zealand.
- New Zealand is represented in France by the New Zealand Embassy to France
- France is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of France
Recent official visits
New Zealand to France
- June 2023 Hon Damien O’Connor visit to Paris for meetings with French counterparts as well as agriculture
- October 2022 Minister Ayesha Verrall for meeting son Scientific cooperation
- September 2022 Hon Jan Tinetti Study Tour on Misinformation and Digital Safety
- July 2022 Hon Grant Robertson visit to meet with Treasury and Sporting counterparts
- June 2021: Hon Damien O’Connor visit to Paris for meetings with French counterparts as well as agriculture
- May 2019: Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern for the Christchurch Call Summit
- November 2018: Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, for Armistice centenary commemorations and the inaugural Paris Peace Forum
- November 2018: Her Excellency Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand, for the centenary commemorations of the Liberation of Le Quesnoy
France to New Zealand
- April 2023 Mayor of Arras for ANZAC Day
- March 2023 Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and FrenchNationals Abroad Olivier Becht
- April 2019: Mayors of Arras, Longueval and Flers, and a representative of Le Quesnoy for ANZAC Day
- November 2016: Jean-Marc Todeschini, Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs & Heritage
- May 2016: Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Minister of Overseas France George Pau-Langevin (with Philippe Germain, President of New Caledonia, and Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia)
- May 2016: French National Assembly Friendship Group visited as official guests of the New Zealand Parliament
- April 2015: Head of the NZ-France Friendship Group in the French Senate attended Anzac Day commemorative services in Wellington as President Hollande's special representative