Our relationship with Germany

Germany and New Zealand enjoy a healthy and supportive relationship based on common interests and values, making us natural like-minded international partners in trade, commerce and cultural exchange.

Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel made her first visit to New Zealand in 2014 and our governments issued a joint statement reaffirming close relations. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key made a reciprocal visit in December 2015 when he visited Berlin. The two leaders issued a further joint statement confirming the growth in the relationship.

Read the joint statement from November 2014 (external link)

Read the joint statement from December 2015 (external link).


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$3,125 million


Exports to Germany

$661 million*

Top exports: sheep meat, casein, meat and edible offal

Imports from Germany

$2,464 million

Top imports: motor vehicles, tractors, retail medicines


US$3,865 billion

GDP per capita US $45,023 (NZ GDP per capita is US$35,672)
GDP growth  1.6%  

 * This does not include more than $80 million of kiwifruit and apples that arrive in Germany through other EU countries.

Germany is the world’s fourth largest economy and a key trading partner - goods and services combined make it a $1 billion-plus market for New Zealand.

Germany is our largest export market for venison and one of our largest for sheep meat. Other trading opportunities exist, particularly in food and beverages, high value consumer products and healthcare. New Zealand companies are working actively in Germany in these sectors.

In the services sector, more than 12,200 Germans working holiday-makers came to New Zealand in 2013-14. Germany is our sixth largest education market, and our largest in Europe. All eight of New Zealand’s universities have cooperation agreements with Germany. In total, 79,000 Germans visited New Zealand in 2014 - a 13% increase on the previous year. 

Science and technology

New Zealand and Germany have a strong history of engagement in science and technology, including:

  • the successful InterCoast programme for integrated coastal zone and sea shelf research, between the University of Bremen and the University of Waikato. 
  • a memorandum of understanding between The Institute for Production and Automation Technology Stuttgart (a member institute of the Fraunhofer Society) and the University of Auckland's Bioengineering Institute, signed when Chancellor Merkel visited in November 2014. Scientists from both institutions will collaborate to create human exoskeletons that will reduce workplace injury and help stroke patients, a project with strong commercial potential.

Cultural links

Cultural links between New Zealand and Germany are strong, and Berlin is fast becoming a destination for New Zealand artists. New Zealand has artist/writer-in-residency programmes in Berlin, funded by Creative NZ.

Berlin writers' residency (external link)

The Military History Museum in Dresden engaged New Zealand artist Kingsley Baird in 2014 to create an installation for its World War I commemorations. 

Exhibitions by New Zealand-based artists feature regularly, including a recent exhibition of Gottfried Lindauer’s Māori portraits at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. 

Germany profiled New Zealand as the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012, showcasing our country to more than 68,000 people.

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Germany.

To apply, you can go to the German Embassy in Wellington. You can also apply at a local immigration office in Germany within 90 days of arrival.

For more information, go to the German Embassy in Wellington website (external link).


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Germany
  • December 2015: Prime Minister John Key visit Berlin and met with Chancellor Merkel
  • July 2015: Minister of Revenue, Minister for SOEs and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Todd McClay visited Germany for New Zealand trade promotion
  • May 2015: Minister of Transport Simon Bridges visited Germany to chair the International Transport Forum Summit in Leipzig
  • April 2015: New Zealand's Parliamentary Delegation led by Speaker David Carter, visited Germany to foster stronger bilateral parliamentary relations
  • July2014: Minister of Trade and Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser visited Germany to participate in the Fifth Petersburge Climate Dialogue in Berlin
  • March 2014: Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully visited Germany for ministerial consultations
Germany to New Zealand
  • Alt text here...
    Chancellor Merkel meets a Kiwi in New Zealand in November 2014
    November 2014:
    Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Germany, Dr Angela Merkel visited New Zealand 
  • September 2012: Parliamentary State Secretary for Defence, Christian Schmidt visited New Zealand
  • February 2012: A delegation of the German Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with Australia and New Zealand, led by Jűrgen  Herrmann MP, visited New Zealand
  • June 2011: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle visited New Zealand



News & Events

Mt Albert by-election Saturday 25 February

Latin America
Middle East
North America
North Asia
South Asia
South East Asia

A by-election to elect a new Member of Parliament for the general electorate of Mt Albert will be held in New Zealand on Saturday 25 February 2017.

Germany: Security Incident in Berlin


There are reports of an attack on a Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in central Berlin on 19 December resulting in a number of casualties.

Important post earthquake information

Latin America
Middle East
North America
North Asia
South Asia
South East Asia
United Kingdom

Information for Foreign Missions to New Zealand, visitors to New Zealand and concerned families overseas.