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Our relationship with Germany
Germany and New Zealand enjoy a warm and friendly relationship underpinned by common interests and values, making us natural like-minded values partners in international affairs, trade and commerce, science and cultural exchange.
Both countries have fostered these links through numerous high level visits in recent years (see below) and take opportunities to meet in the margins of other meetings. In 2023, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and former New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met in New York and released a Joint Statement setting out our shared interests. Our two parliaments enjoy warm relations, and the German Bundestag recently opened its International Parliamentary Scholarship(external link) Programme to New Zealand applicants.
Germany’s pivotal role in the European Union and increasing global influence mean that its influence over decisions affecting New Zealand's interests, including our trade and economic objectives, is significant and growing.
Science and technology
Germany has long been one of New Zealand’s most important partners in the area of science and innovation(external link), with 2017 marking the 40th anniversary of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement.
Current examples of successful New Zealand-German science and research initiatives include projects involving: bioengineering, green hydrogen, soft tissue robotics and space science.
There are strong cultural links between New Zealand and Germany, with Berlin a favoured destination for New Zealand artists. In 2015, a major exhibition of the works (Māori portraits) of Gottfried Lindauer was displayed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, attracting a near record 150,000 visitors. German-Kiwi artist Helme Heine’s exhibition “Spiegelbilder – Reflections” was shown at the Museum der Fünf Kontinente in Munich from October 2018 until April 2019. More recently, from February until October 2020, a major exhibition in Hamburg featured Lisa Reihana’s panorama Pursuit of Venus. Between 2020 and 2023 a series of repatriation ceremonies were held for Māori and Moriori ancestors Toi moko (Māori mummified tattooed heads), and taonga Māori which had previously been held by German museums. This was the culmination of years of close cultural cooperation to bring home these sacred ancestors and objects.
Information on New Zealand’s Working Holiday Scheme with Germany(external link) is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Other Bilateral Agreements
Other bilateral agreements between our two countries include an Air Services Agreement, Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement, Classified Information Sharing Agreement, Double Taxation Agreement, and a Film Co-Production Agreement. These can be found on New Zealand Treaties Online(external link).
Information on New Zealand’s trade relationship with Germany is available on the New Zealand Trade Dashboard(external link).
Germany is a key trading partner for New Zealand. Representing NZ$4.6 billion in two-way goods and services trade (2022), it is our largest EU trading partner, and one of our largest globally. Goods trade is skewed in Germany’s favour due to the prominence of high-value machinery and vehicle imports, whereas our services trade is more balanced.
The German-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (GNZCC) is an important partner in promoting bilateral trade relations between Germany and New Zealand. The GNZCC, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, has offices in Auckland and Wellington with a nationwide membership of just under 300 companies. Further information is available on the Chamber’s website(external link).
- New Zealand is represented in Germany by the New Zealand Embassy to Germany
- Germany is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany(external link)
Recent official visits
New Zealand to Germany
- June 2022: Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Energy, Resources and Digital Services
- February 2020: Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Justice
- December 2019: Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary
- October 2019: Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth/Environment
- April 2019: Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Energy, Resources and Digital Services
- April 2018: Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister
Germany to New Zealand
- February 2020: Wolfgang Kubicki, Vice-President of the Bundestag
- October 2019: Thomas Oppermann, Vice-President of the Bundestag
- April 2019: Mark Hauptmann MP, Prime Minister's Fellow
- March 2019: Delegation of the German Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the Pacific led by Volkmar Klein MP
- November 2017: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President
- November 2014: Angela Merkel, Chancellor