Our relationship with Greece

New Zealand and Greece share a warm relationship with a long history based on New Zealand’s participation in the First and Second World Wars, as well as strong personal ties. In the First World War the Greek island of Leimnos was both a staging and relief post for the Gallipoli campaign. During World War Two, more than 7,700 New Zealand troops were part of the allied forces that fought to defend mainland Greece and the island of Crete form occupation in 1941.  A total of 1,040 New Zealand soldiers from World War Two are buried throughout Greece.

There is a community of around 4,500 people of Greek descent (first, second and third generation) in New Zealand.  Greece is a popular tourist destination for New Zealanders, with 2,740 travellers listing Greece as their main destination of travel in 2014 and many more arriving via other countries.

New Zealand and Greece cooperate in many multilateral fora, particularly the United Nations. New Zealand also values its relationship with Greece as a member state of the European Union.


Year ending March 2019 statistics

Total trade

$133 million


Exports to Greece

$74 million 

Top exports: Sheep meat, squid and mussels, raw hides and skins

Imports from Greece

$59 million

Top imports: Pharmaceuticals, preperations of vegetable, fuit and nuts

GDP per capita




Recent official visits

New Zealand visits to Greece

  • Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae – New Zealand Governor General, for the 75th anniversary of the Battle for Crete – May 2016
  • Rt Hon Jim Bolger – Prime Minister’s Special Envoy – September 2013
  • Hon Wayne Mapp – Minister of  Defence – May 2011
  • Hon Murray McCully – Minister of Foreign Affairs – April 2011

Greece visits to New Zealand

  • Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister, May 2007 

News & Events

Measles outbreak in New Zealand


There is currently an outbreak of measles in New Zealand. The outbreak is pre-dominantly in the Auckland region.

Measles outbreak in New Zealand

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Find out more about the current outbreak of measles in New Zealand.