Our relationship with Ireland

New Zealand has a friendly, long-standing relationship with Ireland – with deep personal and cultural links. Around one in every six New Zealanders claims Irish descent and St Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated throughout the country each year. 

We have close cooperation on foreign policy issues such as climate change, disarmament and human rights.

Ireland is a partner in the Small Advanced Economies Initiative established by New Zealand. Ireland and New Zealand also collaborate closely in the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

New Zealand remains involved with the International Fund for Ireland, an independent international body set up by the British and Irish Governments in 1986 to promote economic and social advancement, and to encourage dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland.

There is a social security agreement in place between New Zealand and Ireland, and a working holiday scheme has been in place since 1995.


2015 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$287 million


Exports to Ireland

$52.1 million 

Top exports: butter and other dairy, frozen fish

Imports from Ireland

$222.1 million

Top imports: crude oil


US$246 billion

GDP per capita US $53,462 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  4.8%  

Working Holiday Scheme

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

To apply, you can post the application form to the Consulate General of Ireland in Auckland.  

For more information, go to the Consulate General of Ireland in Auckland website (external link).


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Ireland
  • July 2015: Minister of Trade and Climate Change issues Tim Groser visited Ireland for climate change and trade talks
  • April 2015: Speaker of the House David Carter led the 2015 Speaker's Delegation to Ireland
  • July 2013: Education Minister Hekia Parata visited for education sector meetings
  • June 2013: Social Development Minister Paula Bennett visited to see community organisations and to discuss welfare reform
Ireland to New Zealand
  • March 2015: Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alex White visited New Zealand for St Patrick's Day celebrations
  • March 2014: Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney visited for St Patrick's Day celebrations
  • March 2010: Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney
  • October 2007: President Mary McAleese made a State visit to New Zealand


News & Events

Europe and UK trade issues

United Kingdom

Latest update for New Zealand exporters on Europe and UK trade issues.