In this section

Our relationship with Italy

New Zealand is remembered in many Italian provinces for our role in the liberation of Italy in World War II. Today we have strong trade links, healthy sporting rivalries, and growing cultural links through the Venice Biennale and Venice Architectural Biennale. We have a popular reciprocal working holiday scheme, a double taxation agreement, and an air services agreement.  About 3,000 Italians call New Zealand home.

We share similar views on a range of global issues including whaling, climate change, human rights, peacekeeping and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We also work closely together at a regional level in Antarctica and the Pacific.

Antarctic cooperation

New Zealand and Italy are both party to the Antarctic Treaty, and cooperation in Antarctica is a significant feature of our relationship. We also cooperate under a 1987 treaty in Antarctic research exploration. Italy uses Christchurch as a base for its Antarctic programme.

Both Italy and New Zealand are working in the Ross Sea region, and we value Italy’s support for the joint New Zealand – United States Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area.

Read more about the Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea

Science and innovation

We work together as members of the Governing Board of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project. The array will form the world’s largest radio telescope. This is also the world’s largest public science data project, which could drive significant new technologies while fundamentally changing our understanding of the universe.

We also work together as part of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. This work focusses on technologies and practices to grow more food and more climate-resilient food systems without growing greenhouse gas emissions.


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$1.3 billion


Exports to Italy

$416 million 

Top exports: tanned cattle hides and skins, wool (not carded or combed), raw cattle hides and skins

Imports from Italy

$929 million

Top imports: motor vehicles, tractors, retail medicines


US$2.1 trillion

GDP per capita US$35,823 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  -0.4%  

Italy is our fourth largest individual trading partner within the EU. Trade continues to be steady in spite of a tough economic climate and the Eurozone debt crisis.

New Zealand hides, skins and fine wool are in demand for Italy’s fashion industry. Italy is also an important market for our kiwifruit.

The tourism market is a highlight for both countries, with Italian and New Zealand travellers now enjoying visa-free access to each other’s countries. During 2014 8,800 Italian tourists visited New Zealand, and 15,000 Kiwis travelled to Italy.

Working Holiday Scheme

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

To apply, you can go to, or courier your application to, the Embassy of Italy in Wellington.

For more information, read the Embassy of Italy's fact sheet (external link).


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Italy 
  • 2015: Minister of Agriculture Nathan Guy visited Milan Expo, and Rome for the 39th FAO Ministerial Conference
  • 2014: Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman
  • 2012: Minister of Police Anne Tolley
  • 2011: Minister of Agriculture David Carter and Minister for Climate Change Negotiations
  • 2010: A New Zealand parliamentary delegation led by the Labour Party’s Pete Hodgson
Italy to New Zealand
  • July 2009: Stefania Craxi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • April 2009: Adolfo Urso, Depurty Minister in Charge of International Trade

News & Events

Centenary of the Liberation of Le Quesnoy

North America

The official commemoration to mark the centenary of the liberation of Le Quesnoy by the New Zealand Division will be held in the township on 4 November 2018.

2018 ANZAC Day in Italy


Anzac Day events will be held in Italy. Find out details for Rome, Milan and Sicily commemorations.

Europe and UK trade issues

United Kingdom

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