The New Zealand Embassy in Poland is proud to partner with Wspólnota Polska to present the story of the Polish Children of Pahiatua, and what happened next, from 31 October – 17 November 2019 outside Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 in Warsaw. Zapraszamy!
Our relationship with Poland
New Zealand and Poland enjoy a warm and friendly relationship. It dates back to at least 1872 when the first Polish settlers arrived in New Zealand. In March 2018, we marked the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.
New Zealand and Poland have an air services agreement, film co-production agreement, double taxation agreement and a working holiday scheme in place.
New Zealand and Poland are also building relationships between their parliaments, NGOs and think tanks. The New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and the Polish Institute of International Affairs have agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss international relations. Academic partnerships have also been developed between universities in each country. Finally, Poland and New Zealand both participate in the work of the Global Research Alliance, and focus on the work of the Livestock Research Group which aims to cut greenhouse emissions from agriculture.
We have also shared experiences of our troops fighting alongside each other in World War Two, and in 2019 we mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino and the Great Escape at Zagan.
New Zealand is represented at the annual commemoration of the liberation of concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. New Zealand was an early contributor to the Perpetual Fund set to maintain these camps as a testament to future generations.
The best-known members of New Zealand’s Polish community arrived in November 1944 when New Zealand welcomed about 800 war refugees, most of them orphaned children, who were cared for at a camp in Pahiatua, Tararua District and were affectionately called the “Pahiatua children”. Many stayed and became New Zealanders because the political situation in Poland prevented them from returning home after the war ended. November 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of their arrival in New Zealand.
After World War II about 200 Polish war veterans and 700 Polish displaced persons migrated to New Zealand. Then in the early 1980s a further 320 refugees fleeing from the Communist regime were given a home here.
New Zealand now has a thriving Polish community of around 5,000-6,000 people.
Total trade in goods
Exports to Poland
Top exports: fish fillets and machinery
Imports from Poland
|Top imports: trucks, vans and harvesting machinery|
Trade between New Zealand and Poland has shown steady growth in recent years. An example is New Zealand wine, for which demand is rapidly growing in Poland.
In collaboration with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw held successful New Zealand Business Days in March 2015, October 2016 and April 2018. These days helped to educate Polish and New Zealand businesses about trade and economic opportunities between our countries.
New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Poland.
To apply, you can go to the Polish Embassy in Wellington. If you are overseas you can also apply through any Polish Consulate (external link).
For more information, read the Embassy of Poland's website (external link).
- New Zealand is represented in Poland by the New Zealand Embassy, Warsaw
- Poland is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Wellington (external link)
New Zealand to Poland
- December 2018: James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, to participate in the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice
- December 2016: Todd McClay, Minister of Trade met Polish political leaders and business representatives to discuss New Zealand’s FTA ambitions with the European Union
- June 2015: Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries met with his counterpart and farmer organisations
- April 2015: Hon David Carter, Speaker of Parliament led a delegation of MPs visited Poland as part of the annual Speaker's Delegation to exchange views on the economic, political and security challenges facing the European Union and its near neighbourhood, as well as those affecting the Pacific
- January 2015: Attorney General Christopher Finlayson, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Annette King, and Gael Keren representing the Jewish Community of New Zealand visited Krakow for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau
- July/August 2014: Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown visited Warsaw to participate in events for the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising
Poland to New Zealand
- August 2018: President of the Republic of Poland His Excellency Andrzej Duda, accompanied by Ms Agata Kornhauser-Duda, made the first state visit to New Zealand by Poland. The programme included an official welcome by Her Excellency the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, meetings with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges, and a business roundtable hosted by Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker
- December 2017: Secretary of State and Chief of Cabinet in the President’s Chancellery, Krzysztof Szczerski visited Wellington for discussions on the bilateral relationship and New Zealand’s FTA process with the European Union
- October 2017: Vice-Marshal of the Senate Maria Koc met members of the New Zealand Polish community
- November 2014: Three Polish delegations visited New Zealand for the 70th anniversary of the arrival in New Zealand of the Polish orphan refugees, known as the Pahiatua children. The Senate delegation was led by Deputy Marshal of the Senate Maria Pańczyk-Pozdziej. The Parliamentary delegation was led by MP and Chairperson of the Poland-New Zealand Parliamentary Group Ligia Krajewska. The delegation from the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression was let by Jan Stanisław Ciechanowski
- June 2014: Marshal of the Senate, Bogdan Borusewicz visited New Zealand for discussions on the state of our two economies, and NZ's ambitions for an FTA with the European Union
News & Events
From 1 October 2019, some international visitors and transit passengers must have an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before travelling to NZ
New Zealanders in Poland, Estonia, Georgia and Ukraine are welcome to participate in 2019 Anzac commemoration services with the New Zealand, Australian and British communities.
Dream NEW scholarships available for students in Poland