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Our relationship with Spain

New Zealand and Spain share many common interests and values, notably in international peace and security and in international trade.

Both countries have made substantial contributions to multilateral peace support operations including, most recently, in Afghanistan. New Zealand and Spain successfully campaigned for non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council in the Western European and Others Group for 2015-16, and we share a strong commitment to multilateralism, and a corresponding interest in contributing to a Security Council that is more open, effective and transparent. There has been regular contact between foreign ministers and ministries in recent years, focused in particular on our shared UN Security Council interests.

A two-way working holiday scheme gives our young citizens the opportunity to live, study and work in New Zealand and Spain. Demand is strong for the 200 visas available to young Spaniards each year to live and work in New Zealand.


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$723 million


Exports to Spain

$170 million*

Top exports: fruit, frozen fish, sheep meat

Imports from Spain

$553 million

Top imports: self-propelled railway or tramway coaches, motor vehicles, retail machines


US$1.4 trillion

GDP per capita US $30,278 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  1.4%  

*Excludes goods shipped to Spain from other countries in the EU, such as kiwifruit.

Spain is the fifth largest EU economy and the world’s 13th largest economy.

New Zealand and Spain are strong proponents of the rules-based multilateral trading system and of regional trade liberalisation.

Our trading relationship has held up well in spite of recent challenges to the Eurozone and the global economy, and there is potential for stronger economic links. Spain is the world’s 10th largest foreign investor, and there's scope for increased Spanish investment in New Zealand. A range of New Zealand primary sector, manufacturing and services companies have a history of operations in Spain, and new opportunities are being explored, including in the health, agribusiness, marine and tourism sectors.

Working Holiday Scheme

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

To apply, you can go to the Spanish Embassy in Wellington.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Spain
  • May 2015: Associate Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Todd McClay visited Madrid
  • March 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Madrid
  • September 2010: Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith led a Parliamentary delegation to Spain
  • June 2010: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Spain 
Spain to New Zealand
  • September 2015: Secretary of State Ibanez visited Wellington
  • June 2009: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia opened the Embassy of Spain in Wellington
  • June 2009: State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Angel Lossada, State Secretary for Trade Silvia Iranzo, and Science and Innovation Minister Christina Garmendia visited New Zealand 
  • 2005: The Speaker of the Senate led a Spanish Parliamentary delegation, including representatives from the major parties, to New Zealand

News & Events

New travel rules for New Zealand

Czech Republic

From 1 October 2019, some international visitors and transit passengers must have an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before travelling to NZ

Spain: WorldPride 2017

We advise New Zealanders attending WorldPride 2017 events to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources.

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.