New Zealand hosts and chairs APEC in 2021. APEC is an opportunity to showcase regional leadership, advance interests in the Asia-Pacific and create new business for New Zealand companies.

APEC 2021 host year overview

leaders waving at APEC 2018

Getting the most out of hosting APEC

Ministers from China, Singapore, and New Zealand talking
China's Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang; Singapore’s Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing; New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Economic Growth David Parker; Hong Kong, China’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-Wah. Photo courtesy APEC Secretariat

To get the most out of hosting APEC, we are doing extensive stakeholder engagement to identify policy priorities, leveraging and supporting activities, and opportunities for Māori success, to deliver economic benefits beyond 2021.

We are investigating initiatives in areas such as:

  • supporting pro-growth policies that promote sustainability and inclusion
  • harnessing disruptive technologies
  • advancing the cause of trade and investment liberalisation, traditionally described in APEC as 'regional economic integration'
  • implementing APEC’s post-2020 vision.

New Zealand’s policy priorities will be finalised in late-2020.


A theme for New Zealand’s host year will be finalised following the General Election in 2020.

What we want to achieve

Strategic objectives

New Zealand’s approach to hosting APEC is underpinned by these strategic objectives:


New Zealand will host a secure APEC year ensuring all APEC Leaders and attendees feel safe, secure and welcome.


New Zealand will host a high-quality APEC year with all APEC attendees and Leaders experiencing friendly, authentic New Zealand hosting, from the first arrival to the last farewell.


New Zealand will shape the APEC policy agenda so that it better supports the advancement of New Zealand’s long-term prosperity.


New Zealand will fully exploit its investment in hosting the APEC year to demonstrate success on the international stage, to pursue bilateral meetings and visits with Leaders, Ministers and officials to sustain and refresh relationships, and to accelerate the achievement of broader objectives during the hosting year.


New Zealand will showcase its world-class capabilities, competitive advantages and natural resources to the media and Leaders of economies that represent 40% of the world’s population.

Business leverage

Business will strategically leverage the on-shore hosting of APEC to create new trade and investment opportunities and ultimately benefit the long-term prosperity of all New Zealanders.

Local support

Promote public support in favour of hosting APEC in New Zealand, and New Zealand’s role and place in the Asia-Pacific.


children playing in a rock pool

APEC 2021 is our chance to show the world what New Zealand can do and how we can do it. As New Zealanders, we are proud of our manaakitanga as hosts, and the breadth and inclusivity of our engagement.

New Zealand is known for being a team player, for being willing to listen, and for the flexibility and creativity of our thinking. But our strength will be in the integrity we bring to our work in 2021.

It’s this integrity which allows us to say from the heart, ‘Naku te rourou, Nau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi’ – with your contribution and my contribution, the people will thrive.

Locations and schedule

 Image of NZ showing the key meetings in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch.

APEC 2021 meeting locations

APEC meetings will be held in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. These cities have the capacity, capability, services and accommodation to hold and host the APEC meetings. Planning continues on specific venues.

APEC New Zealand is working closely with the Auckland hotel sector to book the necessary accommodation for Leaders’ Week in November 2021. We’re confident that Auckland will be able to accommodate the expected influx of visitors to the city during this period.

APEC 2021 meeting schedule 


New Zealand will host the mandatory APEC meetings.

MeetingHeld in... is usually overin
Informal Senior Officials (ISOM) Wellington 2 days December 2020
First Senior Officials (SOM1) Wellington 14 days February-March 2021
Finance Deputies Wellington 2 days March 2021
Second Senior Officials (SOM2) and Ministers Responsible for Trade Christchurch 14 days May 2021
Senior Finance Officials Wellington 2 days June 2021
Third Senior Officials (SOM3) and Food Security Week Auckland 14 days August-September 2021
Women and Economy Forum Auckland 5 days September 2021
Ministers of Finance, Senior Finance Officials and Finance Deputies Wellington 4 days September-October 2021
Leaders’ Week:
Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM)
APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM)
Voices of the Future youth summit
APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)
CEO Summit
APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM)
Auckland 7 days 8-14 November 2021

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill

The new Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill was introduced to the House on 14 November by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

APEC 2021 will be the largest international event ever hosted by the New Zealand Government, bringing with it complex security needs. Up to 20,000 visitors are expected throughout the year, including world leaders, ministers and international media.

To support security preparation, this temporary legislation has been introduced to provide effective and efficient protection during APEC events. The legislation will expire at the end of November 2021.

The APEC 2021 Bill is targeted to these key areas:

  • Ensuring the NZ Police has the resources it needs - in terms of people and technology.
  • During the leaders' event period of three weeks: temporary security and safety areas around key meeting locations and motorcades.

Hosting APEC is an important opportunity for New Zealand and New Zealanders to deepen our business connections and showcase our leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC 2021 Bill is an important part of the foundation for hosting a safe and successful APEC year.

Read the Bill here (external link)

Read about the Bill and its progress in Parliament here (external link)

Read the Cabinet decisions:

Read the Ministry of Justice's advice on the consistency of the Bill with the Bill of Rights Act (external link)

Supporting documents

More information


Other major events

New Zealand’s hosting of APEC is one significant point in a range of big international events around this time including:

  • Rugby World Cup 2019 - Japan
  • Expo 2020 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Olympics 2020 - Tokyo, Japan
  • 36th America’s Cup 2021 - Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup - New Zealand
  • Rugby World Cup 2021 - New Zealand

Together, these will have a significant and cumulative impact on New Zealand’s international profile.