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

map of nz showing meetings in Auckland, Wellington, and 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... and involves
Informal Senior Officials (ISOM) Wellington 2 days December 2020 around 300 attendees.
First Senior Officials (SOM1) Wellington 14 days February-March 2021 around 2,000 attendees.
Finance Deputies Wellington 2 days March 2021  
Second Senior Officials (SOM2) and Ministers Responsible for Trade Christchurch 14 days May 2021 around 2,000 attendees.
Senior Finance Officials Wellington 2 days June 2021  
Third Senior Officials (SOM3) and Food Security Week Auckland 14 days August-September 2021 around 3,500 attendees.
Ministers Responsible for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Christchurch 3 days August-September 2021 around 160 attendees.
Women and Economy Forum Auckland 5 days September 2021 around 720 attendees.
Ministers of Finance, Senior Finance Officials and Finance Deputies Wellington 4 days September-October 2021 around 300 attendees.
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 around 10,000 attendees

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
  • Women's Rugby World Cup 2021 - New Zealand

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