Europe

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Our relationship with Europe

New Zealand has strong relationships with individual countries in Europe, and with the EU. Our connections vary from the new and friendly, to enduring relationships with countries that we share deep historical ties with. Shared experiences in both World Wars created strong connections with Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, the UK, and other countries in Europe. 

As well as the British, Italians, Germans, French, Scandinavians and Dalmatians were among early European immigrants to New Zealand. After World War II, there was another wave of immigration from the Netherlands and Wellington became home to more than 700 Polish orphans. More Polish immigrated in the 1980s. In 2017 the UK was the fourth largest source of long-term migrants to New Zealand. There's also a strong sporting rivalry with France and England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the rugby field.

Formal connections

Our formal connections with European countries include our work with international organisations such as the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the EU.  

Read more about our relationship with the EU

Our cooperation with European partners spans a number of spheres including political and security issues, climate change and the environment, and development in the Pacific. European countries are our most significant science and innovation partners. More than half of New Zealand’s researchers have an active collaboration with a European partner.

New Zealand also has working holiday schemes with 25 European countries.

Trade

Most of our two-way trade with Europe is with countries in the EU. The EU is the world's largest economic entity and New Zealand's third largest trading partner overall. Two-way trade was valued at $23.7b in goods and services in the year to March 2019.

Our main goods exports to this region are sheep meat, followed by wine, fruit, butter and dairy spreads. Imports from the EU are dominated by motor vehicles, aircraft and retail medicines. We also have significant two-way trade in tourism, transport, education and commercial services. Within the EU, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Denmark are our largest individual export destinations.

New Zealand has been exploring options for further liberalising our trade and economic relations with the EU. In 2018 New Zealand and the EU launched free trade agreement negotiations.

Working holidays

New Zealand has working holiday schemes with 25 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Embassies and consular services for Europe

Location Service areas
New Zealand Embassy to Austria and Permanent Mission to the United Nations Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia
New Zealand Embassy to Belgium Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Moldova, Republic of, Romania
New Zealand Embassy to France France, Monaco, Portugal, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
New Zealand Embassy to Germany Czechia, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland
New Zealand Embassy to Ireland Ireland
New Zealand Embassy to Italy Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia
New Zealand Embassy to Poland Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine
New Zealand Embassy to Russia Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
New Zealand Embassy to Spain Andorra, Malta, Morocco, Spain
New Zealand Embassy to Sweden Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
New Zealand Embassy to The Netherlands Netherlands
New Zealand High Commission United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Permanent Mission to the United Nations, World Trade Organisation and Conference on Disarmament, Geneva

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