Last updated in October 2015
On 10 November 2013, Germany and New Zealand celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Over a period of six decades, a relationship of mutual trust has developed, not least owing to the two countries’ very often taking similar positions on international issues. A regular dialogue has been established between the two countries at various levels. Federal Chancellor Merkel visited New Zealand from 13 to 14 November 2014, before attending the G20 summit in Australia. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully met with Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier in Berlin in March 2014. New Zealand Parliament Speaker David Carter travelled to Munich and Berlin in April 2015.
Economic relations are good. A double taxation agreement was signed as early as 1978. The New Zealand German Business Association (NZGBA) in Auckland, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in November 2013, acts as a local German foreign chamber of commerce. On request, it brokers contacts with New Zealand business partners and conducts market analyses. New Zealand’s business community is represented in Germany by New Zealand’s Hamburg-based governmental organisation New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
New Zealand’s principal exports to Germany are meat products (mainly mutton and game), dairy products and wool. Its main imports from Germany are motor vehicles, machinery of all kinds and medical and pharmaceutical products. In 2014, Germany ranked seventh among New Zealand’s most important trading partners in goods, and first among EU countries. According to Statistics New Zealand, nearly 79,000 Germans visited New Zealand in 2014, putting Germany in sixth place among countries of origin.
Germany is one of New Zealand’s principal cooperation partners in science and technology, along with the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Since the agreement on scientific and technological cooperation was concluded in December 1977, scientists from both countries have been cooperating in numerous joint research projects. In February 2007, the provisions of this agreement were reaffirmed by the two countries’ research ministers, the following priority areas being defined for future cooperation: health, food/agriculture, biotechnology, the environment, marine and Antarctic research and, since 2010, renewable energy.
Since 1 December 2000, the Working Holiday Programme has enabled young people to finance stays of up to twelve months in the partner country by taking on a vacation job there. This gives them the opportunity to learn something about each other’s culture and everyday life. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year (from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015), the New Zealand side issued more than 13,500 Working Holiday visas to young Germans. In addition, there are nearly 2,600 Germans studying at universities in New Zealand.
The Wellington-based Goethe Institute is an important mediator of German language and culture. Besides offering language courses, it organises each year a wide range of cultural events in cooperation with local partners. In addition, the Goethe Societies in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington help to foster German language and culture.
There are five partner schools in New Zealand belonging to the Schools: Partners for the Future network (PASCH). The network links schools that give special priority to German teaching. The fifth PASCH school was opened in May 2013 at a ceremony attended by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
In 2013, a series of events was held in New Zealand to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Germany. It was co-organised by the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute, the New Zealand German Business Association, the DAAD and the Goethe Societies. The events included concerts, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and video competitions for schools as well as the screening of the film “Far Apart – Close at Heart”, which was commissioned by the German Embassy in Wellington to mark the anniversary. In November 2013, an exhibition on 60 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and New Zealand went on show in the atrium of Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.