Germany and New Zealand established diplomatic relations in 1953 and over the course of the last six decades the two countries have formed a partnership marked by close mutual trust. This partnership is based not least on shared interests and values and it has made the two countries like-minded partners in international affairs, trade, research and cultural exchange. Germany and New Zealand have cultivated these good relations with numerous high-level visits. Following Chancellor Merkel’s visit in 2014, President Steinmeier visited New Zealand in 2017, while New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently visited Germany in 2018.
Economic relations are also excellent. For more than 30 years now, the German-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (GNZCC) has served as a German foreign chamber of commerce in New Zealand. New Zealand’s business community is represented in Germany by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, a government agency based in Hamburg.
Germany is New Zealand’s second most important trading partner within the EU and ranks 14th among New Zealand’s international trading partners. New Zealand, in turn, ranks 59th among Germany’s global trading partners.
New Zealand’s principal exports to Germany are agricultural and forestry products, in particular mutton and game, fruit, dairy products and wool. Its main imports from Germany are motor vehicles, machinery and pharmaceutical products.
Since 2000, the Working Holiday Programme has enabled young people to stay between one and twelve months in either Germany or New Zealand. The programme allows the travellers to take up a vacation job in the other country. This offers them the opportunity to finance their own stay and to get to know the culture and everyday life of the host country. Every year, some 16,000 young Germans travel around New Zealand under this programme.
Cultural and academic relations are also good. Thanks to the work of the Goethe-Institut and other cultural institutions as well as numerous cooperation arrangements between universities, there is a vibrant exchange between the two countries.