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Relations between New Zealand and Poland are friendly. New Zealanders and Poles fought together in Europe during World War II. The descendants of Polish ex-servicemen and the 730 Polish orphans who arrived in Wellington in 1944 form a large part of New Zealand’s Polish community, together with a wave of immigrants in the early 1980s.
Poland opened an Embassy in New Zealand in 1973, and 2013 will mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Embassy upgraded to full ambassador status in late 2004, at the same time as the first resident New Zealand ambassador presented credentials in Warsaw.
There is a Polish Honorary Consul in Auckland. The New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw opened its doors in January 2005 and was officially launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark during an official visit to Poland in April 2005.
Since May 1 2004, Poland has not required New Zealanders to obtain a visa if they are visiting for less than 90 days. From 1 April 2005. Poles have been able to visit New Zealand visa-free for three months.
Land Area: 312,685 sq km
Population: 38.3 million
Capital City: Warsaw
Political system: Parliamentary republic
National government: Coalition between the conservative liberal Civic Platform (PO) and the agrarian Polish Peasants' Party (PSL). The Prime Minister heads a Council of Ministers that is responsible to Parliament. A President is elected by universal suffrage for a 5 year term.
National legislature: Bicameral: Sejm (lower house) of 460 seats - Senate (upper house) of 100 members.
Last election: October 2007 (Parliamentary) June/July 2010(Presidential)
Next election due: October 2015 (parliamentary), July/August 2015 (presidential)
Head of State: President Bronislaw Komorowski (since August 2010)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Donald Tusk (November 2007)
GDP: US$514.4 billion
Real GDP growth: 4.3%
Exports: US$193.9 billion
Imports: US$208.0 billion
Main exports: Machinery and transport equipment, manufactures
Current account balance: US$22.128 billion
Exports: (FOB) NZ$17 million
Main Exports: Meat, agricultural products, wool, wine, and medical instruments
Imports: (CIF) NZ$57 million
Main Imports: Industrial Machinery, Compact disks, home appliances, pharmaceuticals, tools and cosmetics
The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Poland [external link].