Our relationship with the UK

New Zealand has an important relationship with the UK based on our shared history, strong people to people links,  common values and interests, and ongoing cooperation at all levels of government. There are regular high-level visits between the two countries.

New Zealand and the UK enjoy close connections in a range of areas including extensive- trade, investment, and commercial ties, and in science and technology.  The UK remains a significant export destination and source of tourists.  We share a distinguished record of active service and defence cooperation around the world.  New Zealand and the UK have a close intelligence and security partnership.  We are also closely aligned on a number of foreign policy issues and work closely together in multilateral institutions including in the Commonwealth and the UN.

Our governments draw on each other’s experiences in domestic policy. We have many agreements that help maintain our close connections, including the reciprocal working holiday scheme, a reciprocal Health Services Agreement, a reciprocal Agreement on Social Security, a Double Taxation Convention, and a liberal open skies agreement. 

Trade

March 2017 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$2.9 billion

 

Exports to the UK

$1.6 billion  

Top exports: meat, beverages, fruit

Imports from the UK

$1.3 billion

Top imports: vehicles, machinery, print material

GDP

US$2,945 billion

 
GDP per capita US$45,653 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  3.0%  

The UK is a very important market for our agricultural, food and beverage exports, as well as high-value manufactured products.

The United Kingdom holds the third largest stock of foreign direct investment in New Zealand, behind Australia and the USA. The United Kingdom is a significant destination for New Zealand foreign direct investment in Europe.

In October 2016, Minister of Trade Todd McClay and his UK counterpart, Liam Fox launched a bilateral Trade Policy Dialogue. The Trade Policy Dialogue is convened at senior officials' level and covers market access and trade policy issues of mutual interest, including WTO processes and current and prospective negotiations. The first meeting took place in March 2017 in London.

Foreign policy, defence and security

New Zealand and the UK are closely aligned on a range of foreign policy, trade, defence, and security issues.  Following the visit of UK Foreign Secretary,  William Hague, to New Zealand in January 2013, both countries agreed to hold annual Strategic Dialogue talks for consultations on key foreign and security policy issues.

History and culture

New Zealand and the UK share important historical links and we take every opportunity to reinforce those bonds. The First World War centenary commemorations 2014-18 are a prime opportunity for strengthening the relationship, and New Zealand has a broad programme of cultural and public events planned to support the commemorations.

Find out more about the WW100 commemorations (external link)

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 17 and 30 can apply for a 2-year working holiday visa for the United Kingdom.

To apply, you can submit an application online.

For more information, see the UK Government website (external link).

United Kingdom citizens aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12 or 23-month Working Holiday Visa.

Read more about a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand (external link).

To apply, you can submit an application online (external link).

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to the UK
  • March 2017: Minister of Trade Todd McClay visited London to attend the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting
  • January 2017: Prime Minister Bill English visited London to meet with Prime Minister May
  • May 2016: Minister of Finance Bill English visited London to meet with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne
    April 2016: Foreign Minister Murray McCully visited London to meet with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
  • March 2016: Prime Minister John Key visited London to meet with Prime Minister Cameron.
  • November 2015: Prime Minister John Key visited London to meet with Prime Minister Cameron and had an audience with the Queen
  • October 2015: Minister for Sport Johnathan Coleman visited London where he met with the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Tracey Crouch
  • June 2015: Minister for Immigration and for Police Michael Woodhouse, visited for meetings with counterparts in the UK 
  • June 2015: Minister for Revenue and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Todd McClay visited for meetings with counterparts in the UK
  • April 2015: Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Speaker of the House David Carter attended ANZAC Day centenary commemorations 
 The UK to New Zealand
  • February 2016: Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hugo Swire visited for bilateral talks
  • April 2015: Under Secretary of State, and Lords Spokesman on Defence Lord Astor of Hever attended for ANZAC Day commemoration ceremonies 
  • February 2015: Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Philip Hammond visited for meetings with New Zealand counterparts
  • July 2014: Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Livingston visited to explore opportunities in the Christchurch rebuild 
  • August 2013: Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow visited for meetings with New Zealand counterparts.

 

News & Events

2017 New Zealand General Election

Africa
Antarctica
Caribbean
Europe
Latin America
Middle East
North America
North Asia
Pacific
South Asia
South East Asia
Australia

The General Election will be held on 23 September 2017. Voters who are overseas can vote from 6 September to 23 September.

Battle of Messines Centenary

Belgium
France
United Kingdom

The New Zealand National Commemoration for the centenary of the Battle of Messines will take place on 7 June 2017.