Our relationship with Canada

New Zealand and Canada identify closely with each other’s interests, concerns and values. We're linked by a common world view based on our Commonwealth heritage and shared parliamentary, legal, social and defence traditions. We cooperate on some of the toughest issues facing the international community today, such as cyber security and the international response to ISIL. Canada was a major supporter of New Zealand’s UN Security Council campaign.

New Zealand Māori and Canadian First Nations, particularly from Western Canada, have regular visits and cultural exchanges, mostly independent of Government agencies. The New Zealand-Canada working holiday visa gives our young citizens the opportunity to visit and work in each other’s countries. This visa has recently been extended from 12 to 23 months.

Trade

2016 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$1.7 billion

 

Exports to Canada

$970 million

Top goods exports: frozen beef,  wine, mutton and lamb

Imports from Canada

$767 million

Top goods imports: machinery, potassium fertilizers, wood products, pork

Canada is one of our top 20 trading partners, and a high value market for our food and wine exports, specialised manufacturing, and information communication technology (ICT). Canada’s supply management policies continue to pose a challenge for our agricultural exporters with dairy exports to Canada subject to quotas and out-of-quota tariff rates of 250-300%.

Frozen beef is our number one merchandise goods trade item exported to Canada, and growth in beef exports over 2015-16 was 32.8%. Wine exports to Canada are also very strong, surpassing $100 million for the first time in 2016.

Canada is a growing market for trade and investment, offering opportunities in health IT, wood and building products, agile technology including specialised manufacturing and clean technology, specialty food and beverages, and agritech. There's scope for more collaboration in research, science and technology in these areas.

Canada has identified New Zealand as a priority established market under their Global Markets Action Plan, focusing on ICT, sustainable technology, oil and gas, and life sciences. Examples of commercial activity between our countries include an Ottawa company contracted to print New Zealand banknotes and passports, and Lockeed Martin Canada contracted for a New Zealand Navy frigate upgrade.

Free trade negotiations with Canada

We are working together for freer global and regional trade through the WTO and APEC.

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 18 and 35 can apply for a 23-month working holiday visa for Canada.

For more information, go to the Canadian government website (external link).

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to Canada
  • March 2016: Minister Nikki Kaye visited Ontario and British Columbia for discussions related to her ACC, Civil Defence, Associate Education and Youth Affairs portfolio
  • November 2015: Attorney General Finlayson visited Ottawa
  • May 2015: Minister of Sport Dr Jonathaon Coleman visited Canada to attend the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) annual meetings
  • March 2015: Minister of Education Hekia Parata visited Canada to attend the International Summit on the Teaching Profession
Canada to New Zealand
  • August 2016: Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, visited for a study tour focused on indigenous affairs and criminal reform
  • April 2016: Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan visited Wellington
  • November 2014: Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited New Zealand at the invitation of Prime Minister Key for bilateral meetings
  • June 2014: President of the Treasury Board and Prime Ministerial Fellow Tony Clement visited for a study tour focused on public sector admiration
  • February 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met with Prime Minister John Key, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, and Trade Minister Tim Groser

News & Events

2017 New Zealand General Election

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