New Zealand–European Union relations

Bilateral relations
New Zealand–European Union relations
Map indicating locations of European Union and New Zealand

European Union 22

New Zealand

New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have solid relations and increasingly see eye-to-eye on international issues. The EU-New Zealand relations are founded on a Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation, first agreed in 2007. It covers not just economic relations, but broader political issues and cooperation.[1]

The New Zealand Government maintains a delegation to the EU at its embassy in Brussels. A Delegation of the European Union is located in Wellington.[2]


The first political statement of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand dates back to 1999, with the signing of the Joint Declaration on Relations between the European Union and New Zealand.[3]

This has been replaced in 2007 by the Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation, an updated political declaration which governs and directs the activity between the two partners. The Declaration sets out a detailed action programme for the EU and New Zealand in such areas as global and regional security, counter-terrorism and human rights, development and economic cooperation, trade, climate change as well as science and technology.[3]

The EU and New Zealand have also negotiated a number of sectoral agreements designed to facilitate access to each other's markets and reduce exporters’ costs. Notable examples include agreements on veterinary standards, horizontal air transport services, and on mutual recognition of standards and certification. Senior officials' consultations on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and science & technology take place every year alternating between Brussels and Wellington. Consultations and information exchanges also take place in areas such as climate change, development assistance, and humanitarian aid.[3]

In October 2015, during Prime Minister John Key's visit to Brussels, European Union Council President of the Council of the European Union President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced with Prime Minister Key the launching of a process towards an EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Work is currently underway to prepare the negotiations.[4]

Since July 2012, New Zealand and the EU have been in negotiations for a first legally binding overarching political treaty, governing their overall relationship. Negotiations of this treaty—the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC)—have been concluded and the text was initialed in March 2015.[citation needed] The formal signing of the document took place on 5 October, 2016 and was signed by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and then New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully.[5]


The EU is New Zealand's third-largest trading partner, after China and Australia, and New Zealand is the EU's 50th. New Zealand's exports is dominated by agricultural goods, while the EU's exports is dominated by manufactured goods. The stock of EU foreign direct investment in New Zealand is €10.9bn and the stock of New Zealand's investment in the EU is €5.6bn.[6]

EU–New Zealand trade[7]
Direction of trade Goods Services
EU to New Zealand 5.3 billion (2017)
€4.7 billion (2016)
€4.6 billion (2015)
€2.7 billion (2016)
€2.6 billion (2015)
€2.3 billion (2014)
New Zealand to EU €3.4 billion (2017)
€3.4 billion (2016)
€3.5 billion (2015)
€1.7 billion (2016)
€1.7 billion (2015)
€1.4 billion (2014)

EU-NZ free trade agreement

On 29 October 2015, New Zealand and the European Union concluded a Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation to begin work on developing a free trade agreement.[8] In February 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on initiating free trade negotiations with both New Zealand and Australia.[9] In April 2018, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lobbied for a free trade agreement with the European Union and received the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron.[10]

On 1 July 2022, both parties concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, all tariffs on European Union exports to New Zealand including agricultural and food products would be lifted. In return, duties would be lifted on 97% of New Zealand exports to the European Union; with over 91% being removed on the day that the free trade agreement comes into effect. In addition, tariffs were eliminated for most New Zealand horticultural products (including kiwifruits, wine, onions, apples, mānuka honey), all manufactured goods, and most seafood products. The free trade agreement would then be submitted to the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Parliament for approval.[11][12][13] While New Zealand cheese producers would be able to continue using the names gouda, mozzarella, haloumi, brie and camembert for their products, the use of the name feta would be limited to Greek producers. As a result, New Zealand feta manufacturers would have to find a new name within nine years.[13]

See also

  • flagNew Zealand portal
  • flagEuropean Union portal
  • iconPolitics portal


  1. ^ New Zealand, European External Action Service
  2. ^ "Delegation of the EU". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "EU-New Zealand relations". European External Action Service. 5 October 2016. Archived from the original on 23 June 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  4. ^ "New Zealand and the EU". Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand. 12 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Paris - OECD and UN &#124". European External Action Service. 5 October 2016. Archived from the original on 18 March 2022.
  6. ^ Bilateral relations New Zealand, European Commission
  7. ^ "New Zealand: Trade picture". Paris: European Commission. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. ^ "New Zealand-European Union free trade agreement". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2018. Archived from the original on 5 June 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  9. ^ Krisztina Binder (11 October 2017). "EU-New Zealand free trade agreement: All set for the launch of negotiations" (PDF). European Parliamentary Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 June 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "New Zealand PM pushes for EU trade deal". Agence-France Presse. The Business Times. 17 April 2018. Archived from the original on 5 June 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ Tidey, Alice (30 June 2022). "'Historic moment': EU and New Zealand strike trade deal with climate and gender equality provisions". Euronews. Archived from the original on 1 July 2022.
  12. ^ Ardern, Jacinda; O'Connor, Damien (1 July 2022). "New Zealand secures major free trade deal with European Union". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 2 July 2022. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  13. ^ a b Patterson, Jane; Scotcher, Katie (1 July 2022). "New Zealand and European Union secure historic free trade deal". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved 4 July 2022.

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