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New Zealand

(last updated: 02.05.2016)

Relations between Estonia and New Zealand have not been very close, primarily due to the distance separating the countries. Nevertheless, relations have been friendly and good.

New Zealand recognised Estonia when it joined the League of Nations on September 22, 1921 (New Zealand joined that organisation as a founding member in 1919 together with other British dominions, such as Australia, Canada, the Union of South Africa, and India, which had the status of being a British colony).

New Zealand re-recognised Estonia on August 28, 1991 and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries on January 6, 1992.

Estonia's Ambassador to New Zealand Andres Unga presented his credentials to Governor-General Jerry Mateparae on March 20, 2013. The Ambassador resides in Canberra, Austalia.

As of 2007 Estonia’s honorary consul in New Zealand has been Tõnu Loorpärg.

Since December 4, 2014, New Zealand has been represented in Estonia by Ambassador Rodney Harris. The ambassador resides in Berlin.



to Estonia

November 2015 Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne in the framework of the D5 meeting
July 2015 Minister of Trade and Associate Foreign Minister Todd McClay
April 2014 Minister for Communications and of the Environment Amy Adams
April 2010 Foreign Minister Murray McCully
September 2006 Foreign Minister Winston Peters
April 2004 Speaker of the Parliament of New Zealand Jonathan Hunt
September 2004 Foreign Minister Philip Goff
to New Zealand  
March 2016 Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand and Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini on a joint visit with a business delegation
April 2009  Foreign Minister Urmas Paet


The first and currently only bilateral agreement between Estonia and New Zealand is an intergovernmental agreement on the right to work in the field of tourism, which came into effect on November 5, 2007.

Economic relations

Trade between Estonia and New Zealand remains in the 2-3 million euro range. In 2015, trade grew and amounted to 3.7 million euros, making New Zealand Estonia's 77th trade partner. The proportion of total turnover still remains below 0.1%.

Estonian exports to New Zealand in 2015 amounted to 1.4 million euros, which is the best result in the last six years. The greatest increase was in the export of certain industrial products (+0.7 million euros). New Zealand was Estonia's 85th export partner and 62th import partner.

Total Trade between Estonia and New Zealand 2010-2015 (in million euros)

  Export Import
2010 1.2 1.1
2011 0.4 1.4
2012 0.5 2.0
2013 0.9 2.3
2014 0.47 1.9
2015 1.4 2.3

The main articles of export in 2015 were:

  • other industrial products - 63.2%
  • wood and wood products - 10.3%
  • machinery and equipment - 8.9%
  • paper pulp and products thereof - 7.5%

The main articles of import in 2015 were:

  • textiles and textile products - 37%
  • animal products - 25.1%
  • wood and wood products - 15%

Direct investments

According to the Bank of Estonia, as of December 31, 2015 New Zealand's direct investments in Estonia amounted to 1.4 million euros.

Investments have been made in many sectors: wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, the information and communications sector, finance and insurance activities, real estate and administrative and aid activity.

Estonian companies have invested in real estate in New Zealand, and in the manufacturing industry.

Source: Statistical Office of Estonia

Estonians in New Zealand

The first large group of Estonians (116 people) came to New Zealand in June of 1949. Since they had arrived in the country with the assistance of the Government of New Zealand, the obligation of working for 2 years applied to every newcomer. Men were for the most part sent to factories and women performed sewing or cleaning jobs.

The largest Estonian communities are in the main centres of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, Nelson and Queenstown. In 2016, about 200 people born in Estonia lived in New Zealand, as well as over 3000 people of Estonian heritage.



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