Relations between France and New Zealand are characterized by a shared vision of the major global issues, which is regularly reaffirmed in official meetings. Prime Minister Ardern’s visit to Paris in April 2018 was the opportunity to adopt a Joint Declaration organizing our cooperation on subjects including the defence of multilateralism, the fight against climate change, the promotion of free trade fostering corporate social responsibility, environmental protection and standards, and greater cooperation in specific regions such as the Pacific and Antarctic.
Cooperation has also deepened in the framework of the Christchurch Call to Action, which was launched from Paris by President Macron and Prime Minister Ardern in May 2019. The Call aims to fight online terrorist and violent extremist content and has been joined by many countries, including the United States at the anniversary summit in May 2021.
Bilateral relations continue to grow stronger, benefiting the whole of Oceania. The most recent political-military consultations were held in February 2020 in Wellington. Our armies cooperate on a regular basis particularly under the FRANZ (France, Australia, New Zealand) Agreement during emergency and humanitarian interventions in the event of natural disasters in the region. Our cooperation is also embodied by the Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group (Pacific QUAD, with Australia and the United States), which primarily seeks to ensure maritime security in close cooperation with the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
Around 5,000 French nationals are registered with the consulate. Before the borders closed during the COVID-19 crisis, more than 10,000 young French people received a working holiday visa each year.
The New Zealander community in France is estimated at 1,400.
French visits to New Zealand
- October 2018: Visit of the France-New-Zealand Friendship Group at the French Senate;
- April 2018: Visit by Ms Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance to Wellington;
- May 2016: Visit by Mr Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, to Wellington.
New Zealand visits to France
- June and October 2021: visit to Paris by Mr Damian O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, for negotiations on the EU-NZ free trade agreement;
- May 2019: Visit by Ms Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, to Paris for the launch of the Christchurch Call;
- November 2018:
Visit by Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand, to Le Quesnoy (59) for the commemoration of the centenary of World War I;
Participation of Mr Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the first Paris Peace Forum;
- April 2018: Visit by Ms Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, to Paris;
- July 2016: Visit by Mr John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, to Paris.
Our bilateral trade is dominated by the aeronautics sector and has stood at around €800 million on average in recent years. In 2020, France posted its first trade deficit in a decade with New Zealand. France typically exports transport, industrial and agricultural equipment to New Zealand, and imports agrifood and agricultural products. The COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on our imports of medical equipment, and reduced our exports by a third. It has also contributed to reducing French market share to the benefit of Australia and China.
Cooperation between our two countries is focused on higher education and scientific research, French language teaching (it is the leading foreign language taught in the New Zealand school system, with 44,000 learners) and in the cultural and educational industries.
Research in the Pacific, on specific regional issues, is also encouraged via the Pacific Fund, which contributes each year to financing two to four projects between New Zealand and French communities of the Pacific, thereby strengthening the latter’s regional integration.
Updated: April 2022