New Zealand Embassy Beijing, China

40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

logo for 40th Anniversary



Events and activities celebrating this anniversary will be held in both countries throughout the year. This page will be regularly updated with information on the 40th anniversary.

40th Anniversary activities

  • NZ Inc China Strategy launch, Auckland 3 February 2012
  • Visit by Hon Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, 18-24 March 2012
  • Visit by Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Beijing, 4-6 April 2012
  • Visit by Auckland Mayor and delegation, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Ningbo, 9-20 April 2012
  • Visit by Jia Qinglin, Chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington, 15-18 April 2012
  • Visit by Hon Nathan Guy, Minister of Immigration, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, 17 – 20 April 2012
  • Sister Cities New Zealand Conference, Wellington, 9-11 May 2012
  • Visit by Wellington Mayor and delegation, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Zhejiang, 26 May - 3 June 2012
  • Visit by Hon Pita Sharples, Minister of Maori Affairs, Beijing, Guizhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Hong Kong, 3 – 13 June 2012
  • Visit by Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang, 9-14 June
  • Visit by Hon Judith Collins, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Beijing, Yunnan, 24 – 29 June 2012
  • Publication of 40th Anniversary anthology on New Zealand/China relations, late 2012
  • Chinese Association of NZ: Celebration Concert of 40th Anniversary, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland, 4 August 2012
  • Celebrations to mark 70th anniversary of Shandan Bailie School (Gansu Province, founded by Rewi Alley) and 60th anniversary of New Zealand China Friendship Society, September 2012
  • NZCCRC/NZIIA/CASS 40th Anniversary Symposium, Parliament, Wellington, 5 September 2012
  • New Zealand Trio, China tour, 7 - 17 September 2012
  • New Zealand Music Festival, Shanghai, 7 September – 13 October
  • Meridian Lines” at the Shanghai Art Museum featuring art from Te Papa Tongarewa, 1 October – 31 December
  • NZ INC China Business Summit, Auckland, 3 October
  • Vincent Ward Exhibits ‘Auckland Station” at Shanghai Biennale, October 2012 - February 2013
  • Rotorua Boys High School Te Raukura kapa haka group, Beijing 15 - 18 October 2012
  • New Zealand Film Festival, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 30 November - 6 December 2012
  • Te Papa 40th Anniversary Exhibitions at National Museum of China, Beijing, November 2012 - January 2013
  • NZCCRC/NZIIZ/CASS/Beijing University NZ Centre 40th Anniversary Conference, Beijing, December 2012

Background to the 40th Anniversary

New Zealand’s links with China can be traced back nearly 140 years to the arrival of Chinese gold miners. Now Chinese New Zealanders are the fifth largest ethnic group in New Zealand enriching our cultural life and enhancing business connectivity with Asia. Formal diplomatic links were established on 22 December, 1972.

Our strong political ties are the foundation for a broader relationship covering trade, tourism and people-to-people links. The 2008 Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and China has been successful in growing two-way trade by more than 50 percent, helping to partially offset the impact on New Zealand of the global financial crisis. Today China is our second largest trading partner, our largest sources of foreign students and our fourth biggest tourist market.

The China Strategy articulates the following vision: New Zealand and China have strong and resilient economic, political and people-to-people relationships which have stimulated New Zealand’s innovation, learning and economic growth.

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