New Zealand Embassy Paris, France
New Zealand and France
New Zealand and France enjoy a warm and varied bilateral relationship. From the strong personal links forged in the First and Second World Wars when New Zealand and French soldiers fought and died for a common cause, to close contact with New Caledonia and French Polynesia and through our defence forces in the South Pacific, our two countries have a long history of cooperation. Today, this encompasses a range of activities including disaster relief and maritime surveillance in the Pacific; cooperation on the Antarctic, the United Nations and other multilateral issues; international peacekeeping duties and defence exercises; and joint ventures in the scientific, cultural and commercial sectors. France is an important partner for New Zealand both as a key player in the European Union and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Many New Zealanders visit metropolitan France and its Pacific territories on a regular basis. The number of French visitors to New Zealand also continues to rise every year. This increasing two-way flow of people and the valuable contacts that it generates add further depth and vibrancy to the relationship. In particular, this has been facilitated by the France/New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme, which has seen over 20,000 young French people experience living and working in New Zealand since the scheme's inauguration in 1999, and the ongoing work of the France/New Zealand Friendship Fund, established to promote friendly relations between the two countries.
As a testament to the strength of relations between New Zealand and France, Prime Minister John Key made an official visit to Paris in April 2011, where he met with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister François Fillon and other senior members of government. This was reinforced later that year when the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, and Secretary of State for Overseas Territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, visited New Zealand to attend the Pacific Islands Forum as well as the Rugby World Cup, joined for the latter by the French Minister of Sport, David Douillet.