Bilateral relations Switzerland–New Zealand
Switzerland has good, but not particularly intensive, relations with New Zealand. Trade between New Zealand and Switzerland is marginal.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Bilateral political contacts are rare, but the two countries have established close relations at the multilateral level, for example within the United Nations framework, as well as on issues such as human rights, peace and the environment.
Neither in New Zealand nor in Switzerland exists a joint chamber of commerce. An economic report in German language with insight into the development of New Zealand in terms of latest figures, analysis and prospective opportunities and information written in context to the economical and bilateral relations with Switzerland can be found on the website of Switzerland Global Enterprise under the following link:
Cooperation in the field of education
Scholars and artists from New Zealand can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
A trainee agreement enables young people from New Zealand to spend a limited period of time in Switzerland in order to acquire additional professional experience and to hone their language skills.
Swiss nationals in New Zealand
At the end of 2016, there were 6925 Swiss nationals resident in New Zealand.
History of bilateral relations
In the mid-19th century, the first Swiss nationals emigrated to New Zealand, and sought their fortune as gold prospectors in the 1860s.
Switzerland opened its first representation, a Consulate, 1912 in Auckland. In 1937 the Consulate moved to Wellington, and in 1959 it was upgraded to a Consulate General. Diplomatic relations with New Zealand were established in 1962, and Switzerland opened an Embassy in Wellington in 1963. In 1969, the Swiss ambassador to New Zealand took residence in Wellington and no longer resided in Canberra. New Zealand accredited its first ambassador to Switzerland in 1973 with residence in Bonn, and subsequently in Berlin.