Canada–New Zealand relations

Canada New Zealand Auckland
Canadian–New Zealand relations
Map indicating locations of Canada and New Zealand


New Zealand

Canada–New Zealand relations refers to international relations between New Zealand and Canada. New Zealand and Canada have a longstanding relationship that has been fostered by both countries' shared history and culture, and links between residents of both countries. The two countries are former British Dominions and have a common head of state in Queen Elizabeth II (legally, the Queen is equally and separately the sovereign of both nations, as Queen of Canada and Queen of New Zealand). New Zealand and Canada also have links through business or trade relations, the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and mutual treaty agreements. New Zealand-Canada relations are therefore important to both countries.[1]

Political similarities

Party politics in New Zealand are fought between the centre-left Labour Party, the centre-right National Party and several smaller parties. In Canada the main players are the Conservatives, Liberals, the centre-left New Democratic Party and the separatist Bloc Québécois. The economic policies of New Zealand were restructured by Roger Douglas and partially inspired government cutbacks advocated by Canadian leaders such as Ralph Klein, Mike Harris and Paul Martin.[citation needed]

Military alliances

New Zealand and Canada have fought together in the Second Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Gulf War and the Afghanistan War. Both countries refused to participate in the Iraq War even though other major Anglosphere countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia took part. As of 2014 all Canadian forces have completely withdrawn from Afghanistan while a small number of New Zealand forces still remain.

Cooperation between military forces

Historically their two armed forces have worked alongside each other in a number of international security operations. Recent defence operations include strategic actions in Timor Leste, Bosnia and Afghanistan, training exercises and staff exchanges.

These positive and longstanding defence links with Canada and New Zealand are enhanced by the regular purchase of new military equipment from either country; e.g. New Zealand's purchase of 105 Light Armoured vehicles (LAV IIIs) from Canada.[2]

Wars fought together

Alliance during World War II
United Nations propaganda poster showing both the New Zealander and former Canadian flag as allied forces in World War II.

As part of their ongoing participation in the British Commonwealth both countries were expected to aid Britain when it declared war on Germany. However, since the Statute of Westminster they had both won the power to declare war independently of Britain. Politically, New Zealand had been a vocal opponent of European fascism and the appeasement of those dictatorships. At the beginning of the war Canada was (for the most part) reluctant to return to war. Nonetheless, both countries entered the war as Allies: New Zealand declared war on Nazi Germany at 9.30 pm September 3, 1939 (NZT); Canada on September 10, 1939. However, the two countries' armies only occasionally fought together. Canada's main effort encompassed major campaigns in Italy[3] and Northern Europe[4] whereas the New Zealanders mainly fought in Greece, Crete and Italy.

Korean War 1950–1953

New Zealand and Canada were among those states that responded to the United Nations call for help. New Zealand joined 15 other nations including Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States in the anti-communist war. The Korean War was also significant as it fastened New Zealand's military and diplomatic co-operation in supporting Canada and the United States in conflict.

The British Commonwealth Forces Korea was a joint effort between allied Commonwealth forces: namely Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.[5]

Afghanistan (2001–2005)

New Zealand and Canada's heaviest joint military involvement in the Middle East in recent decades has been in Afghanistan following the United States-led invasion of that country after the September 11 attacks. Fifty Special Air Service of New Zealand (NZ SAS) units were dispatched and in March 2002 they took part in Operation Anaconda alongside Canadian forces against about 500 to 1,000 al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shahi-Kot Valley and Arma Mountains southeast of Zorma, Afghanistan. New Zealand has also supplied two transport aircraft and a 122-strong tri-service Provincial Reconstruction Team which has been located in Bamyan Province since 2003. Both New Zealand (NZ SAS) and Canadian (Joint Task Force 2) special forces have won the American Presidential Unit Citation for operations in Afghanistan.

"Operation Anaconda" was an operation composed of elements of the United States 10th Mountain Division, 101st Airborne Division, the US special forces groups (TF 11, TF Bowie and TF Dagger), British Royal Marines, Canada's 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the Afghan National Army, the German KSK and elements of both the Australian Special Air Service Regiment and the New Zealand Special Air Service.

This was one of the first major NZ-Canada joint operations of the War in Afghanistan and proved to be a very successful partnership between the two nations' military forces.[citation needed]

Trade and investment

Toronto, the most populous city in Canada.
Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand.

The Canadian and New Zealand Consulates offer advice to New Zealand businesses interested in forming partnerships with Canada, investing in Canada or setting up a business in Canada. In the same way they help to connect Canadian business people who wish to sell their goods and services to New Zealand with potential local partners and assist Canadian companies looking to invest in New Zealand.[6]

There is mass trade between Canada and New Zealand that has proven reliable to both countries making it an important and stable base for a long-lasting relationship. In 2011, bilateral trade levels totalled (CAD) $932 million. Canadian exports to New Zealand amounted to $382 million, with fertilizers, machinery, meat, books, electrical equipment and wood products being Canada's top exports. Meat and wine were New Zealand's top exports to Canada.[7]

Canada's main exports to New Zealand included aircraft, electrical equipment, machinery and fertilizers for 2006. Canada's leading imports from New Zealand include meat, dairy products, agricultural machinery and wine. New Zealand offers many opportunities for Canadian companies particularly in energy, extractive industries, telecommunications and food products.[8]

Auckland Airport International Terminal, Auckland, New Zealand.

Canada was New Zealand's 12th largest export destination and 14th largest trading partner in the year ended December 2006 with exports of NZ$553 million. There are significant Canadian investments in New Zealand, particularly McCains and communications company Stratos Global Corporation. New Zealand companies in Canada include Tait Electronics, Michael Hill Jeweller, Peace Software and Glidepath.

Auckland Airport CPPIB buyout

There was some debate in the New Zealand Government about the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Crown corporation that manages assets on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan, trying to buy a 40% stake in Auckland Airport, a strategic asset for the New Zealand government, with the Labour Party trying to block the sale by passing new laws which prevent foreign acquisitions of New Zealand "strategic assets". It was announced on April 11, 2008, that the CPPIB had given up on its bid on Auckland Airport after many attempts by the New Zealand government to restrict foreign investment in New Zealand's infrastructure. The CPPIB said it was "disappointed in the outcome of its Overseas Investment Act application"[9][10]

Air services

The Canada/New Zealand Air Transport Agreement was signed in 1985. Both countries' respective national airlines, Air Canada and Air New Zealand, are members of the Star Alliance. In November 2007, Air New Zealand began a non-stop service between Auckland and Vancouver which operates three times a week.

Film and television

The 1987 Agreement on "Film and Video Relations" between the two countries has been successful with film and television co-operation growing.[citation needed] Particular interest has been shown in indigenous film linkages and co-productions. There is a recent but ongoing pattern of producers' missions between Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Whale Rider won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002 and nine out of the ten top-grossing centres in North America for New Zealand's Lord of the Rings were in Canada.

One of New Zealand's leading television channels TV3 was, until 2007, owned by Canadian Media Conglomerate CanWest.

New Zealand, Canada and the UKUSA Community

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
 New Zealand
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
 United Kingdom
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
 United States
President Donald Trump

New Zealand and Canada are both exclusive members of a collection of five countries who participate in the highly secretive ECHELON program. New Zealand has two (known) listening posts run by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) as part of the ECHELON spy network. New Zealand has benefited from its role in the ECHELON communications interception network which also includes the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada and are known as the UKUSA Community. The partnership gives "a direct line into the inner circles of power in London and Washington".[11] New Zealand's role in the program is based at a listening post on the South Island of New Zealand at Waihopai Valley just south-west of Blenheim. Its primary role is the interception of a large volume of satellite phone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications.[12] It gathers this data from New Zealand's Asia/Pacific neighbours and forwards it on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement.[13][14]

The Waihopai station is a sister operation to a similar facility run at Tangimoana.[15]

This gives New Zealand a distinct partnership with Canada not just on economic policies but domestic security agreements and operations as well and is a familiar platform for further deals involving both countries.[citation needed]

UKUSA military exercises

The UKUSA community allows member countries to cooperate in multilateral military exercises which have more recently focused on terrorism after 9/11. On March 10, 2008 (NZT) New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom took part in a multinational war game that simulated a terrorist attack on "strategic networks" such as power grids, financial centres and telecommunications focussing mainly on cyber-terrorism. The exercise was named Cyber Storm 2 and was co-ordinated by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau.[16] It will be used to identify policies & issues that affect cyber response & recovery by government agencies.[17]

After the exercise the NZ 'CCIP' (Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection) said in a statement: "The New Zealand component of the exercise was successful in testing information sharing and response coordination across both public and private sectors and national and international cooperation,"

A report on the overall results will be published ahead of Cyber Storm III which is scheduled for 2010.[18]

Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group

The Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group' is a new initiative by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and headed by the United States as a "formal partnership between these nations dedicated to tackling larger global crime issues, particularly organized crime". The co–operation consists of "five countries from three continents banding together to fight cyber crime in a synergistic way by sharing intelligence, swapping tools and best practices, and strengthening and even synchronizing their respective laws." This means that there will be increased information sharing between the New Zealand Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on matters relating to serious fraud or cyber crime.[19]

Canadian representation in New Zealand

Canada is represented by its High Commission in Wellington and a Consulate and Trade office in Auckland. The personnel in these offices provide a variety of services and support to Canadians and New Zealanders.

New Zealand representation in Canada

New Zealand is represented by a High Commission in Ottawa and a Consulate-General in Vancouver.

New Zealand tours by Canadian delegates and ministers

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
November 2014 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Laureen Harper Auckland Invited by Prime Minister John Key
June 2014 President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement, Auckland, Wellington Prime Minister's Fellow
February 2014 Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, Auckland, Wellington Official Visit
May 2012 Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast Wellington TPP Negotiations with Tim Groser
July/August 2005 Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Peter Milliken Wellington Led a multi-party parliamentary delegation to New Zealand
Mid-January 2005 Canadian Minister of National Revenue, John McCallum
March 2004 Minister of State (Research, Science and Technology), Joseph Fontana APEC Science Ministers' Meeting.
August 2003 Minister of State for Asia Pacific, David Kilgour Pacific Islands Forum Post Forum Dialogue
2002 Minister of State for Asia Pacific, David Kilgour Wellington Official visit

Canadian tours by New Zealand delegates and ministers

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
Early November 2007 Minister of Foreign Affairs (New Zealand), Phil Goff Vancouver Led a trade mission to Canada on board the inaugural Air New Zealand Auckland -Vancouver flight
September 2007 Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne Ottawa Met with three Canadian Ministers
April 2007 Chris Carter, Minister for Housing and Ethnic Affairs and Parekura Horomia, Minister of Māori Affairs
June 2006 Minister for Social Development (New Zealand), David Benson-Pope Toronto, Vancouver
June 2005 Minister of Foreign Affairs (New Zealand), Phil Goff Ottawa Official Visit
April 2005 Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Margaret Wilson Ottawa, Toronto High level visits to Canada to lead a parliamentary delegation to Ottawa and Toronto
February 2005 Member of the Labour Party, Ruth Dyson Ottawa Official Visit
January 2004 Member of the New Zealand's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Jonathan Hunt Montebello, Quebec Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
January 2003 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Jim Sutton Ottawa Official visit
2002 Minister of Immigration and of Commerce Lianne Dalziel Ottawa Official visit
September 2002 Minister for Trade Negotiations Ottawa Official visit
June 2002 Minister for Science Research and Technology, Pete Hodgson Official visit
May 2002 Minister of Social Services and Employment, Steve Maharey Official visit


In the year ending December 2013, 48,192 Canadian tourists visited New Zealand, making Canada the eighth largest source of tourists.[20] Canadians can visit New Zealand without a visa for up to three months and New Zealanders can visit Canada without a visa for up to six months, provided they meet financial, health and character requirements.

Both Canada and New Zealand offer "Working Holiday Schemes". These schemes allow young students to travel to New Zealand or Canada and to take temporary employment as needed to cover the expenses of their visit. Canadian participants receive the same treatment as New Zealand nationals in all matters concerning the application of laws, regulations and practices regarding health and working conditions. On November 14, 2014 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister John Key agreed to extend the Working Holiday Scheme from 12 months to 23 months. This new visa came into effect on April 1, 2015. This is the most generous working holiday scheme New Zealand has with any other country, including the United Kingdom.[21]

In recent years there has been growing support for the idea of freedom of movement between the UK, Canada and Australia, New Zealand with citizens able to live and work in any of the four countries - similar to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement between Australia and New Zealand.[22][23]

Country comparison

 Canada  New Zealand
Flag Canada New Zealand
Population 35,151,728[24] (2016 census) 4,693,200[25] (June 2016 estimate)
Area 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,100 sq mi) 268,021 km2 (103,483 sq mi)
Population density 3.52/km2 (9.1/sq mi) 17.51/km2 (45.4/sq mi)
Capital city Ottawa Wellington
Largest city Toronto Auckland
Government type Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Monarch Elizabeth II Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Jacinda Ardern
Official languages English and French English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language
Main religions 67.3% Christianity
23.9% unaffiliated
3.2% Islam
1.5% Hinduism
1.4% Sikhism
1.1% Buddhism
1.0% Judaism
48.5% unaffiliated
37.0% Christianity
2.6% Hinduism
1.3% Islam
1.1% Buddhism

See also


  1. ^ "New Zealand :: About New Zealand". Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  2. ^ Canada – Country Information Paper – NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  3. ^ Canadian War Museum "The Italian Campaign" Archived 2008-02-22 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on: August 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Canadian War Museum "Liberating Northwest Europe" Archived 2008-02-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on: August 5, 2007.
  5. ^ The Commonwealth Division – NZ in the Korean War | NZHistory
  6. ^ "New Zealand :: Trade and Investment". Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  7. ^ "Canada-New Zealans relations". 2014-07-14. Archived from the original on 2013-06-04.
  8. ^ "Canada-New Zealand Commercial Data". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  9. ^ "National accuses Govt of 'populist' airport move". The New Zealand Herald. March 5, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  10. ^ CPP Investment Board – Statement from CPP Investment Board following Government’s decision on Overseas Investment Act application
  11. ^ "Row erupts over NZ's place in US spy network". The New Zealand Herald. January 31, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  12. ^ Information Assurance (IA) | Our Work | GCSB
  13. ^ "AUSCANZUKUS Information Portal". Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  14. ^ "Echelon: Exposing the Global Surveillance System". Archived from the original on 2008-03-22. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  15. ^ Organisation | About Us | GCSB Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ TV3 > News > Science/Technology News > Story > NZ taking part in cyber terrorist exorcise
  17. ^
  18. ^ Griffin, Peter (March 22, 2008). "Geeks get personal in standards stoush". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  19. ^ FBI – Cyber Working Group – Press Room – Headline Archives 03-18-08 Archived October 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand: December 2013". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  21. ^ Harper, Stephen. "Prime Minister". Prime Minister Office. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  22. ^ "Australians and New Zealanders should be free to live and work in UK, report says". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation". CFMO. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  24. ^ Statistics Canada (February 8, 2017). "Population size and growth in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census". Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "National Population Estimates: At 30 June 2017". Statistics New Zealand. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2018.