News release

27 April 2015
Prime Minister opens new Embassy in Dubai

Prime Minister John Key today officially opened the new premises of the New Zealand Consulate-General in Dubai.

The new office will house the Consulate, and offices of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Immigration NZ, and the Ministry of Primary Industries.

“This new office reflects our continued commitment to develop a closer relationship with the Gulf region,” Mr Key says.

“It is a signal of New Zealand’s increased investment our growing footprint  in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and the wider region.”

Finalising the GCC-New Zealand Free Trade is the next step in this story and working on completing that FTA is a priority of this trade mission.

“I appreciated the confirmation that the UAE supports the finalisation of the NZ GCC FTA, and  I will continue to press New Zealand’s case throughout the Gulf.”

“Discussing the FTA with leaders in this region has given me a lot of confidence that greater trade with New Zealand, recognising mutual benefits is welcome in the Gulf.

The Gulf Cooperation Council is New Zealand’s fifth largest export destination. Our exports to the region are worth $1.9 billion to New Zealand.

News release

27 April 2015
Prime Minister-led trade mission kicks off

The Prime Minister has kicked off the Gulf trade mission by meeting the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and leading business figures.

“These meetings gave me an opportunity to promote New Zealand business and talk about the benefits of our trade and investment relationship,” Mr Key says

"I also emphasised the potential we see for building even deeper trade and economic links with the Gulf States, including through finalising FTA negotiations and bringing the NZ - GCC FTA into force.”

New Zealand and UAE are committed trading partners and share a strong bilateral relationship which continues to grow.

“I took the opportunity to thank the UAE for supporting New Zealand’s United Nations Security Council Campaign, and reiterated our commitment to engage closely with the UAE on matters of importance to it,” says Mr Key.

The Prime Minister today also opened a New Zealand – Dubai business seminar, in conjunction with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

The seminar aims to build understanding of our respective business environments, and explore opportunities for growth and partnership between the two countries.

“The event was an excellent way to help raise the profile of New Zealand companies looking to grow and seek investment in the Gulf and to provide support to New Zealand business engagement.”

A visit to a local Dubai supermarket illustrated the demand for New Zealand goods in UAE, with 78 different products representing twenty Kiwi brands on the shelves.

“Clearly there is a strong and growing market for the high quality products we produce.”

The Prime Minister is leading an 18-strong delegation of New Zealand business people and is accompanied by Trade Minister Tim Groser in the Gulf.

News release

24 April 2015
PM delivers speech at International Peace Summit

Prime Minister John Key addressed the International Peace Summit in Istanbul, where historic bonds and current security challenges were common topics.

“It’s important to acknowledge the bonds forged between New Zealand, Australia and Turkey through acts of kindness and gallantry on both sides of the battle of Gallipoli and the forgiveness and respect that subsequently grew,” says Mr Key.

Prime Minister Key spoke to hundreds of delegates alongside the Prime Ministers of Australia and Turkey, and the President of Iraq.

One hundred years on, we each face security threats of a very different nature and the rise and reach of ISIL is foremost among them.

“New Zealand is a nation of travellers, and our country has close and important relations with countries in the Middle East, in Europe and closer to home in the Asia Pacific region - where terrorist groups are operating.”

“New Zealand must play a role, along with others here today, in standing up to the brutality and extremism of ISIL,” said Mr Key.

Over 25 world leaders attended the summit with Ministers and representatives from over 30 other countries.

“In the lead up to ANZAC Day 2015 and the centenary of the Gallipoli commemorations two days from now, it is timely to reflect on current challenges to international peace and security”, said Mr Key.

“The need for a strong UN Security Council and a focus on conflict prevention has never been greater.”

The Prime Minister also met with the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey, the President of Iraq, and the Emir of Qatar during the Summit.

News release

16 April 2015
Prime Minister to lead trade mission to Gulf States

Prime Minister John Key will lead an 18-member New Zealand business delegation to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait from 26 April to 1 May.

This will be the first visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia.

“The visit is an opportunity to strengthen and grow trade and business links between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

It will also provide the opportunity to progress the conclusion of the NZ-GCC free trade agreement.

“A key priority for me will be talking to key figures in the region about the importance of progressing New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with the GCC,” says Mr Key.

The GCC is New Zealand’s fifth largest export destination with goods exports worth $1.9 billion in the year to December 2014.  Exports of goods have grown by an average 10 percent per year over the last decade.

“New Zealand has a lot to offer the Gulf region and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. My visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to further promote New Zealand companies,” says Mr Key.

“It has always been my intention to travel to the Gulf as it is an important region and I’m pleased to be leading a strong business delegation on this visit,” says Mr Key.

A range of meetings are scheduled with senior government leaders across the region. 

“These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss our economic relationship and also, given our seat on the UN Security Council, it’s timely to discuss the complex security issues facing the Middle East.”

We have reinforced our commitment to this region in recent years with the opening of our embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the expansion of offices in Dubai and Riyadh.  

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have also recently opened embassies in New Zealand.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.

News release

16 April 2015
PM welcomes direct flights to Houston

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has welcomed Air New Zealand’s announcement that it will begin operating direct flights between Houston and New Zealand.

The new service will provide for a more direct route for the millions of US citizens living in the south and east of the country, and for New Zealanders heading in the opposite direction.

“We already get thousands of visitors a year from states such as Texas, Florida and New York and this new service should allow us to boost those numbers further,” says Mr Key.

“Providing greater links with these states, with relatively affluent populations, also aligns with New Zealand’s desire to attract more high-spending visitors to further boost our economy.”

The US is already New Zealand’s third-largest visitor market behind Australia and China, with 226,608 arrivals in the year to February – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Spending by US arrivals has also grown 32 per cent over the same period, to $771 million.

“This Government remains committed to promoting New Zealand as a world-class tourist destination and we will continue working with partners such as Air New Zealand to ensure the industry continues to grow.”

The new service will begin in December.