Prior Group - Russia - New Zealand - Новая Зеландия - Россия

Russia and New Zealand Partnership in the 21 Century

"New Zealand and Russia have long-standing friendly relations established during the Second World War. They are characterised by close people-to-people contacts. It is an important market for New Zealand, and we would welcome further development of our trade links on a mutually beneficial basis," - John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister.

“I believe that agriculture presents great opportunities for fruitful cooperation. The Russian market has capacity for New Zealand agricultural products, in particular, meat and dairy products and fruit. I would also single out tourism as one of the most promising areas. As far as I know, New Zealanders have a great interest in your country’s culture and history and would like to visit the country, particularly Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

I am sure that for many Russians New Zealand is an attractive and interesting tourism destination, and even the geographic distance between our two countries is not an obstacle for them to visit my country. Implementation of joint research projects in the Antarctic also presents interest. As to economic aspects of the bilateral cooperation, investments are a very promising sphere. I would like to wish all the best to the Russian people, and wish them to successfully overcome the effects of the global financial and economic crisis. I am certain that only through common efforts by the international community as a whole we can succeed in this. I have no doubts that our bilateral relations will continue to be stable and will get stronger from year to year”, - John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister.


"The history of Russia-New Zealand relations records many examples of close partnership and productive cooperation. People in our country remember the weighty contribution lent to the common victory over Nazism by New Zealand navy men, who during the Second World War took an active part in Northern convoys. It is highly symbolic that it was during that period that Moscow and Wellington established diplomatic ties. It is my belief that further development of two-way cooperation meets the interests of the peoples of Russia and New Zealand and will help to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region,"- Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

"It is significant that official relations between New Zealand and Russia were established 65 years ago in 1944, on April 13, 1944 when both countries jointly struggled within the anti-Hitler coalition during their alliance in the Second World War. The contribution to the common victory by the New Zealand sailors and airmen who participated actively in the operations escorting and protecting allied transport ships that delivered both military and civil cargoes to Russia on the Arctic convoys is still remembered with gratitude in Russia. From 1941 to 1945 seventy-seven convoys, involving more than 800 ships, sailed to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, enduring many hardships, including ice and enemy fire. Tragically many of those ships were lost, and thousands of courageous people sacrificed their lives for victory. On the occasion of the victory anniversary in 2005, Russian special anniversary medals were issued, and 276 New Zealand war veterans who participated in the Arctic convoys were presented with them. On the waterfront in the centre of Wellington a memorial bronze plaque in honour of the Arctic convoys was placed at the initiative of the Russian Embassy, and every year on 9 May a wreath-laying ceremony takes place in front of the plaque. There are about 15 000 Russians in New Zealand, including 680 Russian children adopted by New Zealand families. I hope that Russia-New Zealand relations will be developing in a positive and active way", - Andrey Tatarinov, Russian Ambassador to New Zealand.

“While the main focus of the relationship is economic, Russia’s positions on international security and disarmament issues, including the war against terrorism, environmental issues, and a range of international problems and issues, including Antarctica, are of keen interest to New Zealand.  New Zealand supports Russia’s participation in APEC, and in Asia/Pacific regional processes.  New Zealand is also keenly interested in the involvement of Russia in the major economic processes of globalisation.  In this connection, New Zealand strongly supports the earliest possible entry of Russia into the World Trade Organisation (WTO),”- Stuart Prior, New Zealand Ambassador to Russia, 2003-2006, Prior Group Chairman.

“The amassed potential of diplomatic contacts facilitates reinvigorating the constructive political dialogue at high level, which creates favourable conditions for steady development of bilateral cooperation in many areas. New Zealand became the first country with a developed economy, with which Russia successfully concluded negotiations on accession to the World Trade Organization: the relevant protocols were signed in 2003 and 2004.The recent visit in December 2009 to Moscow by the New Zealand minister Murray McCully was a considerable contribution to the development of Russian-New Zealand cooperation in different spheres,”-  Andrey Nesterenko, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.

“Russia is a major European and Asian power, so the relationship is an important one for New Zealand. Russia is also a market with growing potential for us. The New Zealand government intended to establish closer relations with Russia. It is a global player making an important contribution to solving pressing problems. We welcome Russia’s constructive work in the Asia Pacific region. At the same time, both parties have chances to expand trade and economic cooperation.  In this context, the New Zealand Trade and Conversation Minister, Tim Groser, would visit Russia in the beginning of 2010”, - Murray McCully, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Moscow praises New Zealand’s role in ensuring economic stability in the region. In international affairs we call for complying with the norms of international law and strengthening the U.N. role. We develop close cooperation in the field of disarmament and the WMD non-proliferation. There is a broad area for continuing cooperation. We can see opportunities for growing our trade and economic links. We agreed on mutual interest in increasing two-way investment which at the moment is at a low level”, - Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Russia - New Zealand History

Every day that we were there the Zealanders would arrive at our sloops at about 10 in the morning and would remain until evening. Having traded their goods they would have lunch with us. They ate our dry bread, peas, kasha and sugar with real appetite. They did not like our salt beef at all and were not great fans of the pork, nor were they able to drink our rum and wine. From time to time they would help our sailors in their work, for which the hardest workers would be rewarded with nails. Sometimes, making merry, they would give us the pleasure of watching their dances and listening to their songs. For this, about 15 men would stand in a single line. One of them, stamping his foot, would begin to sing. In mid-verse there would suddenly be a common, quite quick and wild shout, then they would lift their arms up, extend them, and let them fall, while strongly stamping their feet, distorting their whole bodies and making fierce faces. They would finish this song by going down on one knee and making a frightful, lingering laugh. Our sailors adopted their dance and song very well indeed, and on our sloop at the South Pole where the daily dangers depressed the spirit, they would sometimes cheer everybody up with their imitation (of the haka - translated by Prior Group). N.Galkin, surgeon on board the Russian vessel “Mirny” (Peaceful), during their stay in New Zealand, Queen Charlotte Sound, Russian Expedition, 1820

Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

Currency Rate

December 2016

1 NZD = 45.24 RUB

1 NZD = 14,160 BYR

1 NZD = 240.720 KZT

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