Greece–New Zealand relations

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Greek- New Zealand relations
Map indicating locations of New Zealand and Greece

New Zealand


Greece–New Zealand relations are foreign relations between Greece and New Zealand. Greece is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia. New Zealand has a non-resident ambassador in Rome, Italy.


Stemming from World War II, New Zealand forces fought alongside the Greeks in continental Greece and Crete since then, Greece has claimed a special relationship with New Zealand. An under-equipped force made-up of largely New Zealand, Australian, British and Greek troops fought to protect the island from invasion. The invasion of Crete by German paratroops began on 20 May 1941 and ended seven days later with the evacuation of 16,500 Commonwealth troops. Allied losses in the Battle of Crete numbered 15,743. New Zealand casualties were 671 killed and 967 wounded, while 2,180 were taken prisoner. The Battle of Crete is commemorated every year in both Crete and New Zealand.[1] Prime Minister Helen Clark led a large party from New Zealand to Crete in May 2001 to attend the 60th anniversary of the battle. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Phil Goff, attended anniversary celebrations in May 2003 and Hon Annette King in May 2006. The war was followed by a modest wave of Greek emigration to New Zealand. In the 2006 Census 2,547 people primarily identified themselves as being Greek. A bilateral Social Security Agreement came into force on 1 April 1994.

In May 2007, New Zealand hosted Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis for a short visit - the first-ever by a Greek Prime Minister to New Zealand.[2]

As part of an effort to redeploy resources in Europe, New Zealand closed its Embassy in Athens in 1991, since when it has been represented in Greece through its Embassy in Rome which is accredited accordingly. It does still retain an Honorary Consulate General in Athens, however. There is also an Honorary Greek Consulate in Auckland.


The prevailing climate in political relations between Greece and New Zealand was demonstrated in 2002 by the visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic to Wellington, which confirmed the excellent state of relations between the two countries.[1]

New Zealand and Greece are in the final stages of signing a Working Holiday Scheme between both nations.[citation needed]

Social Security Agreement[edit]

The social security agreement between the governments of New Zealand and Greece allows former residents of either country access to certain benefits and pensions under the other country’s social security system.[3]

Greek tours by New Zealand delegates and ministers[edit]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
June 2006 Governor-General, Dame Silvia Cartwright Athens, Various Official Visit
May 2006 Minister of Police, Hon Annette King Athens, Crete Commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Crete
September 2004 Minister of Transport, Hon Pete Hodgson Various Official Visit
August 2004 Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hon Trevor Mallard Various Official Visit
May 2003 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Phil Goff Athens, Crete Commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Crete
May 2001 Prime Minister, Rt Hon Helen Clark Crete Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete
1998 Governor-General, Sir Michael Hardie-Boys Athens, Various Official Visit
May 1997 Minister of International Trade, Dr Lockwood Smith Various Official Visit
March 1992 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rt Hon Don McKinnon Athens Official Visit
May 1991 Minister of Defence, Hon Warren Cooper Athens Official Visit
1989 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Russell Marshall Official Visit
1989 Minister for Overseas Trade, Rt Hon Mike Moore Official Visit
1983 Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rob Muldoon Official Visit

New Zealand tours by Greek delegates and ministers[edit]

Greek Ministerial Visits to New Zealand

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
May 2007 Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis Wellington Official Visit
June 2002 President, Constantinos Stephanopoulos Wellington Official Visit
March 1995 Under-secretary of National Economy and Minister for External Trade, Iannis Anthopoulos Official Visit
1993 Secretary of State, Byron Polydoras Wellington Official Visit

See also[edit]


External links[edit]