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Last updated : Nov 2009
New Zealand Business
New Zealand Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com

New Zealand is mainly thought of as an agricultural country, and although the sector contributes just 8% of Gross Domestic Products and employs less than 10% of the workforce, it accounts for 40% of the country’s export income primarily from wool, woods, and meat and dairy products. Barley, fruit, maize and wheat are the main crops, and fishing is also a substantial part of the industry.

Energy related natural resources, primarily coal but also natural gas, have been heavily developed. There are also deposits of iron, silica and gold. From the late 1970’s, a new generation of industrial enterprises was centred on these natural resources to replace the declining traditional industries.

Between the 1980’s and 1990’s, New Zealand experienced one of the most radical economic transformations of any Western developed country, with wholesale privatization, the elimination of financial support, tariff barriers and official regulations, and the dismantling of many welfare systems (although as the government tackles the pension crisis spending has risen sharply, afflicting the more developed world). The alterations have also changed New Zealand’s dependency on foreign trade.

Recent economic performance has seen a halving of annual growth to approximately 2.6% in 2003, mainly due to a fall in agricultural exports. Inflation fell from 2.7% in 2002 to 1.8% in 2003. Unemployment has steadily kept around the 5% mark for several years, however much of it is concentrated in particular areas, which is the main cause of the unemployment problems.

As Australia is New Zealand’s main trading partner, there is a free trading agreement between the 2 countries. The United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States of America are New Zealand’s other major trading partners. New Zealand is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD, the international forum for the world’s main industrialised economies), the recently established Asian Pacific Economic Co operation (APEC) forum, and the South Pacific Forum (which aims to promote economic co operation in the region).


Business wear is generally conservative and both men and women tend to wear tailored suits. Appointments and punctuality are necessary, and business cards are usually exchanged. The best months for business visits are February to April and also October to November , as the business approach is fairly traditional, and visitors to New Zealand are advised to avoid the period starting Christmas time until the end of January.

Office opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm.

Commercial Information

The following association can offer advice:

Address: Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 1590, Level 9, 109 Featherson Street, Wellington

Telephone: (4) 914 6500

Facsimile: (4) 914 6524

Email: info@wgtn-chamber.co.nz

Website address: www.wgtn-chamber.co.nz


The largest conference and convention centers are in Christchurch, Auckland, and Wellington, however many hotels also have conference facilities. There are over 20 regional convention bureaux in New Zealand, the majority of which are members of:

Address: NZ Convention Association (Inc), PO Box 331-202, Suite 3, Level 1, 15 Huron Street, Takapuna, Auckland

Telephone: (9) 486 4128

Facsimile: (9) 486 4126

Email: admin@nzconventions.co.nz

Website: www.conventionsnz.com

Note: The organisation is also known as Conventions New Zealand.