Following the Brexit Referendum in the UK in June 2016, the UK and New Zealand governments agreed to implement a Trade Policy Dialogue to prepare the way for entering into a formal Free Trade Agreement once the UK had formally left the EU. After a number of Trade Policy Dialogue meetings and calls for public submissions in both countries, FTA negotiations were launched on 17th June 2020. Following 6 rounds of negotiations, all held virtually due to Covid restrictions, on the 20th October 2021 an Agreement in Principle was announced. On the 28th February in London the two countries signed the Agreement and began the processes needed to enable the FTA to go live. On the 5th May 2023 it was announced that the FTA would come into force in both countries on 31st May 2023.
Between November 2018 and February 2019 the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade asked for public submissions on a future New Zealand- United Kingdom FTA. A summary of those submissions can be found here and the individual submissions here.
Between July and October 2018 the UK's Department for International Trade held a public consultation on a potential FTA with New Zealand. A summary of the responses received can be found here. Further input was received via the UK Government's Strategic Trade Advisory Group and its network of Trade Advisory Groups which both support the development of the UK's trade policies and negotiations.
The Free Trade Agreement
On 28th February 2022, New Zealand and the United Kingdom signed the FTA. A full transcript of the Agreement can be found here.
The key benefits of the FTA from the New Zealand perspective can be found here and from the UK perspective here.
Other Items of Interest
Video of call between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on announcing the Agreement in Principle.
Letter from H.E. Laura Clarke OBE, British High Commissioner to New Zealand, on the signed Agreement
Video of H.E. Laura Clarke OBE, British High Commissioner to New Zealand, discussing the FTA with the BNZBA