Perspectives


President Barack Obama

"We are very pleased that the relationship between New Zealand and the United States is growing stronger by the day. Part of that has to do with the great affection that our peoples have towards each other. Part of it has to do with a great deal of common interests and a set of common values."


Ambassador-designate Mark Gilbert

"Our relationship with New Zealand is stronger now than it has been in nearly three decades. In 2010, our nations signed the Wellington Declaration, pledging increased diplomatic ties and regional cooperation, and in 2012 laid the foundation for strengthened defense cooperation in the Washington Declaration… These are exactly the sort of diplomatic relationships we seek to forge around the globe, and we will continue to expand our connections to the next generation of New Zealanders of all backgrounds to renew and strengthen our partnership."  (February 2014)


David Huebner

I am delighted to state, with full confidence and candor …

  • that relations between the governments of New Zealand and the United States are stronger, warmer, and closer than they have been in decades,
  • that our citizens and corporations trade, invest, and travel across our respective borders with extraordinary prodigiosity,
  • that our two nations stand shoulder to shoulder on key issues that matter most on this planet,
  • that our two societies continue to share core civil values – and continue to learn from each other – despite the ever-present corrosive risk of political and economic expediency,

and, most importantly, from what Dr. McWaine and I have been privileged to experience over my first 7 months in this wonderful country, that our two Peoples continue to share the affection, mutual respect, and common values and aspirations that mark true kinship worth celebrating, honoring, and preserving.


Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand

“Building up further our important relationship with the US is a core focus of this Government's foreign policy We have an excellent relationship with the US.  We are old friends facing new opportunities.  New Zealand sees itself as a small but important partner for the US and with our shared values we believe New Zealand can work with the US on efforts to enhance global peace and security”. 


Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Chairman, NZ US Council

"New Zealand and the United States are partners in the 21st century. To me this is an exciting and achievable proposition. Our partnership is based on the bedrock of shared values which both countries have been prepared to defend around the globe. We have defended the oppressed and advanced  individual freedom in battles on land, sea and in the air. We have done this at great personal cost, testified by the fact that the bones of our people rest together for all time in distant seas and foreign lands. In other battles in the conference rooms of the world we have time after time lined up together to try to persuade reluctant countries that open trade is the only way for the world to help poor countries better provide for their people. The United States is a remarkable country and much is expected of it and its people. The 21st century is going to challenge all who support open democratic values, so we must continue to work closely together"

(Address to the Gateway to America Conference, August 2005) 


Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

"My visit is part of a committed, concerted effort to restore America's rightful place as an engaged Pacific nation. In this, as in so many other endeavors, we have a strong partner in New Zealand.

This is, for us, a very important relationship and it is probably, as the prime minister and the foreign minister have said, at its strongest and most productive in 25 years. Now, why is that so important? It’s because together, we can address issues in this region and beyond that have very real impacts on both of our peoples"

(Remarks with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, 4 November 2010)


Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

"I would just simply say I think that the United States and New Zealand currently are the closest possible of friends and we share - and I think one of the things that we are finding in our initial discussions about a range of issues is how close our regional, global, economic, and strategic perceptions are about the way forward. In fact, I will tell you quite honestly, the United States and New Zealand see the world in such similar terms - in fact, in many respects, much closer than some countries that would be described as formal allies in the current environment. I think I'm heartened by that, and I think it's a fantastic foundation to build on to move forward."

(Excerpt from questions after a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington, DC, September 9, 2010).


Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs

In October New Zealand will participate in the annual New Zealand-US Partnership Forum in Washington.  The Forum will look at the status of the bilateral relationship and the pace of progress in our Trans-Pacific partnership.  I'm delighted that the NZ US Council will take the organisational lead, and I look forward to working closely with you as we prepare for, "participate in, and follow-up on, the October meeting.  The United States can continue to count on New Zealand as an engaged, active and stalwart friend.  And the Council will find the  government open to regular engagement and a committed partner, particularly on the Partnership Forum event this October."

(Excerpt from an address to the UZ US Council meeting, 25 March 2009)


Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, NZ US Council

"Every day of every year New Zealanders and Americans whether as business people, officials, tourists, scientists, students or, yes, even members of the defence forces, participate in a relationship which is one of New Zealand’s most advanced and active. The scale of the relationship is seen most actively in trade statistics, the flow of investment and the arrival of tourists.  In 2006 Air New Zealand will celebrate 40 years of flying to the US,  and Christchurch, gateway to Antarctica, will celebrate 50 years of close cooperation with the United States in that arena.  There is already much to celebrate in a relationship which is broadly based, healthy and works well.  The question is - is there more that can be done to ensure the relationship delivers on all it can be.  That, in essence, is the role of the NZ US Council."

(Address to New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, December 2005)


Kevin Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Saatchi and Saatchi

"The role of business is to make the world a better place.  Free and fair trade on multiple fronts is paramount to improving lives. There is no better place than New Zealand to advance this and,  I believe, no better partner in promoting progress and abundance than the United States. History shows that New Zealand represents the very edge of human possibility. Pound for pound, our contribution to global creativity and trade liberalisation is simply top of the world. The invitation to bring this New Zealand Edge to the  American Dream for sustained mutual benefit was irresistible.

The emotional links between New Zealand and the United States are woven by our shared defence and security history, love of freedom and opportunity, and incredible design, technology and creative capability. Our challenge is to unleash  these synergies through advancing a comprehensive free trade agreement. In complementing government-to-government  relationships, I will be representing the private sector in strengthening the connections, networks, understandings and agreements leading to this outcome."


Condoleezza Rice, Former US Secretary of State

"New Zealand and the United States, Kiwis and Americans, have a long history of partnership. It is one that is grounded in common interests, but it is elevated by common ideals. And it is always defined by the warmth and the respect of two nations, but more importantly, of two peoples who are bound together by countless ties of friendship and family and shared experience. We do not always agree on every point of policy. But we share our opinions in good faith, and openly, in the way that friends do. Our partnership is as strong and enduring today in this century, as it was when our citizens stood shoulder to shoulder throughout the last century to be on the front lines in defence of freedom, to expand the reach of peace and prosperity, and not just here in the Pacific, but indeed, across the globe."

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking to the NZ US Council reception, Auckland, 26 July 2008


Hon Phil Goff, former Minister for Trade

“Different histories, location, size and experience clearly produce different outlooks and create different responsibilities. But a shared western heritage, which has shaped common liberal and democratic values, has also produced a like-mindedness that draws our countries together.

We also have a common interest in a world that is stable, secure, peaceful and prosperous. It makes sense for us to work together in pursuit of these objectives, but that does not require the suppression of differences of viewpoints on specific issues. We are, after all, both countries committed to pluralism”.

(Excerpt from an address to the US-NZ Partnership Forum Washington DC 20-22 April 2006)