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Italy and New Zealand

Bilateral Relations

Diplomatic relations between Italy and New Zealand were established in 1950, but the common history between our two countries dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century.

Between 1880 and 1914, the Italian diaspora brought many Italians to the other side of the world on the shores of New Zealand. From that moment until today, the emigration of Italians to New Zealand has never ended, even if it has taken on different connotations: the first generation of migrants, in fact, was mostly made up of fishermen and farmers, while today the Italian mobility towards New Zealand is embodied by young graduates and entrepreneurs. Yesterday as well as today, Italian immigrants, with their spirit of initiative and their remarkable professional skills, have brought and still bring a significant contribution to the local economy.

The New Zealand Second Division took part in the Allies’ campaign to free Italy from the Nazi-Fascist occupation. The New Zealand expeditionary force disembarked in Taranto in October 1943 and covered the entire Apennine-Adriatic ridge up until Trieste, reached in May 1945. During the fierce clashes to penetrate the defensive lines Gustav and Gotica, the New Zealand contingent suffered more than 2100 dead and 6700 injured, especially in the battles of Orsogna, Cassino and in the liberation of Florence, Faenza and Trieste.