European Union Outreach and Dialogue with New Zealand

In October 2015, EU-NZ relations reached a new level of cooperation when New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met with President of the Council of the European Union Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission Jean-ClaudeJuncker to agree to start work on a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand.

Project goals

Acknowledging this development, this project aims to promote greater understanding of the EU and its policies in New Zealand’s political, business, NGO, civil society and media communities (including NZ and EU/EU Member State’s diplomatic corps), as well as of EU-NZ relations and NZ policies towards the EU and the wider world. The research programme covers the coverage of the EU in the New Zealand print media – The New Zealand Herald, Weekend Herald, Herald on Sunday, The Dominion Post, The Press, The Waikato Times, The Waikato Times Weekend and Herald on Sunday – as well as elite interviews and public opinion surveys.


The programme of Activities includes: e-newsletter disseminated among EU and EU Member State diplomatic missions to New Zealand, as well as among New Zealand stakeholders in relevant political, business, NGO, civil society, media and academic circles; seminars and briefing sessions around New Zealand; monthly written reports about the presence of the EU in the New Zealand media to the EUD mission in Wellington and EU Member States and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; briefing sessions at the EUCN NZ Post-Graduate Trans-Tasman Research Trainings and lectures to UC undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The quality of the outreach activities is ensured by a series of methodologically rigorous assessments based on an internationally tested methodology pioneered in New Zealand. These include an assessment of the reception and images of the EU and its policies in NZ society, specifically in NZ social media, reputable press and among national elites.

Lead researcher

The project is led by Dr Serena Kelly, a post-doctoral researcher at the National Centre for Research on Europe and Lecturer in European and European Union Studies.