The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the Ministry) is responsible for protecting and promoting New Zealand's interests overseas. We administer two Votes on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Vote Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Vote Official Development Assistance. We also report to the Minister of Trade and to other portfolio Ministers on specific issues.
The Ministry is the Government's lead source of advice on foreign and trade policy, on international climate change negotiations, diplomatic and consular issues, and on international development assistance. We also provide legal advice on international issues and are the formal channel for the Government's communications to and from other countries and international organisations.
Internationally we work to ensure that New Zealand's voice is heard, that our security and economic interests are advanced and protected, that we contribute to sustainable development in developing countries, and that the rights and safety of New Zealanders abroad are protected.
To achieve these goals we work with foreign governments and other international and non-government organisations in areas of mutual interest. We also lead initiatives on behalf of ‘NZ Inc’ agencies.