What We Do

The Embassy of the United States in New Zealand

The United States has maintained a consular presence in New Zealand since 1838. The first consul was James Reddy Clendon. Born in England, Clendon was a ship owner and merchant who brought land and settled in New Zealand. In 1838 he was appointed by the U.S. Government as consul for New Zealand, based in the capital, which at that time was Russell, in the Bay of Islands. He held this position until 1841.

Today, Wellington is the seat of government. The largest population center is Auckland. This is reflected in the presence of the Embassy in Wellington and the Consulate General in Auckland. These offices represent U.S. interests throughout New Zealand and in the Cook Islands and Niue.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the United States Embassy is to advance the interests of the United States, and to serve and protect U.S. citizens in New Zealand.

The Ambassador is the personal representative of the President of the United States. As the chief advocate of U.S. policy, he is supported by personnel from the Department of State and other Washington agencies.

The Embassy reports and analyzes developments in New Zealand of concern to the United States, and advances a broad range of U.S. policy initiatives.

The Embassy promotes United States’ economic and commercial interests, and the export of American agricultural and industrial products and services, and otherwise assists American business, workers and investors.

The Embassy engages the government and a broad range of organizations and individuals in New Zealand to promote shared values. Among others, these include individual freedom, human rights and democracy and the rule of law.

Bilateral Relations Statement

The Embassy engages in a rich dialog with the New Zealand government on a full range of bilateral and multilateral issues. These include such areas as regional security, peacekeeping, and democratic institution-building, as well as bilateral cooperation in law enforcement, educational and cultural exchange, and scientific research in Antarctica.

The Embassy seeks to encourage greater cooperation with New Zealand on economic and trade issues, both on a bilateral basis and in international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group. The Embassy also works to promote U.S. exports to New Zealand, reduce barriers to U.S. goods and services and protect the interests of U.S. investors.

The Embassy encourages New Zealand funding for democracy, human rights and sustainable development, and policies on environmental and nuclear questions compatible with U.S. interests. Strategic export restrictions, nuclear proliferation controls and trade sanctions are other areas of mutual effort.

Finally, the Embassy seeks to enhance the United States’ cooperation with New Zealand on terrorism, narcotics and other forms of international crime, and on extradition matters.

Embassy Sections

The following is a list of the major Mission Sections and Other Organizations Represented at the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand:

  • Meet the Ambassador
  • Administrative Section
  • Consular Section
  • Office of Public Affairs
  • Political / Economic Section
  • Foreign Agricultural Service
  • Foreign Commercial Service
  • Defense Attach Office
  • Regional Security Office
  • Asia-Pacific Regional Offices accredited to, but not based in New Zealand
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI (Canberra)
  • Drug Enforcement Agency – DEA (Canberra)
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Customs Service
  • The U.S. Antarctic Program


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