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Export cleantech to New Zealand

Free Trade Agreement export guide

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The UK has innovative offerings across the clean growth economy and a strong commitment to the green revolution. According to GovGrant, the UK is home to just under 2,000 cleantech companies, accounting for around 9% of the cleantech companies globally who have received investment since 2000, with total UK investment of £80.95 billion from close to 2,400 different investors.

One estimate forecasts up to £170 billion in export sales by the UK's low carbon economy by 2030, rising to over £500 billion by 2050. The UK New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will open up new opportunities in New Zealand as the demand for UK innovation and green tech increases.

The New Zealand government has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. The demand for innovative climate tech solutions can be partially met by New Zealand's growth in climate tech companies, however, the UK's cleantech sector has the ability, unique solutions and capacity to provide further support.

Opportunities in the New Zealand market have been identified in digital carbon accounting, Scope 3 supply chain emissions monitoring, CO2 monitoring, industrial process efficiency, energy storage, reducing climate impact and agritech solutions using robotics and low GHG fertilisers.

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The New Zealand government has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050

Innovation Green Energy Icon

One estimate forecasts up to £170 billion in exports by the UK's low carbon economy by 2030, rising to over £500 billion by 2050

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The UK has around 9% of the cleantech companies globally who have received investment since 2000

Opportunities in New Zealand

Are you a cleantech company with ready for market, digital dashboarding software?

There is a gap in the New Zealand market for this offering. More options for business travel and certainty on data storage rules could make it easier for you to access the New Zealand market.

Are you a business with sophisticated emissions measurement solutions?

There could be opportunities for you in the New Zealand market and new data provisions in the FTA will support and encourage innovation.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To support this important sector, the FTA commits the UK and New Zealand to encourage their regulators to establish and maintain routes to recognising each other's professional qualifications, which could remove costly and burdensome requirements.

The FTA also supports regulators to agree to provide arrangements which can provide bespoke arrangements for specific professions. The Professional Services Working Group will help to monitor and drive results on the recognition of professional qualifications by facilitating engagement between UK and New Zealand governments and relevant regulatory bodies.

Electronic contracts and signatures

Traders can conclude contracts electronically secure in the knowledge that both the UK and New Zealand have committed to recognising their validity. The UK and New Zealand have also committed to not deny the validity of electronic signatures and other forms of trust services on sole grounds of being in electronic form.

Free flow of trusted data

Data flows are essential to a thriving digital economy and are especially relevant in a data-rich sector to improve the sector’s security and resilience, and underpin innovation. Traders will not be required to locally store or process data as a requirement for conducting business in the other market, unless for a justified reason.

This means that British businesses operating in New Zealand can plan their business growth knowing that they can collect, process, and transfer data between the two countries, without facing unnecessary red tape or costs.

The FTA promotes the free flow of data while committing both countries to maintain robust regimes for the protection of individuals’ personal data.

Easier business travel

Business Visitors Intra-Corporate Transferees Contractual Service Suppliers Independent Professionals Installers and Servicers Business travel is an important contributor to enabling more trade and investment. The FTA will bring greater certainty and access for British professionals looking to deliver services in person in New Zealand. The FTA applies to business professionals under the following categories:

  • business Visitors
  • intra-Corporate Transferees
  • contractual Service Suppliers
  • independent Professionals
  • installers and Servicers

For contractual service suppliers, New Zealand has committed to allowing UK business persons across a number of key sectors to deliver contracts in New Zealand. This includes professionals such as accountants and financial service providers.

Intra-Corporate Transferees will now have certainty that they are able to work in New Zealand for up to three years and bring their partners and dependant children with them to New Zealand for that time. For work visas granted for longer than 6 months a Partner of a Worker Work Visa may be available for spouses.

Company transferees will not be subject to economic needs tests or quantitative restrictions and New Zealand has committed to a target of processing visa applications for Intra-Corporate Transferees within 15 days of the application being submitted, where practicable.

Prospective visa applicants should check with New Zealand Immigration for full visa details and eligibility criteria. Please note that final visa names are set by the destination country and may vary from the FTA business travel category titles.


UK companies will have a legally guaranteed right to bid for contracts for financial and business services procured by New Zealand government bodies covered by this deal. This will help UK businesses compete on an equal footing with New Zealand companies.


Fewer UK investments will need to pass under New Zealand's overseas investment regime, with only those over $200 million New Zealand Dollars and those in certain sensitive sectors being subject to review.

This is a doubling of the UK's previous threshold. For the first time New Zealand agreed to a whole economy market access provision within the investment chapter, reflecting improved market access for all investors in addition to easier processes.

New Zealand has gone further than ever before on removing nationality and residency requirements for senior managers and boards of directors, allowing UK companies to maintain control over business operations and recruitment.

UK investors will be covered by a range of investment protections. This includes expropriation and minimum standard of treatment provisions which guarantee UK investors protection from unlawful expropriation of assets, and discriminatory, unfair, or arbitrary treatment by New Zealand.

Inclusive and sustainable trade

Modern provisions include an innovative chapter on trade and gender equality that aims to support women to fully access the opportunities of free trade. Our countries have agreed to work together to break down systemic barriers that prevent women from participating equitably in the global economy and promote the importance of agender perspective in the UK and New Zealand’s trade and investment relationship.

The FTA includes provisions to enhance the ability of Māori owned enterprises to access and benefit from the trade and investment opportunities from the agreement. This will bring benefits for UK enterprises as it will provide a framework to develop links between UK small and medium-sized businesses with fast-growing Māori-owned businesses.

In less than 20 years the Māori economy has grown from $16.5 billion NZD to almost $70 billion NZD. The Māori asset base has grown faster than the overall New Zealand economy at around 10% per year for the past decade.

The environment chapter strengthens cooperation on areas such as sustainable agriculture and the transition to a circular economy which, underpinned by each country’s global leadership on environment and climate change, will lead to increased opportunities for businesses whose products support wider environmental goals.

Finally, the trade and development chapter, one of the first of its kind within a bilateral FTA, reinforces the UK’s and New Zealand’s commitment to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, through trade.

Additional information for providing services in New Zealand

Providing services in New Zealand will have other consequences including for tax, intellectual property and local labour regulations.

Please refer to the following for more advice:

  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • New Zealand Intellectual Property Office
  • Employment New Zealand
  • Inland Revenue

Doing business in New Zealand

The UK and New Zealand share a common language and culture, as well as business and legal practices such as intellectual property (IP) protection and the rule of law. These similarities make New Zealand a relatively easy place for British companies to do business.

New Zealand is a highly educated, wealthy and tech-savvy market where around 42% of the population live in New Zealand’s 3 major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch making it easy to prioritise where to test and launch your product or service.

New Zealand is also a logical onward step for UK companies to test the market when already doing business in Australia.

Legal disclaimer

The information provided on this webpage is for guidance only and should not be relied on as a substitute for your own research or independent advice.

No investment and/or business decision should be made solely on the basis of information presented on this page. It is recommended that an independent due diligence investigation is conducted before entering into engagement with any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned.

DBT accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person as result of any error, omission, inaccurate or misleading statement on this page.

The accuracy, completeness or up-to-dateness of the content of any website mentioned in this document is not guaranteed in any way, implied or explicit.

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