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Procure goods and services in New Zealand

Free Trade Agreement export guide

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The UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will ensure the procurement process is accessible and fair for both UK and New Zealand suppliers, including SMEs. UK suppliers will have legally guaranteed, non-discriminatory access to procurement opportunities from a much wider range of New Zealand government bodies than before.

The FTA contains innovative provisions requiring covered entities to use paperless processes wherever possible and are encouraging the use of digital methods for publishing notices and procurement data.

The FTA also includes measures to facilitate access for SMEs to procurement opportunities. New Zealand central government and local government agencies regularly offer tender opportunities that UK firms can bid for. These can range from small scale procurements to large scale programmes.

FTA opportunities

The FTA opens up opportunities for UK services and goods suppliers across a number of sectors. FTA procurement provisions will allow UK companies access to a larger number of New Zealand government bodies including central government departments, listed sub-central government entities and other linked organisations (eg. Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand).

Please refer to the FTA for the full listing of government bodies covered as well as procurement contact value thresholds.

Higher investment screening thresholds of $200 million New Zealand dollars (NZD) mean that fewer UK investments will be subject to review under New Zealand’s overseas investment regime.

This will limit barriers and lead to savings for UK businesses, who owned £1.1 billion worth of foreign direct investment in New Zealand in 2021 (ONS Foreign direct investment involving UK companies (directional): outward, 2021).

Bidding for government tenders in New Zealand

The NZ Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) provides announcements of New Zealand central government (and most local government) tenders. Summaries are available on all open tenders as well as future procurement opportunities.

Companies wishing to view the full details of a tender should register with the GETS website. GETS registration requires a business or trading name, address and personal details. A GETS user will need to create a RealMe login as part of the registration process but the user does not need to verify the RealMe account.

Companies who intend to bid on government procurement contracts in New Zealand should familiarise themselves with the published procurement rules. The rules apply if the procurement is worth more than $100,000 NZD, or $9 million NZD for construction works.

The New Zealand Government has recognised that its procurement activities offer a unique opportunity to achieve broader cultural, economic, environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand. Broader outcomes are often specifically measured in evaluation criteria.

The four priority outcomes listed in the procurement rules for New Zealand are:

  1. Increasing access for New Zealand businesses
  2. Construction skills and training
  3. Improving conditions for New Zealand workers
  4. Reducing emissions and waste

The New Zealand government advise potential bidders to target contracts where you can clearly evidence that you have relevant and effective skill sand experience. The tender documents detail how offers will be assessed and the weighting given to each assessment criterion.

If responses are not fully compliant, the offer may be rejected. New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides debriefings to unsuccessful tenderers.

Working or partnering with Māori

Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. They represent 16.5% of the population, and have an economy estimated at $69 billion NZD. Māori partner with those who share their long-term investment outlook and genuine commitment to sustainability.

Knowledge of Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori is advantageous when partnering with Māori. The Māori economy has been growing steadily by more than 5% per annum, based on growth in assets and incomes. These trends are expected to continue and could see the value of Māori assets grow to $100 billion NZD by 2030 (Source: MBIE and KPMG New Zealand).

It is expected that Māori will invest approximately$1.5-2 billion NZD annually over the next 10 to 15years, and some of this investment will be enhanced through joint ventures and partnerships with other domestic and international parties.

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

For Māori, business partnerships are more than just a commercial arrangement and they seek to build mutual trust and integrity when partnering with others.

Find out more about partnering with Māori.

Inclusive and sustainable trade

Modern provisions in the FTA include a novel chapter on trade and gender equality that aims to support women to fully access the opportunities of free trade.

The UK and New Zealand 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 a gender perspective in the UK and New Zealand’s trade and investment relationship.

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.

Exporting goods or services to New Zealand

For goods, the same rules of origin, customs duties and import charges apply to government procurement as they do in the normal course of traded goods. Businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade, flexible rules of origin and faster customs procedures under the FTA.

For services, the same regulations apply to cross-border trade in services. Businesses will benefit from easier access to temporary business travel, the facilitation of the mutual recognition of professional qualifications and enhanced digital trade.

Additional information for selling goods in New Zealand

Selling goods in New Zealand will require following certain rules and regulations according to the agreements you have in place with your buyer. For further information on incoterms and import conditions into New Zealand, please visit the following resources:

International trade contracts and incoterms

The New Zealand Customs Service regulates all goods imported into New Zealand. You’ll need to provide import declarations and documents and pay all relevant duties and taxes.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on most goods and services in New Zealand. The current GST rate is 15%. Learn more about GST on the New Zealand government website.

Additional information for selling 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 image 2

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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