A six-fold increase in the Aotearoa New Zealand-Spain working holiday scheme will boost the the number of young people who can live and work in each other’s countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.
The Prime Minister and Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, made the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme announcement after meeting in Madrid on Tuesday.
The leaders said 2,000 young New Zealanders and Spaniards from each country will be able to travel and work in each other’s countries for up to two years under the boosted scheme – up from 400 currently.
“I am delighted to announce a boost to our Working Holiday Scheme with Spain. These schemes create opportunities for young New Zealanders to develop their skills and work experience while travelling and living in Spain,” Ms Ardern said.
“These changes reflect the strength of the relationship between Spain and New Zealand.
“New Zealand and Spain are great friends, with many shared values. The meeting today gave us the chance to discuss how we can continue to strengthen our ties through trade, co-operation in areas of shared interest and our people. I look forward to hosting President Sánchez in New Zealand in the future,” she said.
New Zealand and Spain are also working together to protect seabirds threatened by fishing operations. Leaders adopted an Action Plan on seabird conservation, to strengthen cooperation on concrete projects to protect seabirds including the endangered Antipodean albatross whose migratory patterns include the area in which New Zealand and Spain operate.
The two leaders also discussed the importance of working together to deepen trade and economic links, as both countries focus on post-pandemic economic growth and recovery.
They agreed that a high-quality Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the European Union would play an important role in creating opportunities for New Zealand and Spanish businesses in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
“I shared with President Sanchez my view on what a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and New Zealand could represent. It would allow us to showcase sustainability and climate in a trade agreement – an issue the EU cares deeply about,” Ms Ardern said.
During the meeting, the two leaders agreed a Global Values Partnership, committing to work closely on areas to strengthen democracy, sustainability, human rights and the rule of law.
They also discussed regional issues in the Indo-Pacific, and the importance of cooperation to protect the international rules-based system. Both reiterated their condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, discussed the support that both countries have provided in response and considered what further measures could be taken to bolster diplomatic efforts in Ukraine.
“Meeting with President Sánchez was a chance to reaffirm our countries’ commitment to working together, and alongside others, to maintain international peace and security, and the rules-based order. It is fitting that our meeting took place in the lead up to the NATO Summit,” the Prime Minister said.
For more information on the Youth Mobility Scheme between New Zealand and Spain visit: