New Zealand, through the governmental agency of the Post Office, is a member of two world-communications organisations – the International Telecommunication Union and the Universal Postal Union. The Postal Union facilitates the interchange of international mails, determines international postage rates, standardises procedures in international services, and enables postal telegraph accounts to be settled among its members. At the Ottawa Congress in 1957 New Zealand was elected to the Executive and Liaison Committee of the Postal Union. The International Telecommunication Union is the result of the fusion in 1932 of the International Telegraph Union, formed in 1865, and of the International Radio-Telegraph Union, formed in 1906. The purpose of the I.T.U. is to promote technical and practical coordination and cooperation of telecommunications services. Through the I.T.U. New Zealand has helped other countries to develop telecommunications, especially by lending specialist engineers for particular projects.
New Zealand's external services are integrated into the British Commonwealth telecommunications system, coordinated by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board. The Post Office acts as the New Zealand national body and controls and operates all overseas telecommunication equipment.