Story: Economic history

External trade partners, 1857–2008

External trade partners, 1857–2008

These graphs show the percentage of New Zealand's exports and imports by value going to and from the country's major trading partners.  Both graphs point up the extraordinary importance of the trading relationship with the United Kingdom until the 1960s.  This was especially the case with respect to exports, partly because the United Kingdom remained committed to a free trade regime in foods.  The graphs also show an interesting story in terms of New Zealand's trade with Australia.  In the 1860s during the gold rushes, there was a considerable value of exports, largely gold, going across the Tasman and the percentage of imports from Australia was also high.  Trans-Tasman trade diminished proportionately in the early 20th century until new trading agreements, especially the Closer Economic Relations (CER)agreement, were achieved and the trade with Australia increased again.

About this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source:  G. T. Bloomfield,New Zealand: a handbook of historical statistics. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1984, and Statistics New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Brian Easton, 'Economic history - Industrialisation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/24346/external-trade-partners-1857-2008 (accessed 19 August 2017)

Story by Brian Easton, published 11 Mar 2010