NZ in world first working holiday scheme with Italy

  • Lianne Dalziel

Young New Zealanders will be able to have working holidays in Italy and young Italians working holidays here following the signing of an agreement today, said Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff and Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel.

New Zealand becomes the first country in the world Italy has entered into a reciprocal working holiday scheme with. Visiting Italian Foreign Minister Dr Lamberto Dini signed the agreement this afternoon and it will take effect from 1 April. "We are delighted that the first reciprocal working holiday scheme Italy has entered into with any country is New Zealand.

The scheme will build on the substantial connections that already exist between the two nations. "Italy is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe and is a favourite destination for kiwis on their OE. This agreement will give them the chance to have more than just a fleeting experience of that country," Mr Goff said.

Ms Dalziel said the scheme could assist inwards tourism at a time when visitor numbers from Italy are already picking up. "It comes into effect when preparations for the next America's Cup will focus each country's attention on each other. Young Italians will have the opportunity to spend greater periods of time here than before," said the Minister.

The New Zealand/Italy working holiday scheme will involve 250 visas annually for each country. It is the 11th New Zealand will participate in. Working holiday schemes already exist with Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany. ENDS Contacts:John Tulloch (Phil Goff's press