1.  Visit by President of the German Bundestag to New Zealand
  2. Down Under - Flying Observatory SOFIA in New Zealand
  3.  German Refugee Policy

Visit by President of the German Bundestag to New Zealand

The President of the German Parliament, Prof Dr Norbert Lammert, recently visited New Zealand following an invitation by The Right Honourable David Carter, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, who visited Berlin and Munich with a parliamentary delegation in April last year. The delegation arrived in Auckland on 7 October and after a two-day visit to Tonga spent three days in Wellington. In Auckland, they met with representatives of the New Zealand-German business community, visited the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre and the Otara Market. The program in Wellington included a formal reception at Parliament New Zealand, talks with Speaker David Carter, Prime Minister John Key, Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Ministers Chris Finlayson and Nathan Guy. In addition, Prof. Lammert laid a wreath at the National War Memorial and visited the Great War Exhibition at the Dominium Museum as well as Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Prof. Lammert also held a speech on Germany's electoral system which the New Zealand MMP system is based upon.

Down Under - Flying Observatory SOFIA in New Zealand

The DLR’s (German Aerospace Center) and NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) flying astronomical observatory SOFIA is on observation mission in the southern hemisphere for the third time. The research flights focus on the observation of areas of star formation and star occultation, which can only be seen in the southern hemisphere. SOFIA is an extensively modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters. The telescope is enhanced to collect infrared radiation, and is able to detect energy at a wider range of wavelengths than any other ground-based or space telescope. The telescope was designed and built in Germany and is DLR’s contribution to the programme. The flying observatory arrived in Christchurch on 9 June. Until 20 July, a team of about 100 staff members, e.g. pilots, service crews and telescope experts, and among them more than 35 German scientists,  will be implementing its measuring campaign. SOFIA makes use of New Zealand’s long winter nights and the low steam concentration in the atmosphere to ensure the data collected at its first two New Zealand missions will be complemented and further regions of the sky can be explored.

German Refugee Policy

Germany's basic law guarantees political refugees asylum in line with its humanitarian responsibilities. Information on the current refugee policy and the situation in Germany can be found here:

Flags of Germany and Tonga

Visit to Tonga by the President of the German Parliament Prof Dr Norbert Lammert in 2016

The President of the German Parliament Prof. Dr Norbert Lammert visited Tonga in from 8 to 10 October at the invitation by the Lord Speaker of Parliament of Tonga, Lord Tu'ivakano. He completed a full programme including an audience with Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulukalala, meetings with Prime Minister Mr Samiuela 'Akilisi Pohiva and Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi and  a church service commemorating the 140 Years Friendship Agreement Germany-Tonga" at the Free Wesleyan Centenary Church. He was also present at the signing of a contract for the provision of a solar facility for the Prince Wellington NGU hospital in Vava'u.

German-Tongan Development Cooperation

Press Relase on Solar Project in Tonga

Press Release, 10 October 2016: German Foreign Office finances solar power project in northern Vana'u island group in Tonga

Ambassador Thiedemann presents Credentials to the King of Tonga

Enlarge image Ambassador Gerhard Thiedemann and Honorary Consul Carl Sanft (© German Embassy Wellington) German Ambassador Mr Gerhard Thiedemann visited the Kingdom of Tonga from 17 to 21 September 2016 for the official presentation of his Letter of Credence by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck to the Head of State, His Majesty King Tupou VI.

The ambassador noted his appreciation of the warm reception and fruitful meetings with King Tupou VI and other members of the political leadership of the Kingdom of Tonga. The two countries are looking back on the 140 years of close relations since their friendship treaty was signed in 1876. Today, the bilateral relations focus on the successful development cooperation in the fields of adaption to climate change and environmental/oceanic conservation.

DAAD-Scholarships for the academic year 2017/2018

Enlarge image (© DAAD)

The DAAD's scholarship database for foreign students, graduates and academics provides a wide range of tips and information to help applicants successfully apply for funding for a course of study or a research assignment.

The German Embassy in Wellington takes applications for the following :

  • Scholarships for graduates of all science subjects
  • Research scholarship for PhD students, post-PhD students and young researchers
  • Working stay scholarships for Fine Arts and Architecture students
  • Research stay scholarships for university lecturers and scientists
  • Follow-on scholarships for former scholarship recipients

Please find detailed information on funding here


German Security Council candidature logo

Germany’s candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2019/20

Germany is seeking to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Foreign Minister Steinmeier announced the candidacy for 2019/20 in Hamburg on Monday (27 June). The elections are expected to take place at the General Assembly in June 2018.

Berlinale-Talents 2017

Enlarge image The 2017 Berlin International Film Festival will again stage the "Berlinale-Talents", a creative networking platform for film and TV drama series professionals from around the world. It consists of a summit with master classes and interactive panel discussions as well as studio programmes and project labs. 250 international creative talents from 12 different different disciplines are invited to Berlin to expand their horizons and contribute their own input. They share experiences with experts and each other and become part of the ever-growing community of Berline Talents alumni. Applications have to be sumitted by 1 September 2016.

Interested? Please find more information here

Ambassador Gerhard Thiedemann

Dear readers interested in Germany, dear fellow Germans, As new German Ambassador in Wellington, I would like to extend to you a warm welcome to the German Embassy and its website. I hope that through our internet services you will get a valuable insight into our country as well as our tasks and activities here in New Zealand and the South Pacific region. New Zealanders and Germans view each other with a great deal of mutual empathy and respect based on many years of friendly cooperation. Many Kiwis throughout their lives have developed connections to Germany or even speak the language. This makes them a unique bridge between our countries and our people.

Newsletter of the German Embassy Wellington


Have you subscribed to our bi-monthly newsletter already?

If not, here is the link to our Newsletter archive and the latest publication which contains information about the bilateral relations between Germany, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Facts about Germany

Facts about Germany

This new edition is a useful compendium for anyone seeking reliable, up-to-date information about Germany. The compact paperback provides facts and figures and covers many topics, such as history and culture, population and geography, the political system and the economy. Its companion volume Facts for You has young international readers in mind and focuses on education, green technologies, creative industries and sports, to name but a few.

Both books are available as PDF-Downloads