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Goff Signs Working Holiday Agreement With Chile

New Zealand has signed its first working holiday agreement with a Latin American country.

Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Chile Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Alvear signed the agreement in Santiago yesterday.

"The agreement will give young New Zealanders a unique opportunity to live, travel and work in Chile.

"For young kiwis keen on doing their OE after finishing their education, this agreement opens up a new area of the world for them to explore. Chile can be used as a gateway to many other countries in Latin America such as Brazil and Argentina with whom similar working holiday agreements are being sought.

"The Labour-Alliance Government is emphasising the expansion and deepening of New Zealand's relationship with Latin America. This means not only greater political and trade links but also expanding people-to-people links.

"The working holiday scheme will help create a growing group of people in both countries who get to know the other country well and become a key part of the expanding relationship between the two nations", Mr Goff said.

The scheme starts in October 2001 and allows for 200 New Zealanders between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend a year in Chile. Similarly, it will allow 200 Chileans to come to New Zealand to live and work for the same period.

New Zealand also has working holiday schemes with Britain, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Hong Kong.

ENDS

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