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New Zealand-Norway Working Holiday Scheme

14 March 2005 Media Statement

New Zealand-Norway Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealand and Norway have agreed on a Working Holiday Scheme enabling young people to work and holiday in each other's countries, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

The agreement is being signed today by the New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff and the Norwegian Ambassador to New Zealand Lars Wensell, in the presence of Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who is visiting New Zealand.

"This scheme will enable young New Zealanders and Norwegians to get to know each other's countries and cultures, and build stronger people-to-people links for the future," Helen Clark said.

"We have working holiday schemes with thirteen European countries now. They open doors for New Zealanders to travel and work for generally a year at a time in the countries involved.

"This scheme applies to Norwegian and New Zealand citizens aged between 18 and 30 years. There is no cap on the number of Norwegians and New Zealanders who can participate in the scheme on an annual basis.

"Participants will also be able to undertake one course of study during that time.

"For us, Working Holiday Schemes build a pool of educated and talented young people who take home from their New Zealand experiences long-term friendships and an understanding of and empathy with our country. These benefits are reciprocal.

"Working Holiday Schemes are a very effective way of building people-to-people relationships. Many of those who come here go home to be advocates for New Zealand in their own country," Helen Clark said.

New Zealand and Norway plan to implement the scheme on 1 July.

ENDS

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