25 Mar 2014

PM pushes trade deal with Europe

10:47 am on 25 March 2014

Prime Minister John Key says he is using opportunities at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague to talk to European leaders about doing a free trade deal with New Zealand.

Mr Key says New Zealand has been very engaged with Asia of late, and it shouldn't forget what is happening in Europe.

The European Union is New Zealand's third largest trading partner, worth more than $16 billion in the trade of goods and services.

Mr Key, who has already spoken with German chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit, says a free trade agreement would be very useful.

Mr Key says he will seek out leaders in Europe who he doesn't usually talk to, such as those of Denmark and Finland.

He will also meet with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council at the summit.

He is also expected to make a final push with leaders for New Zealand to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council at meetings in the Hague.

The Government is bidding for a Security Council seat for the 2015-2016 term, and the vote will be held in October.

Mr Key has said he is hopeful New Zealand will be selected ahead of its rivals for the seat, Turkey and Spain.