Press Release



Speech by SEM at signing ceremony of Working Holiday Scheme


Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Fanny Law at the Signing Ceremony of Hong Kong/New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme today (March 2):

Today, we open a new chapter in Hong Kong's relationship with New Zealand as we sign an agreement on a Working Holiday Scheme, which will take effect from 1 April this year.

Under this scheme, each year 200 young people, aged between 18 and 30, from each side will be granted a working holiday visa which enables them to visit and stay for up to 12 months, and to take up short-term employment or attend one education programme. The purpose is to promote cultural exchange and broaden the exposure of our young people in this age in which the world is fast becoming a global village.

This is the first Working Holiday Agreement that the HK SAR Government has signed, and I am very pleased that the New Zealand government has chosen Hong Kong as one of its partners. New Zealand and Hong Kong have been close allies in trade and international relations, and we enjoy strong bilateral ties.

Even though Hong Kong does not have an equivalent to the All Blacks, our Rugby Seven provides a prestigious platform for them to show their might. Each year, over 60,000 New Zealanders visit Hong Kong. Increasingly more Hong Kong people have chosen New Zealand as their holiday destination, attracted by the country's natural beauty and its friendly people.

I strongly recommend the Working Holiday Scheme to the young people of Hong Kong, and I thank the New Zealand Government for the friendship and goodwill extended to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through this Scheme.

End/Friday, March 2, 2001