Formal bilateral relations between New Zealand and Palestine began in 1988 when New Zealand recognised the Palestine Information Office in Canberra as the official representative office of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). The status of the office was upgraded to the General Palestinian Delegation in 1996 and then again to the General Delegation of Palestine (GDOP) in recent years.
Formerly, New Zealand conducted its relations with Palestine through the Embassy of New Zealand in Turkey. However, in 2015 Sir Jim McClay was appointed New Zealand’s Representative to Palestine in Wellington. Palestine welcomed the appointment of such a high profile diplomat to represent New Zealand. The work of representatives from both countries has facilitated Palestine’s strong relations with the New Zealand government and its various departments, most notably the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).