Netherlands Embassy's public events in New Zealand

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was born in Lutjegast, a village in Groningen province.  He was the first European to reach New Zealand. On 13 December 1642 Tasman first sighted New Zealand, on 18 December he anchored off the coast of Golden Bay and left again on 20 December. This encounter opened the first chapter of the New Zealand-Dutch connection. The Netherlands Embassy proudly celebrates the 375th anniversary of his discovery with the below events.

“Also, Golden Bay’s local Dutch club is organising a significant Abel Tasman 375 commemoration on 16-19 December.”

On Expedition with Abel Tasman!

The Netherlands Embassy staff will teach an interactive lesson plan called On Expedition with Abel Tasman to children between 9 and 11 years old. Children will go on an imaginary expedition to learn how Abel Tasman’s crew navigated, what life on the ships was like and what happens when different cultures meet. Staff will visit local Wellington primary schools in September.

The Embassy’s lesson plan is available to all teachers and schools around New Zealand. To receive this free teaching material, please contact us at

A panel discussion on the role of Dutch immigration in New Zealand

This panel discussion is expected to take place in early December.  Event details will be available once they have been confirmed.


Abel Tasman Mapping the Southern Lands by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic

With great pleasure the Netherlands Embassy sponsored the publishing of this new children’s book about Abel Tasman’s adventures.  Follow the Embassy’s Facebook page for book prize giveaways later in the year.

The Netherlands Ambassador Rob Zaagman warmly invites you to Maria Gill’s book launch, “Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands.” Maria Gill will read from her children’s book for ages 6-12. There is an opportunity to purchase her book, and a book signing. A wonderful afternoon tea will be served. This will take place at the Ambassador’s residence on Thursday 14 December at 4:00pm. Please RSVP by 31 November to, including the number of adults and children.


Dutch Dayz are events to showcase the creative and pioneering capacity of the Netherlands. Come and experience this year’s unique programme with us, and have fun discovering Dutch culture!  Updates and more events will be added throughout the year, please check back again.


Dutch Film Festival in October and November

The Netherlands is home to a vibrant film industry driven by rich tradition and young creative talent.  It’s the Embassy’s pleasure to shine the spotlight on Dutch cinema to the New Zealand audience and film aficionados. The below three films will be shown in Wellington and Auckland in October and November.

All films are in Dutch with English subtitles, with free admission for this festival!

Venues and Tickets


Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

84 Taranaki Street, Te Aro
Phone:  04 3847647


The Vic Devonport Cinema

48-56 Victoria Road, Devonport
Phone: 09 446 0100

Tickets and seating allocation are first come – first served. You may reserve (register) your tickets for Wellington via  and for Auckland via

(2 tickets max per person).

If you have reserved tickets, but are not able to attend, please let us know so we can offer them to others.  

Michiel de Ruyter (The Admiral) (2015)
Director:  Roel Reiné

Michiel de Ruyter high-lights Netherlands’ naval history during the Dutch Golden Age spanning the 17th century. This was in the same period as Abel Tasman’s trade exploration.

17th-century Netherlands is under attack from England and its allies, and the country itself is on the brink of civil war.  Michiel de Ruyter, a humble naval commander, is called upon to lead the Dutch fleet in a battle for freedom and unity.

Screening times:

Wellington: Wednesday 18 October at 7.00pm
Auckland: Thursday 16 November at 8.00pm

The Netherlands Ambassador Rob Zaagman will host opening nights with drinks and delicious Dutch nibbles. Please arrive 45 minutes  prior to the start of the Michiel de Ruyter film screening in Wellington and Auckland.

TBS (Nothing to Lose) (2008)
Director:  Pieter Kuijpers

Johan is convicted of killing his own father and sister. He escapes from a criminal hospital to track down his mother and prove his innocence. The police pursues Johan, and in a desperate attempt to avoid capture, he kidnaps Tessa, a 13-year old girl. Together they drive through the Netherlands and Belgium to find his mother.

Screening times:

Wellington: Thursday 2 November at 7.00pm
Auckland: Wednesday 22 November at 8.00pm

The Chocolate Case (2016)
Director:  Benthe Forrer

A documentary about young Dutch journalists who have the ambition to end slavery in the cocoa chain. Their journey on the way to a slave-free cocoa world starts in 2003 as part of their TV-programme ‘Food Unwrapped’. This documentary shows how tough it is to eliminate fundamental errors and injustice in a global system, but it’s not impossible. With perseverance the journalists manage to launch the first self-claimed slave-free chocolate bar in 2005 called Tony’s Chocolonely. 12 years later, the initiative for 100% slave-free chocolate has evolved into a movement that is building momentum worldwide, including New Zealand.

Screening times:

Wellington: Saturday 11 November at 6.30pm
Auckland: Friday 24 November at 8.00pm