Dreaming of a post-COVID OE? New Zealand's new deal with Britain could be the ticket

New Zealand has become the second black cab off the rank securing a post-Brexit free trade deal with the UK. 

From day one, tariffs will be removed from 97 percent of New Zealand products entering the UK, including our biggest export - wine. That industry will save $14 million immediately. 

Our second-largest export, lamb, won't get full free access for another 15 years. 

While dairy is our largest international export, we've long been effectively locked out of the UK market. But in five years, there will be free access to export New Zealand butter and cheese. 

It's expected when the deal is fully implemented that our exports to the UK will increase by 40 percent, adding nearly $1 billion to the economy. 

And those dreaming of a post-COVID OE could be about to benefit too. 

Nearly $500 million worth of wine makes its way from New Zealand to Heathrow Airport in the UK and soon that'll be tariff-free.

"It's always nice to have less bureaucracy and have things opened up and more free trade so we're quite happy," says Paul Brajkovich from Kumeu River Wines. 

New Zealand has been racing at breakneck speed to secure a deal with a bare-shelved post- Brexit UK.

"This is a huge deal for New Zealand," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday as she announced the free trade agreement. 

New Zealand is the largest dairy exporter in the world and the UK is the second-largest importer. But we only export $1.6 million worth of butter and $500,000 worth of cheese to the UK because the taxes have been so high.

"Cheese, butter, milk powder - areas that matter an enormous amount to New Zealand benefit from this trade agreement," Ardern said. 

Over the next five years, we'll slowly gain more access through quotas until dairy products become completely tariff-free. 

Dairy farmers are looking forward to creaming it.

"A growing population of wealthy consumers and large dairy consumers, so for us, really pleased to see this result come through for us today," says Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell. 

Our trade relationship took a dive in 1973 when half of all our exports went to the UK when it joined the precursor to the EU, and we were cut off.

"I didn't bring that up in the phone call with Prime Minister Johnson," Ardern said. "I decided to park that longstanding grievance."

The Prime Minister hopes this heals the wound. 

"You'd be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this one so perhaps it is time to put a line under that period," she said.

During a leader-to-leader video call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there was plenty of rugby banter. 

"We scrummed down, we packed tight, and together we got the ball over the line," Johnson said. 

Ardern replied: "Unlike a rugby match, I think we can literally both come off the field feeling like winners on this occasion."

And the Ka Mate Haka even made its way into the deal, after atrocious appropriations in the past, from 'Hakarena' menswear ads, to NHS nurses accused of "degrading" the haka

The agreement includes a specific commitment from the UK to try and advance the recognition and protection of Ka Mate. 

And the deal wasn't just about exports, but future ex-pats. New Zealand is pushing for an upgrade to our working holiday scheme, which sees thousands of young Kiwis jet off to London for an OE.

"I myself was one of the benefactors of that scheme," Ardern said. 

We could be set for a similar deal to Australia, which would raise the age limit from 30 to 35 and allow Kiwis to work there for three years rather than two. 

"Oh, hell yeah!" was how one Kiwi responded. 

The Prime Minister said one of our most experienced trade negotiators told her this was one of the best deals he's seen us achieve.

This deal was really pulled together in record time in just over a year. For reference, the free trade deal with China took more than three years to negotiate. 

But the UK is having to move at pace, searching for fast friends after its messy divorce with the EU.

The benefits for us will come thick and fast and the Government hopes it will come into force early next year.