New Zealand has restored diplomatic relations with Israel after receiving a formal apology for a spy scandal last year involving two Israeli agents.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said Sunday that restrictions on New Zealand's contacts with Israel are being lifted.  This will allow a new Israeli ambassador to be accredited in Wellington and restore diplomatic contacts between the two countries.

New Zealand suspended its ties with Israel after the arrest of two Israeli intelligence agents who were trying to obtain a passport illegally.  They were deported after serving less than half of a six-month jail sentence.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AP.