New Zealand does not have an explicit policy to accept people from Pacific island countries due to climate change. Stories circulated in the media stating that New Zealand has an agreement with Tuvalu to accept people displaced by rising sea levels due to climate change are incorrect. The Government of Tuvalu has acknowledged that there is no such agreement with New Zealand. New Zealand has no such arrangement with any other Pacific Island country.
Where the confusion has arisen is that New Zealand immigration policy does allow for a limited number of people from Pacific Access Countries (PAC quota countries: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu) to gain residency in New Zealand. Tuvalu has 75 places allocated annually for Tuvaluan citizens within the PAC Quota. However there is no link between the PAC quota and climate change. Instead, the quota reflects New Zealand's long term commitment and links to the region and is designed to assist people from these countries gain residency visas to live and work in New Zealand.
New Zealand recognises that climate change poses
a significant threat for our neighbours in the
Pacific, including the many small island developing
states that are most vulnerable to its impact.
The New Zealand Government’s efforts are
focused on providing a range of assistance to support
Pacific-identified priorities in addressing climate
change. New Zealand has made a voluntary commitment
of NZ$5 million per year to assist with climate
change projects in developing countries, and much
of this is directed to the Pacific, including through
NZAID’s Pacific Regional Environmental Programme.