Marshall Islands

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About the Marshall Islands

A beach scene in the Marshall Islands.

The Republic of Marshall Islands is a chain of five volcanic islands and 29 coral atolls in the central Pacific, between Hawaii and the Philippines.

The islands and atolls make up around 181km2 situated in almost 2,000km2 of ocean.

The Marshall Islands is an independent country in free association with the United States, and makes up the North Pacific island chain along with the Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau. It is home to 53,000 people.

The Marshall Islands takes care of its own domestic and foreign policy affairs, and the US is responsible for defence and security.  

New Zealand’s relationship with Marshall Islands is based mainly on common interests in Pacific issues such as fisheries, climate change, and regional security. We are both members of the Pacific Islands Forum.


There are no direct shipping links between New Zealand and the Marshall Islands, so trade between our countries is modest.

Exporting to the Pacific Islands - New Zealand Trade & Enterprise(external link)

2018 Statistics (updated)

Two-way trade NZD$8 million*   
Goods exports to the Marshall Islands NZD$6 million*  Top exports: sawn or chipped wood, animal offal, non-crude petroleum oils, waste oil, and biodiesel
Goods imports from the Marshall Islands NZD$0 million*  Top imports: oil seed flours and meals, oil cake, computers
GDP USD$214 million^  
GDP per capita USD$3,843^ NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267^

Sources: *NZ Trade Dashboard(external link) ^IMF WEO April 2019(external link)

Development cooperation

To date, our development work has been focused on renewable energy and fisheries. New Zealand is increasing its development cooperation with the Marshall Islands in areas of mutual interest such as climate change, fisheries and gender.

New Zealand cooperates with the Republic of the Marshall Islands on initiatives that will build capacity, provide education and build resilience.

Some of this work is delivered through the North Pacific Development Fund, which is administered by the Consulate-General in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The North Pacific Development Fund provides funding for locally run projects up to the value of NZD$75,000. The Fund invests primarily in activities that support income and job generation, training, disaster management and community development.

Find out more about our current priorities, achievements and activities in the Marshall Islands.


New Zealand is represented in the Marshall Islands by the Consulate-General in Honolulu, Hawaii

Recent official visits

New Zealand to the Marshall Islands

  • July 2017: Ambassador Karena Lyons presented her credentials in Majuro
  • 2014: Ambassador Robert Kaiwai presented his credentials in Majuro
  • 2013: Prime Minister John Key led a delegation for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum, held in Majuro
  • 2007: Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters led the annual Pacific Mission of MPs, NGOs and media to the Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands to New Zealand

  • 2013: A delegation from the Marshall Islands attended the Pacific Parliamentary Leaders Forum in Wellington
  • 2011: President Jurelang and delegations attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland


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