The 21km2 island is home to 11,000 residents. It is part of Micronesia, just 40km south of the Equator, and 300km west of its nearest neighbour, Kiribati.
New Zealand and Nauru have a relationship based on common interests in the Pacific region, such as security, fisheries, regional trade and development. Both countries are members of the Pacific Islands Forum, have deployed personnel to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and are signatories to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.
Nauru's economy traditionally relied heavily on its phosphate resources, and in recent history Nauru has seen times of both great prosperity and severe financial distress.
During the 1970s, Nauru was one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. With the depletion of easily mined phosphate in the 1990s, Nauru got into serious debt. This led the Government of Nauru to ask the Pacific Islands Forum for assistance. The result was the Pacific Regional Assistance to Nauru (PRAN) initiative, which provided budgetary support to Nauru. New Zealand contributed to this initiative.
Today income from the granting of fishing licences and the hosting of refugees and asylum-seekers are the country’s key sources of revenue. Through Forum Fisheries Agency operations New Zealand contributes air force and navy assets to assist Nauru to monitor its Exclusive Economic Zone.