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Embassies and consular services for Tonga

Location Service areas
Consulate of the Kingdom of Tonga
New Zealand High Commission Tonga

Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami

On 15 January 2022 Tonga experienced the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and resulting tsunami. Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai (HT-HH) emitted the biggest atmospheric explosion recorded on Earth in more than 100 years. [Tonga eruption confirmed as largest ever recorded | NIWA(external link)]

MFAT coordinated Aotearoa New Zealand’s immediate response which included the deployment of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) assets HMNZS Wellington, HMNZS Aotearoa and HMNZS Canterbury to Tonga to support the humanitarian response, as well as C-130 Hercules relief flights and P3 Orion aerial surveillance flights.

Aotearoa New Zealand committed NZ$3 million to response and early recovery efforts, including the cost of relief supplies and equipment, and support to the Tonga National Emergency Management Office, the Tongan Red Cross, and NGOs.

Aotearoa New Zealand is also supporting Tonga’s longer term recovery in line with priorities set out by the Tonga Government.

Press Releases

Feb 5 - New Zealand to donate further COVID-19 vaccines to Tonga and Samoa | link)

Jan 21 - New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga | link)(external link)

Jan 20 - RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu | link)(external link)

Jan 18 - New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga | link)(external link)

Jan 16 - Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga | link)(external link)

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About Tonga

Tonga is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, located near Fiji and Samoa. It is home to around 103,000 people who live on 36 of the country’s 170 islands.

Tonga is the only Pacific country with a constitutional monarchy – it is known officially as the Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga and New Zealand have a long history together.

Find out more about Tonga.


Tonga has a small export economy based around exports of fish and agricultural products, as well as tourism. Remittances make up 37% of GDP which includes the earnings of the 1,800 workers that take part in New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme each year. New Zealand and Tonga have good shipping links, and New Zealand is Tonga's main source of imports. Both countries are working toward growing the trade relationship. Economic growth is constrained by Tonga's small domestic market, work skill shortages, and high costs of doing business.

Tonga is the depository of PACER Plus, a landmark trade and development agreement that will improve prosperity and resilience in the Pacific region. PACER Plus will contribute to a more predictable trading environment for businesses across the Pacific, increase opportunities for inward investment, and support increased skills development and employment.

2018 statistics

Two-way trade NZD$240 million*  
Goods exports to Tonga NZD$72 million* Top NZ exports: travel services, mechanical machinery, dairy products, wood
and meat
Goods imports from Tonga NZD$4 million* Top imports: travel services, vegetables, fruit and nuts
GDP USD$470 million^  
GDP per capita USD$4,665^ NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267

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

Development cooperation

New Zealand’s development cooperation is focused on Tonga’s wellbeing and prosperity.

In partnership with Tonga, our key areas of focus include support for governance institutions such as the judiciary and encouraging trade and economic growth. We also provide support to Tonga’s health and education system.

Find out more about our current priorities, achievements and activities in Tonga.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Tonga

  • March 2018: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Minister Winston Peters led a Pacific Mission to Samoa, Niue, Tonga, and the Cook Islands on 4-9 March. While in Tonga the Prime Minister announced a $10 million recovery package, spoke to those affected by Cyclone Gita, and delivered emergency education resources to schools.

Tonga to New Zealand

  • August 2018: Deputy Police Commissioner Pelenatita Vaisuai visited New Zealand were she was awarded with the 2018 New Zealand Prime Minister’s Fellowship for Tonga. The visit included a meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and an opportunity to learn about New Zealand approaches to youth justice.
  • December 2018: Lord Fakafanua, Tonga’s Speaker of Parliament, visited New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand Speaker Trevor Mallard. The visit included meetings with the Electoral Commission, the Auditor-General and enabled the Lord Speaker to observe New Zealand parliamentary processes.
  • March 2019: His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u visited New Zealand as a guest of the Governor General. The visit included a wreath laying at Pukeahu War Memorial, a visit to Archives New Zealand, and a visit to Te Papa Tongarewa.


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