Tonga

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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

The humanitarian response to the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga, on 15 January 2022, is well-advanced and early recovery is under way.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s assistance to Tonga has 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.
    • The NZDF has conducted aerial damage assessments; delivered relief supplies; surveyed major ports; surveyed the Fua’amotu Airport; provided more than 500,000 litres of water; and transported critical communications and power equipment.
  • To date, Aotearoa New Zealand has 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 local NGOs.
  • Further early recovery support will be delivered through the NZ Disaster Response Partnership(external link) round for Aotearoa New Zealand NGOs to support local partners in Tonga, during the next 12 months.
  • Aotearoa New Zealand will support Tonga’s longer term recovery in line with priorities set out by Tonga.

Aotearoa New Zealand is actively supporting Tonga’s COVID-19 response through the provision of vaccines, rapid antigen tests and personal protection equipment. The NZDF is assisting with transport of this support.

Advice on giving

  • We understand that in a time of crisis, the first and natural response is to want to help.
  • For those wanting to help, the best thing you can do is to donate money to an emergency appeal by an experienced and trustworthy organisation, working on the ground. These organisations have clear systems and processes for assessing what is needed, and where possible, will source supplies from close to the affected area, which is the most efficient and cost-effective way of getting help to those who need it. This also supports the local economy.
  • Unfortunately, unrequested donations and goods — or the wrong donations at the wrong times — can hamper, rather than help, relief efforts; creating logistical problems and often arriving too late to be of use.
  • The Council for International Development (CID) is working with various New Zealand NGOs who are partnering in Tonga to provide coordinated support to the people of Tonga(external link).
  • The New Zealand Red Cross has also set up an appeal to assist in Tonga(external link).
  • The Official Relief Account for Donations and Contributions for the Government of Tonga is:
    • account name: Hunga Recovery Fund
    • account Number: 02-0208-0101185-001
    • details for this fund are also on the Tonga Consulate in Auckland’s Facebook page.
  • We are focused on supporting the official Tonga Government-led response and recovery. We do not facilitate or fund the collection or transport of goods collected for particular communities or families.
  • General information on how you can help after a disaster is available here(external link).

Press Releases

Feb 5 - New Zealand to donate further COVID-19 vaccines to Tonga and Samoa | Beehive.govt.nz(external link)

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

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

Jan 18 - New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga | Beehive.govt.nz(external link)(external link)

Jan 16 - Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga | Beehive.govt.nz(external 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.

Trade

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: *MBIE Trade Intelligence May 2019(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.

Embassies

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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