Tonga

On this page

Embassies and consular services for Tonga

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

Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami: Update Six 22/1/2022

  • Prime Minister Ardern spoke to her Tongan counterpart Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni Thursday evening while Foreign Affairs Minister Mahuta also called her counterpart Minister Hon Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu on Friday to discuss how the countries could work together on the relief effort.
  • Phone connections for Digicel customers continue to be difficult with demand exceeding capacity. People are asked to be patient as Digicel works on adding more capacity.
  • Water testing has shown it is safe for drinking on Tongatapu. Some communities on Tongatapu have however lost access to drinking water. Drinking water is being delivered to the outer islands.
  • The risk of cyclones forming and impacting Tonga has diminished and the weather forecast is for predominantly dry conditions over Tonga for the coming days, with no significant rain expected in the next few days.
  • The death toll remains at three; two Tongan nationals and a British national.
  • US cable company SubCom advises it will take several weeks for Tonga’s cable connection to be repaired.
  • While the potential for future eruptions remains, they are unlikely to be as large as the January 15 eruption.

Tonga Government Response

  • The Tonga Government is leading response efforts on the ground. Clean-up and damage assessments are ongoing. Relief supplies are being distributed by Tongan authorities.

New Zealand Government Response

  • A second C-130 Hercules arrived in Tonga this morning carrying humanitarian and disaster relief stores to Tongatapu, including non-perishable food, water testing kits, first aid kits, masks and other safety equipment. These items were delivered contactlessly in line with the Tongan Government’s Covid-19 protocols.
  • We are preparing for a third C-130 flight for next week. Other deployments are possible in the next few days subject to Tongan Government requests and permissions. To date all deliveries have been contactless in line with agreed COVID-19 protocols.
  • HMNZS Wellington arrived in Tonga on Thursday. Hydrographers have surveyed the Nuku’alofa port and can confirm it is open and clear of hazards. They have today completed surveying and port clearance of the port in ‘Eua.
  • HMNZS Aotearoa arrived in Tonga on Friday carrying humanitarian and disaster relief stores. It has thus far offloaded 87,000L of water and efforts are under way to pump out the remaining 163,000L of the initial 250,000L of water on board. These efforts have been able to completely refill water tanks in Kanokupolu (an area in desperate need of drinking water) and restock water tanks at the NEMO Matatoa storage facility.  
  • HMNZS Canterbury departed Auckland in the early hours of Saturday morning. It will carry further relief supplies and equipment as requested by the Tongan Government.

New Zealanders in Tonga

  • All New Zealanders in Tonga are advised to register their details on safetravel.govt.nz(external link)
  • Communications links with Tonga continue to be disrupted so New Zealanders may have difficulties contacting their whānau in Tonga at this time. 
  • New Zealanders in Tonga should follow the advice of the local authorities, including any tsunami evacuation orders.

 

  • If you have lost contact with a New Zealand citizen in Tonga please email cons@mfat.govt.nzwith your details and the details of the New Zealand citizen in Tonga. If you have serious concerns for the safety of a New Zealand citizen or you need urgent consular assistance in Tonga please contact the New Zealand Consular Emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.
  • If you are concerned or have lost contact with Tongan citizens who are not New Zealand Citizens, NZ Red Cross has activated their Restoring Family Links(external link)system for Tonga - which may help to connect you with loved ones. We encourage you to visit this website and enter your family members’ details.

 

You may have read in the news that the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) Central Tracing Agency systems, based in Switzerland, has been hacked. The New Zealand Red Cross Restoring Family Links service for Tonga has not been affected by this and the data held by the New Zealand Red Cross should be considered secure.

 

Press Releases

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)

 

Response to Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami: advice on giving

  • The Tongan Government have set up an Official Relief Account for Donations and Contributions.
    • Account name: Hunga Recovery Fund
    • Account Number: 02-0208-0101185-001
  • We understand the close connection between Tonga and Aotearoa New Zealand, and our Tongan communities here in Aotearoa New Zealand and at home, in the islands. We also understand that in a time of crisis, the first and natural response is to want to help.
  • The impact of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsumani has left homes, villages and businesses on some islands badly damaged — the full extent of which is still being assessed.

 

  • For those wanting to help, the best thing you can do is to donate moneyto 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)(external link).
  • The New Zealand Red Cross also has an appeal set up(external link)(external link)to assist in Tonga.
  • You may like to consider ways you can get ready to contribute funding to any of these appeals, such as activating fundraising opportunities.
  • If you think you can provide particular support that could be useful to assist the Tonga Government’s coordinated relief efforts (outside of donations for particular communities or families), you can email PublicOffers@mfat.govt.nz. We will be in contact as soon as we can to follow up.
  • You can also access general advice on how people can help after a disaster at: How you can help after a disaster | New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (mfat.govt.nz)(external link)
  • We recognise that Tongan communities have close connections with particular communities or people back home, and may wish to send goods.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is focused on supporting the official Tonga Government-led response.  We do not facilitate or fund the collection or transport of goods collected for particular communities or families.
  • Before organising a collection of donated goods:
    • Find out whether the goods are needed on the ground and if they are appropriate, safe and of good quality.
    • Make sure you have a good understanding of all costs involved, including freight to the country, transport within the country, and any wharf, handling and customs charges. 
    • Make sure you have a clear plan for the goods once they arrive in the affected country, including people who will take responsibility for the logistics and costs of collecting, storing, sorting and distributing the goods.

 

Insert text.

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.

Top

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. You can find out more information on our Privacy Page.