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Embassies and consular services for Tonga
|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.
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.
|Two-way trade||NZD$240 million*|
|Goods exports to Tonga||NZD$72 million*||Top NZ exports: travel services, mechanical machinery, dairy products, wood
|Goods imports from Tonga||NZD$4 million*||Top imports: travel services, vegetables, fruit and nuts|
|GDP per capita||USD$4,665^||NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267|
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.
- New Zealand is represented in Tonga by the New Zealand High Commission, Nuku'alofa
- Tonga is represented in New Zealand with the Consulate of the Kingdom of Tonga, Auckland — Email
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.