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Embassies and consular services for Vanuatu

Location Service areas
High Commission of the Republic of Vanuatu
New Zealand High Commission to Vanuatu Vanuatu
A scenic image of the Vanuatu coast.

About Vanuatu

The Republic of Vanuatu is one of four independent countries in Melanesia and is home to around 270,000 people, three quarters of whom live in rural areas in a country made up of 83 islands.

New Zealand has a long-standing and warm relationship with Vanuatu, sharing some common cultural characteristics and strong economic ties.

Find out more about Vanuatu.


New Zealand and Vanuatu have strong economic ties, with the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme sitting at the heart of our relationship. This is creating mutual benefits for the New Zealand horticulture and viticulture sectors and, for ni-Vanuatu workers and their families.

In 2018, Vanuatu was our eighth-largest trading partner in the Pacific. Economic growth is likely to be focused on the services sector as Vanuatu continues to grow its tourism industry. The tourism sector is a key driver of growth accounting for 20% of Vanuatu’s economy and 26% of its formal workforce.

Vanuatu is also a signatory to the PACER Plus free trade agreement. When this agreement comes into force it will have positive effects for Vanuatu’s development and increase trade links both with New Zealand and with the Pacific region more widely.

Vanuatu’s economy had been performing strongly, but Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015 and the early onset of El Nino dealt a major blow to its major export earning sectors, agriculture and tourism. The cost of Tropical Cyclone Pam is estimated to have been around NZ$700 million (equivalent to 64.1% of Vanuatu’s GDP). Recovery is ongoing and will take several years.

Vanuatu’s economy currently has a positive medium-term outlook. Tourism, the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) remittances, public sector expenditure and donor driven infrastructure investments will be what underpins economic growth into 2019.

2018 statistics

Two-way trade NZD$134 million*  
Goods exports to Vanuatu NZD$46 million* Top exports: electrical machinery, wood and medicines
Goods imports from Vanuatu NZD$1 million* Top imports: services, meat and fruit products
GDP USD$942 million^  
GDP per capita USD$3,230^ NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267^

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

Development cooperation

Vanuatu faces development challenges owing to its geographic spread, fast-growing youth population and its status as the most disaster-prone country in the world.

New Zealand is the second-largest contributor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vanuatu, after Australia. New Zealand has worked extensively to help Vanuatu’s tourism and agriculture sector recover after Cyclone Pam, and more recently has provided humanitarian assistance after the volcanic eruption on the island of Ambae

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


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Vanuatu

  • June 2019: New Zealand Pacific Mission to Vanuatu
  • October 2018: New Zealand Speaker of the House visit to Vanuatu
  • August 2018: New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters’ visit to Vanuatu

Vanuatu to New Zealand

  • May 2019: Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai’s visit to New Zealand
  • February 2018: Vanuatu Parliamentary Secretary Koanapo to New Zealand
  • February 2018: Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs to New Zealand
  • January 2018: Vanuatu Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade to New Zealand

Tropical Cyclone Lola's impact on Vanuatu

Since late October 2023, when Tropical Cyclone Lola first made landfall in Vanuatu, New Zealand continues to respond to requests for assistance from the Government of Vanuatu. This is managed through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Interagency Planning Group.

Reporting confirms that the most significant damage is on the islands of Pentecost and Malekula. Reports highlight damage to some school infrastructure, roads, traditional buildings and gardens. The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is coordinating the national response and initial estimates suggest more than 50,000 people may have been affected.

New Zealand’s relief package

New Zealand’s humanitarian assistance responds to requests from the Government of Vanuatu and includes:

  • A RNZAF P-8A Poseidon conducted an aerial surveillance flight on Thursday 26 October supported initial damage assessments. Images and reporting from this flight was given to the Government of Vanuatu. France, Australia and the United States have also supported aerial surveillance efforts, collectively covering all significantly impacted areas of Vanuatu.
  • A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 flight landed in Vanuatu on Monday 30 October carrying essential humanitarian supplies including shelter kits, mother and infant kits, water, sanitation and hygiene kits, and chainsaw kits.
  • A deployment of two experts from New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency to assist Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office with its response
  • Funding to ADRA New Zealand (Adventist Development and Relief Agency New Zealand) to provide relief supplies to impacted communities
  • Funding to support additional requests to the New Zealand High Commission from the Government of Vanuatu

In country support

A five member team of disaster response experts from the National Emergency Management Agency, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was deployed to assist with the response for a two-week period.

Aotearoa New Zealand will continue to work closely with our Vanuatu whānau, and consider any further requests for assistance from the Government of Vanuatu.

Advice for New Zealanders in Vanuatu

New Zealanders in Vanuatu are encouraged to register on SafeTravel(external link) and read our advice for Tropical Cyclone Lola(external link).

New Zealanders requiring urgent consular assistance can call the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.

Advice on giving and donations.

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.

If you think you can provide particular support that could be useful to assist the Vanuatu Government’s coordinated relief efforts (outside of donations for particular communities or families), you can email 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 ( link)


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