Russian invasion of Ukraine
Aotearoa New Zealand's support for Ukraine
We are assisting international efforts as the war continues and the humanitarian crisis worsens.
Aotearoa New Zealand is part of international efforts to support Ukraine to defend itself and dispel Russian forces from its sovereign territories. Our support includes the deployment of NZDF personnel and assets, and funding for equipment, material, and intelligence.
- Training: supporting the United Kingdom-led operation to train Ukrainian armed forces in the UK
- Intelligence: intelligence personnel deployed in the UK, as well as New Zealand based open source intelligence staff
- Logistics: personnel deployed to a logistics hub in Europe to support the flow of aid and supplies to Ukraine.
- Liaison: liaison officers helping to engage with partners and coordinate efforts in the UK and Europe.
- Command and administration support: personnel deployed in Europe to assist the deployed throughout Europe helping with Ukraine’s self-defence efforts.
Funding and equipment
- $10.59 million to the NATO Trust Fund for Ukraine which provides fuel, military rations, communications and military first aid kits to support Ukraine.
- $7.5 million to contribute to weapons and ammunition procurement through the United Kingdom
- $4.1 million to support commercial satellite imagery access for the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence.
We are also making available to the Ukraine armed forces a range of non-lethal defence equipment at their request. For more detailed information about our military support to Ukraine, please see the press releases in the Speeches, statements and press releases section on this webpage.
Aotearoa New Zealand has committed almost $13 million in humanitarian assistance to address the humanitarian consequences of Russia’s illegal war of aggression in Ukraine. This includes:
- An initial $2 million for humanitarian aid to help deliver essential humanitarian assistance, with a focus on supporting health facilities and meeting basic needs
- $2 million to the United Nations’ Ukraine Humanitarian Fund to provide healthcare, food aid, clean water, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for millions of people inside Ukraine.
- $2 million to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to assist the millions of Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries.
- $1.93 million for New Zealand Disaster Response Partnership NGOs to support refugees in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.
- $1.85 million to the World Food Programme to help address global food insecurity, exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine.
- $3 million through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support Ukrainians with basic humanitarian needs as they face severe hardships over the winter.
New Zealand also provides annual funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which has announced it has allocated $60 million to help humanitarian agencies scale up their Ukraine response.
From the outset of the invasion, Aotearoa New Zealand has repeatedly called for President Putin to act consistently with international obligations and cease Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
New Zealand’s Parliament passed a unanimous motion in the House on 1 March condemning Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
On 14 December 2022, President Zelenskyy addressed the New Zealand Parliament. He was only the second leader to ever do so – a testament to the strong, unified support for Ukraine in New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken with both Ukraine’s President and Prime Minister to reiterate New Zealand’s strong support for Ukraine and its people.
The Prime Minister and Ministers have made numerous public statements unequivocally condemning the actions of President Putin and calling for the invasion to end.
Aotearoa New Zealand has made clear our condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through national statements in all regional and international forums where we are active. At the United Nations, we have:
- Co-sponsored a UN Security Council Resolution on 25 February condemning Russia’s invasion (vetoed by Russia)
- Co-sponsored a UN General Assembly Resolution on 2 March condemning Russia’s invasion, which attracted 141 votes in favour, and only 5 votes against
- Co-sponsored Ukraine’s successful resolution at the Human Rights Council establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.
- Co-sponsored a UN General Assembly Resolution on 12 October condemning Russia’s sham referenda and illegal “annexation” of regions in southern and eastern Ukraine, which attracted 143 votes in favour, and only 5 votes against.
Aotearoa New Zealand has supported efforts to investigate, and hold those responsible to account for, any breaches of International Law and International Humanitarian Law. Our actions include:
- Alongside over 40 other countries, referring the atrocities that appear to have occurred in Ukraine to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court which will enable an investigation into possible war crimes
- Intervening as a third party in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice.
- Providing $1.315 million to the International Criminal Court to support the investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine
- The secondment of a senior NZDF military officer to the ICC to support the ICC’s investigation.
- $1 million to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to support monitoring and accountability for human rights violations being perpetrated in Ukraine.
Aotearoa New Zealand's actions against Russia
Aotearoa New Zealand has taken swift action in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aligned with the actions of the international community.
New Zealand has put in place sanctions on individuals and entities as part of our response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For detailed information and advice, see the Russia Sanctions page.
- Our relations with Russia have deteriorated significantly following President Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
- We continue to call on President Putin’s regime to return to diplomatic negotiations as a pathway to resolve this conflict; for that to occur, diplomatic channels must remain open.
- We have made our position on President Putin’s unjustified invasion very clear. We have done so directly to the Russian Government, including through the Russian Ambassador in Wellington and through our own Ambassador in Moscow.
- Our ability to continue to do this, whenever necessary, is of critical importance.
- If we expel the Russian Ambassador, we could anticipate that there would be a reciprocal action to our Embassy in Moscow.
- Our Embassy in Moscow provides a critical point of support for New Zealanders in Russia, and in those countries to which our Embassy is accredited to. We would not lightly take any action that could result in us providing reduced support to New Zealanders there.
- That said, we will continue to keep further potential diplomatic steps that we might take in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine under consideration.
The best thing New Zealanders can do to help the people of Ukraine is to donate to an emergency appeal launched by an experienced and trustworthy humanitarian organisation working on the ground. These organisations are skilled at assessing what's needed and how to get it there. They will source supplies from close to the affected area, which is the most effective way of getting help to those who need it. A number of New Zealand organisations are running appeals and supporting the work on the ground in Ukraine.
See information about the New Zealand Red Cross appeal: https://www.redcross.org.nz/what-we-do/overseas/ukraine-humanitarian-crisis/
See information about New Zealand NGO appeals: https://www.cid.org.nz/connect/news/new-zealand-ngos-supporting-the-ukraine-response/
New Zealand has a Do Not Travel advisory in place for Ukraine. That includes anyone thinking about travelling to join Ukraine’s International Legion or otherwise take part in military action. The Government’s clear view is that New Zealanders should not travel to Ukraine for that purpose. The situation in Ukraine is extremely dangerous, volatile and deteriorating rapidly. New Zealand’s ability to provide consular assistance to New Zealanders in Ukraine is very limited, and the New Zealand Government is not able to evacuate people.
New Zealanders in Ukraine
We currently advise New Zealanders ‘Do Not Travel’ to Ukraine due to the security situation.
We currently advise that New Zealanders in Ukraine should leave immediately if it is safe to do so. New Zealanders should be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times and always prioritise their immediate safety. When it is safe to do so, they should depart Ukraine.
We strongly urge all New Zealanders in Ukraine not registered on SafeTravel to do so immediately on www.safetravel.govt.nz
Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to provide consular assistance to New Zealanders in Ukraine is very limited.
New Zealanders in Russia
We currently advise New Zealanders ‘Do Not Travel’ to Russia due to the potential for the security situation to deteriorate further with little warning, as well as the impacts the invasion into Ukraine has had on commercial flight availability and access to financial services.
If you are in Russia, you should leave while limited commercial options are still available.
All New Zealanders in Russia should register on SafeTravel to ensure they receive updates on official advice and information from the New Zealand Government.
New Zealanders elsewhere in Europe (outside Ukraine and Russia)
All New Zealanders in Europe should register on SafeTravel to ensure they receive updates on official advice for the country they are in, and information from the New Zealand Government in the event of an emergency.
The New Zealand Government introduced several border measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
On 15 March the Government announced parents and wider family members offshore of Ukrainian born New Zealand citizens and residents will be able to come to New Zealand under a new policy benefitting around 4,000 people.
The 2022 Special Ukraine Policy will be open for one year from 15 March and enable Ukrainian-born New Zealand citizens and residents in New Zealand to sponsor Ukrainian family members and their immediate family.
Successful applicants will be granted a two-year work visa with work rights, and children will be able to attend school.
Ukrainian nationals in Aotearoa New Zealand with a visa due to expire by the end of the year will be given an automatic 12-month extension (about 140 people)
Ukrainian nationals offshore with a valid New Zealand visa can come immediately, bypassing NZ’s reconnecting steps (about 250 people)
For more information about these measures, see Immigration New Zealand: Important information for Ukrainian nationals | Immigration New Zealand
Statements, Speeches and Press Releases
The latest Statements, Speeches and Press Releases regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Increase in NZ support for Ukraine (3 May 2023)
- Further sanctions on Russian and Belarusian political and military figures (31 March 2023)
- New sanctions also mark one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (24 February 2023)
- New sanctions and travel bans on Iran (15 February 2023)
- New sanctions on Iran over role in Ukraine (14 December 2022)
- Russian disinformation targeted by latest sanctions (12 December 2022)
- Further sanctions on the political and economic elites of Russia and Belarus (21 November 2022)
- Assistance to Ukraine extended and enhanced (14 November 2022)
- Financial Intelligence Unit Conference — Russia Sanctions (8 November 2022)
- New sanctions target Russian defence networks (31 October 2022)
- New trade bans and sanctions on oligarchs and Russian officials (11 October 2022)
- New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts (1 October 2022)
- Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite (27 September 2022)
- Sanctions on Russian officials in occupied regions of Ukraine (22 August 2022)
- NZ sends further significant deployment to support Ukraine (15 August 2022)
- Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers (1 August 2022)
- Imports of Russian gold banned (4 July 2022)
- Russian state companies sanctioned (7 June 2022)
- NZ to provide additional deployment to support Ukraine (23 May 2022)
- Belarusian leaders and defence entities targeted under latest round of sanctions (19 May 2022)
- Aotearoa New Zealand condemns Russia’s malicious cyber activity against Ukraine (12 May 2022)
- New sanctions target disinformation and malicious cyber actors (10 May 2022)
- More political elites and defence entities sanctioned, and prohibitions extended (2 May 2022)
- Russian banks targeted under latest round of sanctions (19 April 2022)
- New Zealand sends C130 Hercules and 50-strong team to Europe to support Ukraine (11 April 2022)
- New Zealand to apply trade sanctions in response to Russian atrocities (6 April 2022)
- New round of sanctions announced targeting Russian oligarchs (4 April 2022)
- NZ to provide non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine (21 March 2022)
- PM conveys NZ support in call to Ukraine PM | Beehive (19 March 2022)
- First tranche of sanctions under the Russia Sanctions Act enacted (18 March 2022)
- Foreign Minister announces further humanitarian support for Ukraine (15 March 2022)
- Government offers shelter for around 4000 family members of Ukrainians in NZ (15 March 2022)
- New Zealand statement to International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors on the nuclear safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine (9 March 2022)
- NZ allows for significant expansion of sanctions on Russia (7 March 2022)
- Implementation of travel bans on individuals associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine (7 March 2022)
- New Zealand Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control - Statement to Conference on Disarmament (3 March 2022)
- New Zealand statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors (extraordinary session) on the nuclear safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine (2 March 2022)
- New Zealand supports global action to ease pressure on global fuel prices (2 March 2022)
- New Zealand statement to UN Human Rights Council (1 March 2022)
- United Nations General Assembly: Eleventh Emergency Special Session (1 March 2022)
- Aotearoa New Zealand announces initial humanitarian support for Ukraine (28 February 2022)
- Prime Minister's statement on Russian invasion of Ukraine (25 February 2022)
- Aotearoa New Zealand condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine (24 February 2022)
- Aotearoa New Zealand condemns the advance of Russian military into Ukraine (24 February 2022)
- United Nations General Assembly: The situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine (24 February 2022)
- Russian Ambassador called in over Ukraine (23 February 2022)
- United Nations General Assembly: Our Common Agenda thematic debate – Frameworks for a peaceful world – promoting peace, international law and digital; cooperation (22 February 2022)
- Government calls on New Zealanders in Ukraine to leave immediately (12 February 2022)
See a list of Proactive Releases of Ministry Advice on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.