Aotearoa New Zealand's support for Ukraine
We are assisting international efforts as the invasion continues and the humanitarian crisis worsens.
Aotearoa New Zealand is joining international efforts to support Ukraine to defend itself and dispel Russian forces from its sovereign territories.
- On 21 March 2022, Aotearoa New Zealand announced a $5 million contribution including a payment to the NATO Trust Fund for Ukraine which provides fuel, military rations, communications and military first aid kits to support Ukraine. We are also making available to the Ukraine armed forces a range of non-lethal defence equipment at their request.
- On 28 March 2022, Aotearoa New Zealand announced nine New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will deploy to support our partners in intelligence and engagement work, over the next three months.
- Seven NZDF intelligence analysts to go to the UK to assist with the heightened demand for intelligence assessments.
- Two officers will deploy to the UK and Belgium to enhance our engagement with, and understanding of, partner activities related to Ukraine.
- Cabinet also approved the use of the Defence Force’s open source intelligence capabilities to support the UK and other European partners.
- On 11 April 2022 Aotearoa New Zealand announced further contributions including:
- The deployment of an NZDF C-130H Hercules transport aircraft and up to 50 support personnel to Europe for two months
- Eight NZDF logistic specialists to support the International Donor Coordination Centre in Germany with the flow of aid and supplies to Ukraine
- $7.5m to contribute to weapons and ammunition procurement through the United Kingdom
- $4.1m to support commercial satellite imagery access for the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence.
- On 27 June 2022, Aotearoa New Zealand announced a further $4m million contribution to the NATO Trust Fund and extensions and enhancements to NZDF deployments including:
- Extending the deployment of six NZDF intelligence analysts to the UK, and the use of the New Zealand-based open-source intelligence capability to support partner intelligence requirements, by five months to 30 November.
- A further six NZDF intelligence analysts deployed to the UK till 30 November.
- Extending the deployment of four NZDF logistics specialists in Germany by two months till 31 August.
- Extending the deployment of two NZDF liaison officers to Belgium and the UK by five months till 30 November, and deploying an additional liaison officer to Germany for two months.
- On 23 May 2022, Aotearoa New Zealand announced the deployment (until 31 July) of a NZDF artillery training team to the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian Armed Forces in the use of the L119 light field gun, as well as the provision of surplus aiming systems and training ammunition.
Aotearoa New Zealand has committed $8 million in humanitarian assistance to the Ukraine crisis. 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 such as provision of food and hygiene items
- $2 million to the United Nations’ Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. The fund works with a range of UN agencies and NGOs to meet the most urgent unmet humanitarian needs through the provision of 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 help fund the protection and assistance it is providing to the millions of Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries.
- $2 million for New Zealand Disaster Response Partnership NGOs to support the regional refugee response in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.
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.
Aotearoa New Zealand has repeatedly called for President Putin to act consistently with international obligations, cease Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, withdraw troops and return to diplomatic negotiations as a pathway to resolution.
New Zealand’s Parliament passed a unanimous motion in the House on 1 March condemning Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
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, and our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s aggression.
The Prime Minister and Ministers have made numerous public statements unequivocally condemning the actions of President Putin and calling for the end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Aotearoa New Zealand has been working to ensure that our condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is heard clearly and widely in all regional and international forums where we are active. Our actions include:
- Co-sponsoring a UN Security Council Resolution on 25 February (vetoed by Russia)
- Co-sponsoring a UN General Assembly Resolution on 2 March, which attracted 141 votes in favour, and only 5 votes against
- Co-sponsoring 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. Across the Council’s 47 members there were 32 votes in favour, 13 abstentions and only 2 (Russia and Eritrea) against.
- National statements in UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, APEC, WTO, the World Food Programme, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the International Energy Agency.
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 includes:
- Aotearoa New Zealand, 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 war crimes that may have occurred in Ukraine.
- Aotearoa New Zealand 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 (ICC) to support the ICC’s investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, with funding for the Office of the Prosecutor and the Trust Fund for Victims.
- The secondment of a senior NZDF military officer to the ICC to support the ICC’s investigation.
- Providing $1 million to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to support the ongoing monitoring and accountability for human rights violations being perpetrated in Ukraine.
We continue to consult and coordinate with partners on other means of diplomatic protest.
- The Government has made the decision to suspend bilateral foreign ministry consultations with Russia until further notice.
- Foreign Ministry consultations are a formal foreign policy dialogue held led by senior foreign ministry officials. They are an important opportunity to discuss bilateral relationships, as well as regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
- These measures are an appropriate and proportionate first step in response to Russian aggression. Further options in terms of diplomatic responses will remain under consideration.
Aotearoa New Zealand has joined international efforts to provide military assistance to Ukraine’s self-defence against Russia’s invasion, economic and humanitarian efforts to support Ukraine and its people responds to the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia, and diplomatic and international legal accountability efforts to end the conflict and hold Russia and decision-makers to account.
Aotearoa 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.
See a list of Proactive Releases of Ministry Advice on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Aotearoa New Zealand's actions against Russia
We have taken swift action against Russia, 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.
Before the introduction of sanctions in early March, New Zealand put travel bans on key individuals identified as being responsible for, or associated with, actions that undermined or threatened the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
These bans were later included in our Sanctions register.
- The Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued, by Notice in the Gazette, a prohibition on the export of all goods intended for use by the Russian and Belarus military and security forces, including any armed force, paramilitary force, police force, or militia.
- The Prohibition on exports applies to all goods if the end-user of the goods are the Russian of Belarus military or security forces — including exports such as food and medical supplies. It is a criminal offence in the Customs and Excise Act to knowingly export a prohibited good.
- The offence would not apply in a situation of ordinary food exports to Russia and Belarus where the end users are not military or security forces. However, it is incumbent upon business to do their due diligence to ensure they are not knowingly exporting for the Russian and Belarus military and security forces i.e. if the Russian or Belarus military seized the goods from its intended end-user and diverted them the exporter would not have committed an offence unless they had specific knowledge in advance this was going to happen. We would encourage all exporters to undertake due diligence to ensure they are not exporting to a prohibited entity. Anyone concerned about this should consult the Gazette notice and seek independent legal advice.
- The New Zealand Government’s investment vehicles – ACC and the Superannuation Fund – have announced their decision to disinvest in Russian holdings.
Impact on Aotearoa New Zealand
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have global implications. We are closely monitoring what it will mean for Aotearoa New Zealand.
See a list of Proactive Releases of Ministry Advice on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We anticipate that, like countries all around the world, the effects of Putin’s actions will be felt in the New Zealand economy.
- Oil and gas – likely to affect prices for consumers in New Zealand, right through the supply chain.
- Wheat – both Russia and Ukraine are significant producers of wheat, and this will likely affect food prices in New Zealand.
- Financial markets and currency markets may be volatile.
- An extended conflict could affect the $NZD.
Below you can find information about the possible impact of the invasion on the New Zealand economy.
On 18 March MFAT hosted a webinar to update exporters on the Ukraine crisis. You can view a video of the presentation and Q&A session.
You can read additional exporter Q&A.
- Putin’s actions – launching a massive ground invasion into a sovereign neighbouring country – is one of the largest invasions seen in Europe since the Second World War
- New Zealand believes in the rules-based systems of the United Nations. That a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council has violated the UN Charter, and then used its veto in the Security Council to avoid sanction by the international community is deeply concerning for us and shows an urgent need for reforms to strengthen multilateral institutions.
- Russia’s military action against Ukraine’s nuclear facilities are reckless and President Putin’s threats to use Russia’s nuclear arsenal make the situation all the more serious. This is a serious escalation to what is already an unjustified, inhumane war and has potential consequences extending far beyond Ukraine’s sovereign borders.
- 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
See below for the latest Statements, Speeches and Press Releases regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- 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)