About French Polynesia

French Polynesia is an “overseas country” of France located in the south-east of the Pacific. It is made up of 118 islands and has a population of 285,000.

New Zealand and French Polynesia have close cultural links: Māori are thought to have set out from French Polynesia’s Raiatea Island on their voyage to New Zealand hundreds of years ago. The French Polynesian languages and Te Reo Māori are also closely related.

French Polynesia has autonomy in some domestic areas, while France has jurisdiction over law and order, security, defence, finance and most foreign affairs.

French Polynesia became a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in 2016 and is represented at regional forums such as the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

French Polynesia has come through a period of instability following the Global Financial Crisis, but now has a stable government and growing economy.

Trade

French Polynesia is New Zealand’s third highest value Pacific market for goods exports. New Zealand is the territory’s second biggest supplier of food products and fifth largest supplier of goods overall. Key New Zealand exports include meat, dairy and petroleum products.

In 2018, 8,947 New Zealanders visited French Polynesia and 24,000 French Polynesians travelled to New Zealand.

2018 Statistics

Two-way trade (goods and services) 

NZD$300 million*

 

Goods exports to French Polynesia

NZD$175 million*

Top goods exports: electronic machinery, dairy products, mutton and lamb, vegetables

Goods imports from French Polynesia

NZD$3 million*

Top goods imports: processed fruit and nuts, baked goods, clothing, vegetables and legumes, tobacco

GDP

USD$5,418 million#

 

GDP per capita

USD$19,335#

NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267^

Sources: *MBIE Trade Intelligence May 2019 (external link)   #UN Data 2018 (external link)   ^IMF WEO April 2019 (external link)

Development cooperation

As French Polynesia is an 'overseas country' of France, France is primarily responsible for its sustainable development.

However as a Pacific neighbour, New Zealand still plays a role in development. Our Consulate-General (which is based in Noumea and represents New Zealand throughout the French Pacific Territories) administers a small fund for Short-Term Training Scholarships and New Zealand and France often work together through the France, Australia, New Zealand (FRANZ) arrangement in maritime surveillance and emergency and disaster relief.

Find out more about our development cooperation in French Polynesia.

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to French Polynesia
  • March 2018: Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, attended the French Pacific Business Days Event
  • 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully led a delegation to French Polynesia
French Polynesia to New Zealand
  • March 2019: President Edouard Fritch represented French Polynesia at the National Memorial Service for those who died in the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
  • November 2018: President Edouard Fritch visited New Zealand to sign the Manatua Cable contract.
  • July 2018: President Edouard Fritch visited New Zealand to sign a bilateral Joint Cooperation Plan, call on Ministers and Māori organisations and visit NIWA’s Ruakaka research facility.
  • February 2018: William Vanizette, Senior Economic Advisor to French Polynesian Vice-President visited New Zealand
  • December 2017: Minister of Primary Resources, Land and Seabed Minerals Tearii Alpha visited New Zealand and called on Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters
  • May 2016:  President Edouard Fritch visited New Zealand as part of French Prime Minister Manual Valls’ official delegation
  • 2012: President Oscar Temaru called on Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully
  • 2011: President Oscar Temaru attended the Pacific Islands Forum meetings in Auckland

News & Events

New Caledonia: Tropical Cyclone Cook

New Caledonia

Tropical Cyclone Cook has passed through New Caledonia as a Category 3 cyclone bringing destructive winds and heavy rain.