Our relationship with Marshall Islands

New Zealand’s relationship with the Republic of Marshall Islands is based mainly on common interests in Pacific issues such as fisheries, regional trade, climate change and security. We are both members of the Pacific Islands Forum. 

The Marshall Islands is an independent state in free association with the United States. It is one of the North Pacific Compact States, along with the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau. It takes care of its own domestic and foreign policy affairs, and the US is responsible for defence and security. The economy is heavily dependent on aid and dominated by the public sector, but otherwise relies on subsistence farming and fishing. It has no significant natural resources and little tourism due to its largely undeveloped infrastructure.  

The Marshall Islands has a population of 53,000 and a landmass of 181 square kilometres made up of 29 coral atolls and five islands spread across nearly 2,000 kilometres of ocean.  


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$2.9 million 


Exports to the Marshall Islands

$2.5 million  

Top exports: sawn or chipped wood, animal offal, non-crude petroleum oils, waste oil, and biodiesel

Imports from the Marshall Islands


Top imports: oil seed flours and meals, oil cake, computers


US$193 million


GDP per capita

US$3,539 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)

GDP growth


There are no direct shipping links between New Zealand and the Marshall Islands, so trade between our countries is modest. 

Exporting to the Pacific Islands - New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (external link)


New Zealand supports the Marshall Islands through the North Pacific Development Fund, which is administered by the Consulate-General in Honolulu, Hawaii. It provides funding for locally run projects up to the value of NZ$75,000 per project. The focus is on education and building resilience, with the fund investing in activities that support income and job generation, training, disaster management and community development. 

For more information the NPDF please click here.


New Zealand is represented in Micronesia by the Consulate-General in Honolulu, Hawaii

Recent official visits

New Zealand to the Marshall Islands
  • 2014: Ambassador Robert Kaiwai presented his credentials in Majuro
  • 2013: Prime Minister John Key led a delegation for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum, held in Majuro
  • 2007: Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters led the annual Pacific Mission of MPs, NGOs and media to the Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands to New Zealand

  • 2013: A delegation from the Marshall Islands attended the Pacific Parliamentary Leaders Forum in Wellington
  • 2011: President Jurelang and delegations attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland

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