About New Caledonia 

New Caledonia is a 'special collectivity' of France with the status of sui generis (latin for 'in a class by itself, unique'), a status enshrined in the French constitution.

New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with New Caledonia, our closest geographic neighbour in the Pacific. We have a strong friendship and share a vision for enhanced cooperation in trade, education, sport, health, the environment and research.

Find out more about New Caledonia.


New Caledonia has one of the largest economies in the Pacific, boasting a similar GDP per capita to New Zealand, and is New Zealand’s fourth largest export destination in the Pacific. Food and fuel exports from New Zealand make up the bulk of goods traded. New Zealand also supplies services to New Caledonia’s mining industry.

New Zealand is a popular education destination for New Caledonians in both secondary and tertiary studies.

Tourists travel in both directions –21,000 New Caledonians visited New Zealand, and 10,553 New Zealanders visited New Caledonia in 2018.

Nickel remains the backbone of New Caledonia’s economy, accounting for more than 90% of its export earnings. However, weak global prices and high production costs have impacted the sector’s profitability in recent years.

Agriculture, hunting, fishing, ranching and forestry make up only 1.8% of GDP, although remain a key feature of the Kanak economy. Production in most areas is heavily subsidised and prices are controlled.

2018 statistics

Two-way trade 

NZD$234 million*


Goods exports to New Caledonia

NZD$122.5 million* 

Top exports: dairy products, beef, ships, and iron

Goods imports from New Caledonia

NZD$2 million*

Top imports: iron, vegetables, machinery and chemical products


USD$9,446 million^


GDP per capita


NZ GDP per capita is USD$41,267#

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

Development cooperation

As New Caledonia is a special collectivity 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 New Caledonia) administers a small fund for Short-Term Training Scholarships and our defence and armed forces regularly work together on disaster response, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and training exercises.

Find out more about our development cooperation in New Caledonia.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to New Caledonia
  • June 2019: Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Aupito Tofae Su’a William Sio, visited New Caledonia to represent New Zealand at the Pacific Community’s biennial conference
  • May 2018: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters visited New Caledonia for the High Level Dialogue on Biodiversity and Climate Change, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian
  • April 2013:  Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse and a group of New Zealand veterans visited New Caledonia for commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of World War II in the Pacific
  • July 2012: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited New Caledonia with a delegation of MPs, business, NGO and media representatives as part of the Pacific Mission
  • 2011: Special Envoy John Hayes MP attended the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Ministerial Meeting on Energy, ICT and Transport
  • 2010: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited New Caledonia to meet with the Acting President
New Caledonia to New Zealand
  • July 2018: A New Caledonia Customary Senate delegation, led by Minister for Customary Affairs, Didier Poidyaliwane, visited New Zealand to learn about the Rangatahi Court system, as well as the Drug and Alcohol Court
  • June 2016:  President Philippe Germain, Vice-President Jean-Louis d’Anglebermes, and Government Member responsible for health, youth and sports, Valentine Eurisouké, visited New Zealand for bilateral meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, as well as the Speaker, David Carter, and Ministers Simon Bridges and Jonathan Coleman.  The delegation also participated in the Pacific Energy Conference and engaged with the business community.
  • May 2016:  President Philippe Germain visited New Zealand as part of French Prime Minister Manual Valls’ official delegation
  • September 2013: Commander of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), General Luc de Revel visited New Zealand
  • March 2013: President Harold Martin, High Commissioner Jean-Jacques Brot, member of government Sonia Backes and a delegation of private sector representatives from the energy sector, participated in the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland
  • October/November 2011: FANC Commander Brigadier General Jean François Parlanti visited New Zealand
  • September 2011: A New Caledonian delegation including President Harold Martin, President of Congress Roch Wamytan and Ministers and officials 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.

Aviation partnership makes Pacific airways safer

Cook Islands
Solomon Islands

Commercial air travel in the Pacific is now safer and more reliable following the completion of a four-year programme improving air navigation across the region.

Improved access to essential medicines for Polynesia


Improved access to essential medicines in Polynesia following support from New Zealand will help Pacific people live healthier lives, MFAT Deputy Secretary Jonathan Kings announced on 3 October 2019.

Measles outbreak in New Zealand

Latin America
Middle East
North America
North Asia
South Asia
South East Asia
United Kingdom

Find out more about the current outbreak of measles in New Zealand.