Our relationship with New Caledonia 

New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with New Caledonia, our closest neighbour in the Pacific. In 2016, to further strengthen our relationship, the former Minister of Affairs, Hon Murray McCully, and the President of New Caledonia, Philippe Germain, signed a Joint Cooperation Plan. The Plan aims to enhance blateral cooperation and provides an outline of agreed priority areas such as trade and economic engagement, education, health, sport and sustainable development.

The New Zealand Defence Force and the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia cooperate in a range of areas including disaster response, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and training exercises. The most recent training exercise was Excercise Croix du Sud in May 2018.

Joint Cooperation Plan - English version [PDF, 73 KB]

Joint Cooperation Plan - French version [PDF, 657 KB] 

French connections

New Caledonia is a "special collectivity" of France. A referendum on New Caledonia's independence from France will take place on 4 November 2018, marking the beginning of the final stage in the 20-year Noumea Accord process, which has delivered greater autonomy to New Caledonia through the transfer of services provided and administered by France.


New Caledonia is in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 kilometers east of Australia. It is made up of the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and some small islets. The combined land area is 18,576 square kilometres and the population is 272,677.


March 2018 statistics

Total trade in goods 

NZD $144.5 million


Exports to New Caledonia

NZD $142.8 million 

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

Imports from New Caledonia

NZD $1.7 million

Top imports: iron, vegetables, machinery and chemical products

New Caledonia 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. Agriculture officially employs only 5% of the New Caledonia population and makes up 1% of GDP, though it forms the basis of much of the indigenous population's subsistence economy. Production in most areas is heavily subsidised and prices are controlled. Agricultural output is hampered by a number of factors including labour being diverted to the more lucrative mining industry; nickel resources are the backbone of New Caledonia's economy, accounting for 90% of its export earnings. 

The two countries also trade in services. New Zealand is a popular education destination for New Caledonians wanting to learn English. Tourists travel in both directions with 19,920 New Caledonians visiting New Zealand in 2017, and 13,320 New Zealanders visiting New Caledonia in the same year. New Zealand also supplies some services to the mining industry in New Caledonia.


The New Zealand Consulate-General in New Caledonia manages a modest aid programme to the French Pacific Territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna). Every year New Zealand offers short-term training scholarships for courses in New Zealand. Tourism is the most popular study options for these students.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to New Caledonia
  • 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
  • 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.