New Zealand’s development cooperation is focused on Tonga’s wellbeing and prosperity.

In partnership with Tonga, our key areas of focus include support for governance institutions such as the judiciary and encouraging trade and economic growth. We also provide support to Tonga’s health and education system.

Current initiatives that demonstrate our support for these areas include our cooperation in policing, support provided to the Tonga Electoral Commission, development of the vanilla industry and strengthening Nuku’alofa’s electricity network. As countries of the Pacific, Tonga and New Zealand share many of the same interests and we work closely together to build the safety and security of our region.

Recent achievements

  • Supported Tonga following Cyclone Gita in early 2018, providing NZD$10 million for recovery efforts, which included the restoration of the electricity network and re-printing school resources.
  • Supported 650 students (including more than 100 girls) in 2018 to participate in a secondary school trades programme that provides valuable skills and encourages more students to stay in school.
  • Upgraded electricity connections to 55 villages on Tongatapu since 2013, providing households, communities and schools with safe and reliable access to electricity.

Current development priorities

  • Support governance institutions in Tonga, to promote stability and prosperity.
  • Support the Tongan public sector’s ability to deliver high-quality services and better outcomes for Tongan communities.
  • Assist Tonga to build a strong and resilient economy with a focus on promoting investment from and greater economic integration with New Zealand and the region.

What we’re working on now

  • Re-building the Tongan Parliament destroyed by Cyclone Gita in 2018 together with Australia.
  • Providing assistance to strengthen processes at the Tongan Electoral Commission as well as support for the Legislative Assembly, and the Judiciary.
  • Supporting market access and export development including the growth and sustainability of Tongan vanilla and the fisheries sector.
  • Supporting Tonga’s Ministry of Education to build its professional development capability to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for primary school children.
  • Developing a new programme of support for the health sector.
  • Improving the reliability, resilience and safety of electricity for 2,138 households and businesses through upgrading the electricity network in Nuku’alofa.