Our relationship with Brunei

New Zealand has a friendly relationship with the tiny oil-rich sultanate of Brunei, sharing links in education, trade and defence. Our strong defence relationship is mainly based around training. We take part in joint military training exercises, and New Zealand provides training assistance under the Mutual Assistance Programme (MAP), which also gives our troops opportunities to train in Brunei's jungle. 

We work with Brunei on regional issues through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the East Asia Summit (EAS) and APEC. We're both members of the Commonwealth.

Read more about the Mutual Assistance Programme (external link)

Around 100 students from Brunei study here each year and Otago and Auckland Universities have an arrangement with the Brunei government in which they take a small number of Bruneian medical and dental students. Aside from study, around 1,000 Bruneians visit New Zealand each year for work or leisure.

More than 150 New Zealanders live in Brunei, many working as teachers. Several New Zealand pilots and engineers work for Royal Brunei Airlines. Other New Zealanders work in Brunei’s oil and gas sector and as professional consultants.


2018 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$5 million


Exports to Brunei

$4.99 million 

Top exports: butter and dairy spreads, fresh milk and cream, aluminium tubes/pipes

Imports from Brunei

$0.01 million

Top imports: textiles

GDP (2018)

US$13.6 billion

GDP per capita (last figures 2017) US$31,440 (NZ GDP per capita 2018 is US$ 42,383)
GDP growth (2018) 0.8%  

Free trade agreements with Brunei

Brunei and New Zealand have similar views on trade liberalisation. We have two regional free trade agreements that include Brunei:

Brunei is also a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

NZ Inc ASEAN strategy

As a member of ASEAN, Brunei is included in the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy. NZ Inc is the Government’s plan to strengthen New Zealand’s economic, political and security relationships with key international partners.

Find out more about the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Brunei 
  • 2014: Todd McClay (then Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister of Trade) visited to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations with Brunei.
  • 2013: Prime Minister John Key and and other Ministers visted for ASEAN-related meetings, including the East Asia Summit.
  • 2013: Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman attended the second ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Brunei.
Brunei to New Zealand
  • 2016: Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, and Minister of Energy and Industry, Pehin Yasmin Umar, visited New Zealand.
  • 2016: Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, visited for the TPP signing ceremony.
  • 2015: Pehin Dato Abu Bakar Apong (Minister of Education) visited.

News & Events

ANZAC Day Service in Malaysia, 25 April 2019


In commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions will host a joint ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Tugu Negara (the National Monument), Jalan Parlimen, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday 25th April, 2019.

Measles outbreak in New Zealand

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