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Our relationship with Kiribati

New Zealand and Kiribati have a relationship based on shared Pacific interests, and partner on issues such as sustainable development, climate change, and maritime security. We are both members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

One of our more far reaching Pacific neighbours, Kiribati (pronounced Kiri-bas) is made up of 33 atolls stretched over 3.5 million square kilometres of the Pacific and is home to a little more than 100,000 citizens, known as I-Kiribati. There is a small community of about 1,600 I-Kiribati living in New Zealand.

Trade

2015 statistics 

Total trade in goods 

$14,921,140

 

Exports to Kiribati

$14.9 million 

Top exports: furniture, vehicles, iron, steel and sawn or chipped wood

Imports from Kiribati

$21,140

Top imports: plastic, electric machinery

GDP

US$181 million

 
GDP per capita US$1,647 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  3.8%  

Kiribati is one of New Zealand’s smallest trading partners and exports and imports can fluctuate wildly from year to year.

Aid

The New Zealand Aid Programme works with Kiribati on improving fisheries infrastructure and upgrading the transport and energy sectors. We also work to improve the health of i-Kiribati.

Read more about our aid programme in Kiribati

Each year more than 100 I-Kiribati come to New Zealand to work in our horticulture and wine industries under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE). The money they earn and send home is an important source of income for Kiribati.

Find out more about the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (external link)

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to Kiribati
  • June 2016: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett visited during the New Zealand - European Union Mission to the Pacific
  • 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited during the Pacific Energy Mission along with EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs
  • 2012: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited with a small business delegation
  • 2010: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Tarawa and Kiritimati Island with a 30 strong delegation
  • 2009: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited during Independence Week
Kiribati to New Zealand
  • February 2016: President Anote Tong was the keynote speaker at Victoria University's climate change conference, 'In the eye of the storm'. President Tong also met with Minister McCully 
  • 2014: Minister of Labour and Human Resource Development Martin Moreti visited New Zealand on an RSE scheme mission 
  • April 2013: MPs Martin Moreti and Tetaake Kwong attended the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Wellington
  • March 2013: President Tong attended the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland
  • 2012: President Tong led the Hillary Institute’s 5th Annual Symposium on Climate Equity in Christchurch where he was awarded the 2012 Global Hillary Laureate

News & Events

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The General Election will be held on 23 September 2017. Voters who are overseas can vote from 6 September to 23 September.