Our relationship with Nauru

The Republic of Nauru is the world's smallest republic by both population and geography. It is a 21 square kilometre island, with a population of just over 10,000. It's part of Micronesia, just 40 kilometres south of the Equator, and 300 kilometres west of its nearest neighbour, Kiribati.

New Zealand and Nauru have a friendly relationship based on common interests in issues affecting the Pacific region, such as fisheries, regional trade and development.

Nauru's economy relies heavily on its phosphate resources, and in recent history Nauru has seen times of both great prosperity and severe financial distress. During the 1970s, Nauru was one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. With the depletion of easily mined phosphate in the 1990s, Nauru got into serious debt. This led the Government of Nauru to ask the Pacific Islands Forum for assistance. The result was the Pacific Regional Assistance to Nauru (PRAN) initiative, which provided budgetary support to Nauru. New Zealand contributed to this initiative.


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$11.5 million


Exports to Nauru

$1.1 million 

Top exports: non-retail medications, beer, insulated wire, cable and other electric conductors

Imports from Nauru

$10.4 million

Top imports: natural calcium phosphates, motor vehicle parts and accessories, diesel engines


The New Zealand Aid Programme has a modest partnership with Nauru.

Find out more about our aid programme in Nauru 

Workers from Nauru can come to New Zealand to work in our horticulture and wine industries under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme.

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



Recent official visits

New Zealand to Nauru
  • 2014: High Commissioner Shane Jones visited Nauru present credentials as New Zealand High Commissioner to Nauru
  • 2006: Minister of Conservation Chris Carter met with government representatives
  • 2003: Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright represented New Zealand at the state funeral of President Dowiyogo
Nauru to New Zealand
  • 2011: President Marcus Stephen visited for the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum
  • 2003: President Rene Harris visited for the Pacific Islands Forum
  • 1995: President Bernard Dowiyogo visited for the Pacific Islands Forum

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