The Solomon Islands – New Zealand relationship started with the Missionary linkages through Bishop Selwyn and the Anglican Melanesian Mission in1800. New Zealand military personnel also served in the Solomon Islands during World War II, and since 2003 to 2017, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force and civilian personnel have participated in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Diplomatic relations with New Zealand were forged on 7 July 1978 (at the time Solomon Islands gained independence) – the relationship has since progressively flourished and matured transcending all areas, including political dialogues, development assistance and people-to-people relations. Over the years many Solomon Islanders including Prime Ministers and senior public servants have attended secondary and tertiary institutions in New Zealand.
In terms of development assistance, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands are guided by the Joint Commitment for Development (JCfD). In 2016, the revised JCfD was signed the Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Hon. Milner Tozaka and his counter-part, Hon. Murray McCully in Wellington. The agreement focuses on areas such as:
- Transport infrastructure
- Revenue administration,
- Policing, Law and Justice.
Another key aspect in the Solomon Islands – New Zealand partnership is Solomon Island’s participation in the Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) scheme. In 2016 there were 614 Solomon Islands RSE workers in New Zealand.
The High Commission of Solomon Islands seeks to build on this relationship to broaden and strengthen the links between Solomon Islands and New Zealand in the years to come.