New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia
New Zealand and Indonesia
New Zealand regards Indonesia’s democratic transformation as one of the great achievements of the last decade and fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Indonesia. The New Zealand Government is committed to further strengthening the good relationship between Indonesia and New Zealand. Given the two countries’ common interests as democracies and neighbours in the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand and Indonesia are natural partners in the evolving regional architecture and well-positioned to work together to meet 21st century challenges.
New Zealand and Indonesia have had diplomatic relations and a development assistance programme since the 1950s. New Zealand also supported Indonesian aspirations for independence during the struggle against Dutch rule in the late 1940s. In 1947, New Zealand voted in favour of Indonesian membership in United Nations bodies and in 1948 and 1949 New Zealand strongly criticised Dutch “police actions” and actively supported Indonesian independence. New Zealand immediately recognised the Republic of Indonesia when sovereignty was transferred to the Indonesian government in December 1949. The New Zealand Minister of External Affairs visited Jakarta in January 1950, meeting President Sukarno and launching bilateral relations on a highly positive note. New Zealand first opened a development assistance office in Jakarta in 1957, supporting the Colombo Plan, and the first Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr A Yaya Helmi, presented his credentials in Wellington in 1958.
New Zealand upgraded its representation in Jakarta to an Embassy in 1968 with the appointment of Bill Challis as New Zealand’s first Ambassador to Indonesia. New Zealand had previously been represented by the Colombo Plan office (from 1957), a Consulate General, 1961-1963, and a Legation, 1963-1968.
Today, the main mechanism for New Zealand’s engagement with Indonesia exists in the annual Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) led by Foreign Ministers. The last JMC took place in Auckland on 9 September 2011.