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Goff to Host Canada - NZ Defence Talks

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

08 September 2006

Goff to Host Canada - NZ Defence Talks

Defence Minister Phil Goff will meet his Canadian counterpart, Hon Gordon O'Connor in Auckland today for talks.

"This visit is the first direct contact between ministers from New Zealand and Canada's new government. It will provide an opportunity to strengthen defence ties with Canada and reinforce to the new government in Ottawa the importance New Zealand places on its defence relationship with Canada", said Mr Goff.

"Canada and New Zealand hold broadly similar views on defence and international security issues. There is also a commonality between the two countries in our shared military heritage, current high level of security operations and our programmes for significant capability upgrades.

"The recent expansion of training and exercising opportunities, shared operational experience, policy dialogue and defence industry interaction testifies to a developing relationship of mutual benefit between our two countries.

"The talks will provide an opportunity for an exchange of views in a wide range of areas such as our mutual experiences in Afghanistan, developments in NATO, ongoing bilateral defence relations and regional security issues.

"I will also take the opportunity to brief Minister O'Connor on the government's $4.6 billion, 10-year Defence Sustainability Initiative funding package, which will significantly rebuild the resources and capabilities of New Zealand's defence forces and personnel.

"Recent years have seen our defence relationship with Canada gain momentum and grow in significance. These talks will help maintain that momentum", said Mr Goff.

ENDS

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