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Aus Welcomes Release of New Zealand Defence Paper

MEDIA RELEASE

THE HON. JOHN MOORE, MP
Minister for Defence
Monday, 19 June 2000 MIN138/00

Minister Welcomes Release of New Zealand Defence Paper

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today welcomed the release by Prime Minister Helen Clark of the New Zealand Government's Defence Policy framework paper.

"I welcome the Clark government's reaffirmation that no strategic partnership in our region is closer than that between Australia and New Zealand. There is a special relationship between our two countries and it will continue," said Mr Moore.

Mr Moore said he had been briefed on the Paper by Prime Minister Clark and Defence Minister, Mark Burton, when he was in New Zealand last week for the annual Australia and New Zealand Consultative Committee Meeting and Ministerial talks.

"There were good, productive meetings with the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, and Foreign Minister, Phil Goff. These meetings facilitated a full exchange of views on our respective defence policy reviews."

"Recent experience and the complex security outlook for the region have highlighted the need for both countries to maintain effective armed forces which can work together to advanced our shared interests," Mr Moore said.

"I welcome New Zealand's commitment to ensure that the New Zealand Defence Force is as interoperable as possible with the Australian Defence Force, to protect territorial sovereignty and in support of a secure and peaceful region.

"To that end I also welcome advice that New Zealand will continue to meet its obligations as a member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements," Mr Moore said.

"The Clark government's commitment to invest in forces which are trained, equipped and maintained at appropriate combat viability and readiness is particularly welcomed."

Phone: 61 (02) 62777800 Fax: 62734118 Media Inquiries: 0419 982482 Email: J.Moore.MP@aph.gov.au Website: www.defence.gov.au

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