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Annual Australia-New Zealand Defence Talks

Annual Australia-New Zealand Defence Talks

I depart for New Zealand today, for strategic talks with the New Zealand Minister for Defence, Phil Goff.

The annual Australia New Zealand Defence Ministers’ meeting is being held tomorrow in Queenstown. Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief-Marshal Angus Houston and Secretary of the Department Mr Ric Smith will also attend the meeting which will be an opportunity to discuss security developments in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

Australia and New Zealand continue to operate together in the Solomon Islands under RAMSI. Last month’s rapid response to the civil unrest highlighted the interoperability between Australia and New Zealand’s Defence Forces.

Both countries have deployed defence personnel to assist in the stabilisation and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

In addition to operations, Australia and New Zealand have a strong program of bilateral and multilateral defence exercises.

New Zealand recently participated in the Australian-hosted Proliferation Security Initiative Exercise Pacific Protector 06. Combined exercises such as those conducted under the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and the multilateral exercise Croix Du Sud in New Caledonia also enhance our ability to work together with our neighbours.

Australia-New Zealand defence cooperation also covers capability development, logistics, communications and personnel issues.

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