Australia-New Zealand Defence Ministers Meeting

Media Release – 17 September 2015

This afternoon I will depart for New Zealand to meet with my counterpart, the Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Defence. Tomorrow, in Auckland, we will participate in the annual Australia-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

This will be my fourth meeting with Minister Brownlee, reflecting a strong commitment to maintaining close defence ties with New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand share a long history of collaboration. A century after Australian and New Zealand troops fought side-by-side at Gallipoli, the Defence relationship between our two nation’s remains strong.

The Anzac centenary highlights the strength of our relationship, stretching from the First World War to recent operations as Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, and in the Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq.

The bilateral relationship with New Zealand is one of Australia’s most enduring and important defence partnerships. We are committed to deepening our strategic dialogue, practical cooperation and enhancing our interoperability with New Zealand.

The seamless integration of Australian Defence Force’s and the New Zealand Defence Force’s joint efforts to help the people of Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Pam in March, shows the close cooperation and between our Defence Forces extends to humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

Australia welcomes new opportunities for the ADF and NZDF to strengthen interoperability and the New Zealand Defence Force’s full participation in Exercise Talisman Sabre for the first time in July this year was very welcome.

Our discussions tomorrow will take place as both countries carry-out major Defence reforms, modernise our capabilities, and weigh how to respond to complex strategic challenges.

With both Australia and New Zealand due to release Defence White Papers in coming months, our discussions will be a timely opportunity to confirm the alignment of our strategic and policy approaches to shared global and regional security issues.