Department of Defence - Australian Government

03/09/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 21:24

Australia and New Zealand maintain strong ties for security and defence

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today met with New Zealand counterpart, Minister of Defence the Hon Ron Mark, in Wellington for the annual Australia-New Zealand Defence Ministers' Meeting (ANZDMM).

During the course of the ANZDMM, Ministers issued a Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations, which reaffirms the enduring strength of the bilateral defence alliance, and sets out principles guiding our practical security cooperation.

Minister Payne said today's discussions reaffirmed our shared commitment to support each other's security, closely coordinate our efforts in the South Pacific, and maintain a focus on the stability and prosperity of the broader Indo-Pacific.

'This Joint Statement makes clear both Australia and New Zealand are deeply proud of the work our defence forces have achieved together, from our shared responses to disasters in the Pacific through to our efforts together in Iraq,' Minister Payne said.

'This Statement underscores our joint intent to strengthen our already close cooperation across the full spectrum of our defence activities, from training and operations through to capability design, policy formulation, and our engagement with industry.'

Ministers also discussed their respective approaches to regional and global security issues, and how our respective defence forces can best be used to advance shared interests.

Ministers noted both nations are facing an increasingly challenging international security environment.

'We agreed on the need to deepen our cooperation with Pacific Island countries in support of maritime security across the South Pacific, in particular given the continued implementation of Australia's region-wide Pacific Maritime Security Program,' Minister Payne said.

Ministers also discussed security assistance to Papua New Guinea in support of its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit 2018, respective operational activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as ways to strengthen military cooperation in support of a rules-based global order.