Secretary of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson, and Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, met with their New Zealand counterparts, Ms Helene Quilter and Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, this week for the annual Australia-New Zealand Chief Executives’ Meeting (ANZCEM).
In addition to the annual Ministerial dialogue, ANZCEM is the most senior forum in the Australia-New Zealand defence management framework. This meeting is an annual opportunity for our senior leaders to discuss shared strategic approaches to immediate and long term security challenges.
Mr Richardson said Australia remains committed to working with New Zealand to promote our common security objectives, particularly in the Pacific.
"The robust Australia-New Zealand defence strategic framework provides regular opportunities to share perspectives on regional security issues and advance practical cooperation initiatives at a range of levels.
"In addition to the Chief Executives' Meeting, New Zealand will host the second Australia-New Zealand 1.5 Track Security Dialogue later this year," Mr Richardson said.
General Hurley said the meeting provided an opportunity to discuss options for future practical defence cooperation.
“New Zealand is the country we are most likely to conduct operations within our region, exemplified by our combined operations inTimor-Leste, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea, and further afield through our respective efforts in Afghanistan,” General Hurley said.
Practical defence collaboration between Australia and New Zealand continues to deepen, including New Zealand Defence Force participation in Exercise Talisman Saber with embedded observers, and ADF participation in New Zealand's Exercise Southern Katipo later this year.
"We also have had 11 Royal Australian Navy personnel serving on HMNZS Endeavour and the Royal New Zealand Navy will support HMAS Melbourne's upcoming deployment to the Middle East.
"Our Armies continue to work closely on a variety of levels, including access to our respective exercise programs, long term personnel exchanges and training opportunities.
"The Australian and New Zealand Air Force relationship also continues to progress with ongoing joint training exercises, operational cooperation and strategic dialogue," General Hurley said.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999