Australia-New Zealand Defence relationship continues to deliver
15 July 2015
A century after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps fought side-by-side on the battlefield at Gallipoli, the Defence relationship between the two nations remains as important as ever.
Australia's Defence leaders hosted their New Zealand counterparts in Canberra this week for the Australia-New Zealand Chief Executives’ Meeting.
Australian Defence Secretary Mr Dennis Richardson and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin meet annually with New Zealand Secretary of Defence, Helene Quilter and Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Lieutenant General Tim Keating.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin said the bilateral relationship with New Zealand is one of Australia's most enduring and important Defence partnerships.
"The Anzac Centenary highlights the strength of our relationship, stretching from World War I to our recent operations in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and today in the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission in Iraq.
“Our efforts to support the people of Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Pam in March show the close cooperation between our Defence Forces extends to humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the region and, we are pleased to welcome the New Zealand Defence Force's full participation in Exercise Talisman Sabre for the first time,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
Around 620 NZDF personnel, two ships, four aircraft and nearly 50 military vehicles are currently engaged in Talisman Sabre.
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said Australia was New Zealand’s most important defence relationship and he welcomed the annual talks.
“Our two defence forces work very closely together on a range of missions and operations all around the world, including the current Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq. I talk regularly with my counterpart, Air Chief Marshal Binskin, and the relationship between our two defence forces is in excellent shape at all levels.”
Mr Richardson said the two nations had struck a good balance between practical and strategic engagement.
“Both Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to release Defence White Papers this year, providing us with new opportunities to expand our interoperability and to further align our strategic and policy approaches to shared global and regional security issues,” said Secretary Richardson.
“Today’s talks take place as both countries carry-out major Defence reforms, modernise our capabilities, and weigh how to respond to complex strategic challenges,” he said.
The New Zealand Secretary of Defence, Helene Quilter, welcomed the discussions with her counterpart, Dennis Richardson.
“It is good that we can engage at the top level with our Australian counterparts on our respective White Papers, and the many other issues of mutual interest in the defence arena.”
Images are available from the Defence Imagery Gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151971
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