Defence Minister, Judith Collins, will return from New Caledonia today after attending the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM).
“This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Minister Collins said.
“New Zealand is a strong supporter of the Pacific region and I look forward to working together as we tackle shared challenges.”
Hosted by France, the meeting involved Defence counterparts from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, France, Tonga, Chile and Australia. The United Kingdom, United States and Japan took part as observers.
During the meeting, New Zealand led discussions on the implications of natural disasters for regional security and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) response as well as advancing Women, Peace and Security initiatives.
The Minister was joined by Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short and Ministry of Defence officials.