The Australian and New Zealand Defence Ministers held talks on the Australia-New Zealand bilateral defence relationship over the weekend.
Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith spoke with New Zealand National Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman by telephone to congratulate him on his appointment as Minister for National Defence and to discuss Trans-Tasman defence co-operation.
The Ministers also discussed the ANZAC Ready Response Force, regional security and Australian and New Zealand defence reform programs.
“Australia and New Zealand have a strong defence relationship built on the ANZAC tradition. This spirit of co-operation continues with combined operations currently in the Solomon Islands and East Timor, as well as our respective commitments to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Australia greatly values our capacity to work together,” said Mr Smith.
“While the defence relationship has always been good there are opportunities for closer co-operation with Australia through capability development and cost-efficient co-operation. Both of us look forward to exploring those opportunities” said Dr Coleman.
The Defence Ministers will meet in person early next year.
Sacha Fenton (Mr Smith's office): 0467 784 528