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Jonathan Coleman

23 November, 2012

Defence Minister holds talks with UK Minister for the Armed Forces

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman is holding talks today with the visiting United Kingdom Minister of State for the Armed Forces.

Dr Coleman and the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan are holding a bilateral meeting in Auckland.  Mr Robathan has been formally welcomed with a powhiri at the Devonport Navy Base.

"This is a useful opportunity to maintain the very good working relationship with the British Armed Forces," said Dr Coleman.

The British Armed Forces are a key partner for the NZ Defence Force, in terms of training, doctrine, interoperability, and capability development.  We are natural partners in a number of areas, and our forces work together very well.

"The visit is also a welcome signal of the importance the UK places on the bilateral defence relationship forged from a shared history."

"We are discussing areas of common security interest such as the international draw down in Afghanistan, as well as issues common with many Defence Forces - how to deal with tightening budgets," said Dr Coleman.

Dr Coleman says the meeting will also confirm a proposed BRITANZ conference in New Zealand next year.  This is a conference of defence chiefs from Britain, Australia, and NZ.