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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has extended his deepest condolences to the family of the Special Operations Force soldier who died during a maritime counter-terrorism training exercise off the Coromandel Peninsula thi

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Good evening everyone.

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Ambassador Traslosheros, Parliamentary colleagues, the Dean and members of the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished guests, members of Mexico’s community in New Zealand, ladies and gentle

Defence
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Parliamentary colleagues, Secretary of Defence Helen Quilter, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating, representatives of industry, Defence personnel and officials, dis

Defence
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Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee and Defence Minister Mark Mitchell have announced that the Government has decided to bring home the group of New Zealand SAS troops in Tonga for a jungle training exercise as soon as po

Gerry Brownlee Mark Mitchell Defence Foreign Affairs
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The Government’s planned investment in Defence over the next 15 years represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand companies, says Defence Minister Mark Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell told Defence industry representatives last night that the country needs a Defence Force that is equipped and supported to respond to a rapidly changing strategic environment.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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A Republic of Singapore Air Force flying training exercise hosted by the Royal New Zealand Air Force will take place at the Ohakea Air Force base from 30 August to 25 September, says Defence Minister Mark Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell says the deployment will include six F-16D+ fighter jets, about 110 personnel and associated support equipment. The contingent will be based at Ohakea but will carry out training missions throughout New Zealand, including day and night flying, using New Zealand air weapons ranges, and conducting other training at both high and low altitude.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell will travel to Sydney tomorrow to meet Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne for the annual Australia New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

The Ministers will discuss progress across a range of shared interests, including efforts in support of the global coalition to defeat ISIS, Mr Mitchell says.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Family members of Leslie Andrew, KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy, chairman of the Rail Heritage Trust Murray King, Deputy Chief of Army Brigadier Chris Parsons, Willie Apiata VC

Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell was on hand to welcome the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha back to the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland today, after nearly six months deployed to Australia and Asia.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has held talks today with Japanese State Minister of Defence Kenji Wakamiya, who is conducting an official visit to New Zealand.

“Japan is an increasingly important defence partner for New Zealand,” Mr Mitchell says. “We have a defence relationship underpinned by our common democratic values, and the fact we are both maritime nations vulnerable to natural disasters.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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New Zealand’s commitment to the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) in South Korea will be extended for a further two years to 31 August 2019, Defence Minister Mark Mitchell announced today.

The New Zealand Defence Force currently has five officers deployed to UNCMAC.

“New Zealand has deployed military personnel to UNCMAC since 1998. The renewal of this commitment reinforces the importance we place on peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr Mitchell says.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Women’s Minister Paula Bennett and Defence Minister Mark Mitchell are congratulating the Royal New Zealand Air Force for an initiative aimed at attracting more young women into the Air Force.

The School to Skies programme highlights the range of technical and aviation careers available in the Air Force to years 12 and 13 girls with an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Mark Mitchell Paula Bennett Defence Women
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New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign.

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee and Defence Minister Mark Mitchell say the liberation of Mosul is an important milestone in Iraq’s battle against ISIS.

“Losing the symbolic heartland of its so-called Caliphate in Iraq will serve as a severe blow to ISIS fighters and its supporters around the globe,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mark Mitchell Gerry Brownlee Foreign Affairs Defence
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New Zealanders are being invited to submit a badge design for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s newest and largest-ever ship, HMNZS Aotearoa.

“This is a unique opportunity for all New Zealanders to play a part in how their ship will be presented to the world, ” Minister of Defence Mark Mitchell says.

“It’s a chance for Kiwis to create an enduring piece of Navy history.”

The competition to design a badge for HMNZS Aotearoa, which is scheduled to be added to the RNZN fleet in January 2020, begins today.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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The Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha is to extend its current deployment in Asian waters to support the United States Seventh Fleet.

This is in response to the recent collision between a Philippines’ container ship and the destroyer USS Fitzgerald, Defence Minister Mark Mitchell says. Seven US sailors were killed and the Fitzgerald sustained significant damage in the 17 June collision.

Announcing the deployment, Mr Mitchell extended the Government’s condolences on the tragedy.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has visited New Zealand Defence Force personnel training the Iraqi Security Forces at Camp Taji near Baghdad.

Mr Mitchell, on his first visit to Taji as Minister, was accompanied by fellow MPs Todd Muller and Labour List MP David Parker.

“I am incredibly proud of the work our servicemen and women are doing, and the contribution they are making towards the defeat of ISIS," Mr Mitchell says. 

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has congratulated New Zealand Defence Force engineers who arrived home from the Sinai today on “a job well done”.

The detachment carried out key infrastructure projects for the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping contingent in the Sinai.

“This team has done a great job in challenging conditions to complete these two vital projects for the MFO,” Mr Mitchell says.

The engineers built a new entry control point and helped construct a 3.3-kilometer perimeter fence for the MFO’s South Camp.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has held discussions today with General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, who is currently visiting New Zealand.

General Pavel is NATO’s senior military officer and the principal military advisor to NATO’s Secretary-General.

“New Zealand is one of NATO’s strategic partners and General Pavel’s visit reflects the importance of this partnership,” says Mr Mitchell.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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A new building to house the Aviation Medicine Unit at RNZAF Base Auckland was opened by Defence Minister Mark Mitchell this afternoon.

The $6.5 million building is the first of a large number of capital projects to be delivered under the Defence Estate Regeneration Plan, the biggest ever capital investment in the regeneration of Defence Force camps and bases.

It will house all the facilities required to provide a modern, safe and efficient aviation medicine service for the Air Force.

Mark Mitchell Defence
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My thanks to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Dr John Chipman, and the Singapore Ministry of Defence for what has been a very rewarding event.

This forum is one of the world's pre-eminent institutions for defence diplomacy. 

It provides a chance for friends and neighbours from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to talk openly about the challenges and opportunities we face in our region. 

Defence