Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting

Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend 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,” Judith Collins says.

“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 will involve Defence counterparts from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, France, Tonga, Chile and Australia. The United Kingdom, United States and Japan will take part as observers. 

During the meeting, New Zealand will lead 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 will be joined by Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short and Ministry of Defence officials. The delegation will return to New Zealand on 6 December.