Minister of Defence Departs for Papua New Guinea

Minister of Defence Ron Mark departs tonight for Papua New Guinea.  The purpose of the visit is to conclude a bilateral Status of Forces Agreement with his counterpart Minister of Defence Solan Mirisim.

While there Mr Mark will engage with a range of counterparts and contacts, as well as meet with New Zealanders living and working in Papua New Guinea.

“It’s a great chance to strengthen relationships with Papua New Guinea’s leadership ahead of APEC 2018, and to discuss New Zealand’s support to their efforts,” says Mr Mark.

“Our nations have a long history of cooperation and engagement and New Zealand is pleased to be able to continue this by supporting the successful hosting of APEC 2018.

“As outlined by the Minister for Foreign Affairs last week, New Zealand is committed to the Pacific and we see our relationship with Papua New Guinea as a vital piece of our work in the region.

“While I’m there I will reaffirm New Zealand’s condolences for those communities affected by the recent earthquake. 

“New Zealand is working with Papua New Guinea and today an RNZAF C130 Hercules Aircraft carrying emergency relief supplies departed for Port Moresby.

“NZDF remains willing and able to assist as required,” says Mr Mark.

Mr Mark will be visiting Papua New Guinea between 6 and 8 March.