UK International Security Strategy Minister visits NZDefence Arts, Culture and Heritage
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman are holding talks this week with visiting UK Minister for International Security Strategy, Dr Andrew Murrison.
“As the UK’s Special Representative for the Centenary Commemoration of the First World War, Dr Murrison’s visit to New Zealand is a good opportunity to discuss the commemoration programme,” says Mr Finlayson.
“It is important that New Zealanders are able to take part in these commemorations to reflect on the events and impacts of the First World War.”
“This visit is also a useful opportunity to discuss a number of defence issues and areas of mutual interest, from the current situation in Afghanistan and Syria, to security in the Asia Pacific region,” says Dr Coleman.
“The UK is an important defence and security partner. Our relationship is built on shared history, mutual values and interests. We regularly work together on exercises, training programmes, exchanges and deployments.
“We currently have five NZDF personnel deployed to the UK-led Afghan National Army Officer Training Academy in Afghanistan. 11 NZDF personnel are embedded in UK units on exchange, and we have 11 UK personnel here in New Zealand. Earlier this year, 25 NZDF personnel completed a four month exchange to the UK.
“We also work with the UK on procurement, and we achieved economies of scale with our purchase of 200 new trucks. The NZDF takes delivery of its first Medium Heavy Operational Vehicles early next month.”
Dr Murrison is visiting Auckland and Wellington from 3-4 October 2013. Dr Murrison will lay a wreath at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and will visit the National Library and the National War Memorial in Wellington. At the National Library Dr Murrison will see how First World War collections are being made digitally accessible as a resource to enhance community engagement in the centenary.