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The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.
While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.
“New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on many issues. There are clear areas of alignment between our respective governments, and commonality across security, defence, and multilateral interests”, Mr Mark said.
The Minister will also take the opportunity to visit the Victoria Shipyard, where the HMNZS Te Mana and HMNZS Te Kaha are currently undergoing an upgrade. Following this, meetings in Ottawa will allow for discussions on Defence capabilities, and to discuss more broadly the Canadian Armed Forces and our shared global deployment footprints.
Beyond Defence matters, the Minister will also meet with his Canadian Veterans counterpart, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Honourable Lawrence MacAulay.
“Given the work being done here in New Zealand by the Veteran’s Advisory Board, this is a timely opportunity to meet with Mr MacAulay. I look forward to hearing about the work he is leading on, which includes improving transparency and communications to veterans and their families,” Mr Mark said.
Following Canada, the Minister will be travelling to the United States, with stops in New York (United Nations), Washington and Honolulu (Indo-Pacific Command). This will include a meeting in Washington with United States Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper.
“I look forward to meeting with my US counterpart and discussing, amongst other things, our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as defence capability,” said the Minister.