WELLINGTON, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Minister of New Zealand Defence Ron Mark launched the
Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment on Tuesday.
The minister announced for the first time the Pacific Leader Development Programme, which features work with Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu to create bespoke, country-specific leadership capacity building programmes, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and delivered by the New Zealand Defence Force.
The assessment outlines how defence will partner with New Zealand's Pacific island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The plan aligns with the Coalition government's Pacific reset.
"This is our commitment to partnering with the Pacific and recognises our powerful links to the region," said Mark.
"Defence is operationalizing Advancing Pacific Partnerships through work on the security implications of climate change, and proactively engaging with regional forums to support Pacific priorities.
"Alongside this, the Coalition government's Defence Capability Plan 2019 features a range of investments critical to enhancing our ability to respond in the Pacific, including enhanced sealift, airlift, and maritime domain awareness," said the minister.