New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia


Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith held their annual meeting in Wellington on 10 February.

The Ministers acknowledged the importance of our close and enduring defence relationship, based on a common history, a shared strategic outlook, and sticking together in troubled times. This was especially evident in the offers of assistance following the multiple disasters that have recently affected our countries: Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the Queensland floods, the Pike River coal mine disaster, and the Canterbury earthquake.


Tropical cyclone Yasi (currently a category 3 cyclone) is projected to make landfall in Queensland the evening of Wednesday 2 February. At this stage the cyclone is tracking towards Cairns and is expected to be a category 4 cyclone when it makes landfall.


The New Zealand Government has decided to donate NZ$4 million to assist people affected by the devastating floods in Australia, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.

"Australians are our closest friends and neighbours and we have a history of reciprocal support during natural disasters. We want to help them as much as we can in their time of need,” says Mr McCully.


New Zealand’s next High Commissioner in Australia, resident in Canberra, will be Martyn Dunne, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced on 26 January.

Martyn Dunne has been Comptroller and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service since September 2004. Prior to joining Customs, Martyn spent 27 years in the New Zealand Defence Force, most recently as Commander Joint Forces in the rank of Major General, and his military service included appointments with the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS).


The Australian Federal Government has announced assistance measures for those affected by flooding in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

The Australian Government has agreed to provide ex-gratia assistance to New Zealand non-protected Special Category Visa holders (subclass 444) residing in Australia who can provide evidence they have been working in Australia in the past three years and who have been affected by the recent flooding events in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


Heavy rain has led to severe flooding in parts of Queensland and has caused flash flooding across the region. Further heavy rainfall has been predicted.


On 4 January Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced that New Zealand will send a Civil Defence emergency response team to Queensland to assist Australia in its response to the devastating floods.

The deployment comes after a phone conversation between the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers.

"Australia has always been ready to help when New Zealand is in need, as we saw most recently during the Pike River disaster," Minister McCully said.


An air alliance between Air New Zealand and the Virgin Blue group to operate integrated services on trans-Tasman routes has been given the green light by Transport Minister Steven Joyce.

New Zealand’s agreement, in addition to the recent authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), means Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue will be able to work together on the services and fares they offer on trans-Tasman services.


Civil Defence Minister John Carter has praised three international agreements that will bring New Zealand, Australian and United States civil defence agencies closer together.

The process began in May last year when the Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Department of Australia signed a formal administrative arrangement.

That agreement was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and FEMA.


Justice Minister Simon Power leaves today for a meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in Canberra.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) is comprised of the Attorneys-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, its states and territories, and New Zealand's Minister of Justice.

Mr Power will be making a presentation on his recent trip to Europe where he examined how inquisitorial court systems are used in cases involving child victims.

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