New Zealand High Commission Ottawa, Canada
Prime Minister Key: Press statement from Canadian visit
NZ to support Canadian-led non-proliferation efforts
New Zealand is to contribute $685,000 to a Canadian-led project under the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The announcement was made in a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during Prime Minister John Key’s visit to Canada – the first visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister in 11 years.
The money will fund radiation detection equipment for a major Russian nuclear facility to help prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.
“New Zealand has a longstanding and valuable relationship with Canada and the two countries work together on a wide range of issues,” says Mr Key.
“International efforts to prevent the illicit smuggling of nuclear material are critically important.
“Projects like the one announced today are a practical way for New Zealand to partner with our close friends and assist in reducing the risk of nuclear materials ending up in the wrong hands.”
Since 2004, New Zealand has committed almost NZ$6 million to projects through the G8 Global Partnership.
It was also announced that New Zealand will be working more closely with Canada on science in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
New Zealand scientists will participate in a ground-breaking project to measure sea ice thickness and the effects of climate change in polar regions.
“This collaboration builds on the work New Zealand and Canada undertook during the International Polar Year," says Mr Key.
The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of a Prime Minister’s Fellowship for Canada. Each year, an influential Canadian will be brought to New Zealand to meet with experts and officials in their field. Potential fellows could be politicians, business leaders or academics.
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