New US-NZ Defense Pact
In June 2012, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman signed a historic agreement to expand the defense relationship between the United States and New Zealand. The event took place at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Known as the “Washington Declaration,” the agreement reflects a shared commitment to a stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region and common approaches to today’s defense and security issues.
The declaration provides a framework for cooperation to strengthen and expand the bilateral defense relationship. One immediate result is the opening of new dialogues on strategic perspectives and defense policies.
The partnership includes bilateral cooperation in the exchange of information, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and peacekeeping support operations.
The “Washington Declaration” is arguably the most important development in strengthening and expanding US-NZ security relations in more than 30 years. It was signed a week after commemorative events took place in cities across New Zealand celebrating the 70th Anniversary of U.S. forces coming to the aid of New Zealand in World War II.