November 6, 2018 – New Zealand is deploying New Zealand Defence Force assets to Papua New Guinea to assist with security at the APEC Leaders’ Week this month.
New Zealand is sending the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Otago with about 75 crew to assist with maritime security, a P-3 Orion detachment with 20 personnel to provide aerial surveillance, and up to 30 Special Operation Forces personnel to provide support to Papua New Guinea security forces on the ground in Port Moresby.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark say the hosting of APEC is a major undertaking for any country and particularly so for PNG.
“Ensuring the security of an APEC meeting is vital. The government welcomes working alongside Papua New Guinea to help run a successful event which is immensely significant to the region,” said Peters.
“New Zealand is also providing assistance for diplomatic training and other areas requested by PNG like ambulance operations. New Zealand has also been working alongside the Australian government in coordinating the capacity assistance,” he said.
The Defence Minister Ron Mark says the latest support comes at the request of the PNG government and continues a longstanding and close relationship between the respective armed forces.
“The NZDF has provided training and capacity building support to Papua New Guinea for many years, including planning and training support in the lead up to APEC 2018,” said Mark.
“The Defence assets will be deployed for the duration of APEC Leaders’ Week which runs from 12 to 18 November,” he said.
National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy photo