HC Deb 30 April 1991 vol 190 c161
Mr. Amos

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will meet the New Zealand Minister of Defence to discuss closer co-operation between the two countries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Tom King

I was in contact with the New Zealand Minister of Defence, Mr. Cooper, about his country's excellent contribution to allied efforts in the Gulf, but we have no early plans to meet. I had a meeting last week with Mr. McKinnon, the New Zealand deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Amos

In view of the extremely close historical and cultural links between the two countries, and given the change of Government in New Zealand last October, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the United Kingdom plays an active part in maintaining the essential defence link with that country, which has only 3 million people?

Mr. King

I recognise the close relationship that we have had with New Zealand and continue to have in many aspects of defence. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces is with the New Zealand Defence Minister at this moment at the five power defence arrangements conference in Malaysia. We shall certainly seek to develop our defence arrangements.