New Zealand and Vanuatu have agreed on an expanded programme of security cooperation focused on leadership and technical training, logistics and planning support and increased humanitarian response capability.

A meeting to seal this agreement was held this week between the New Zealand High Commisisoner, Jonathan Schwass and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat.

New Zealand will provide 540 million vatu in policing support, including the deployment of three New Zealand Police officers to advise on community and preventative policing, road policing, prosecutions, and investigations.

It will also include the secondment of a New Zealand Defence Force Warrant Officer to the VMF’s Engineer Platoon, and joint training exercises and maritime patrols.

High Commissioner Schwass says New Zealand and Vanuatu have worked together in the law enforcement and justice sectors for a long time, and they are now looking to extend that cooperation by providing additional support to the Vanuatu Police Force and significantly stepping-up the defence assistance.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, has welcomed the strengthened security cooperation with New Zealand.

He says the policing support aligns very well with the government's decentralisation policy of bringing government services closer to the communities.