3 Nov 2010

PM can't see return to Anzus-style alliance

9:16 am on 3 November 2010

The Prime Minister does not believe there will be a return to an Anzus-style alliance, even though a major review of defence policy describes New Zealand as an active and stalwart partner of the United States.

The Defence White Paper issued on Tuesday says there has been a steady increase in military contact and co-operation between the New Zealand and the US in recent years.

John Key says that the US relationship is vital, and that its strength is reflected in the visit by American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which begins on Thursday.

The Prime Minister says, however, that this country will continue to run an independent foreign policy, and that he does not believe it will re-enter an Anzus-style partnership.

The Labour Party says New Zealand will continue to enjoy a close relationship with the US but must also pay close attention to relationships with emerging powers such as China, Brazil and India.

Defence Minister interviewed

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says it's essential to reprioritise Defence Force spending to pay for new helicopters and ships and to upgrade Hercules aircraft.

The White Paper recommends bases be consolidated and says the Government should be prepared to deploy more troops on overseas operations, for longer.