NZ and Solomon Islands collaborate on new Maritime Security Strategy
The New Zealand Secretary of Defence, Andrew Bridgman, says work to support the development of the Solomon Islands' first Maritime Security Strategy is well underway, following his return from a workshop in Honiara last week.
The Maritime Security Strategy Workshop was facilitated by a team from the New Zealand Ministry of Defence and Maritime New Zealand, following an invite from the Solomon Islands Ministry for Police, National Security and Correctional Services.
Andrew Bridgman and the New Zealand High Commissioner, Jonathan Schwass, hosted the one-day workshop, where New Zealand officials shared their learnings when developing their own Maritime Security Strategy: Te Kaitiakitanga o Tangaroa.
"It was a privilege to be able to meet face to face and offer our support to the Solomon Islands Government, as it develops its own Maritime Security Strategy," said Andrew Bridgman.
"What became clear was how both New Zealand and the Solomon Islands face similar challenges in the maritime space. We are both Pacific countries with large territorial waters, facing a range of maritime security issues such as transnational crime and illegal fishing."
The workshop was attended by officials from across the Solomon Islands Government, including the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Karen Galokale. A representative from the New Zealand Defence Force was also part of the New Zealand delegation.
"It was great to be able to hear first-hand the work that the Solomon Islands is doing in the maritime space," said Andrew Bridgman.
"At the workshop, we all agreed it would be beneficial for both countries to continue to share learnings from the development of our respective maritime security strategies. These in person discussions are incredibly valuable".