Hon Judith Collins
KC

Minister of
Defence

Rt Hon Winston
Peters

Minister of Foreign
Affairs

The Government has approved two-year
extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to
the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins
and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced
today.

“These deployments are long-standing New
Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in
promoting peace and stability, and making active
contributions to the maintenance of the international
rules-based system,” Ms Collins says.

New
Zealand’s peacekeeping commitments have all been extended
until September 2026. These include the three-person
commitment to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the
28-person contingent to the Multinational Force and
Observers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and the eight-person
contribution to the United Nations Truce Supervision
Organisation in the Middle East.

“Security and
stability challenges in the Middle East and Africa can have
a far-reaching impact, including on the security and
prosperity of New Zealand. This is why New Zealand
contributes to peacekeeping deployments to maintain
stability and promote peace in the Middle East and in
Africa,” Mr Peters says.

New Zealand’s
long-standing commitments to Middle East maritime security
efforts, including the Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain,
will continue for a further two years until June
2026.

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“This reflects the importance New Zealand
places on freedom of navigation and the safety of sea
trading lanes. Events impacting the free flow of trade
through this region can rapidly have flow on effects for New
Zealand,” Ms Collins says.

New Zealand will
undertake a six-month rotation commanding the Combined
Maritime Force’s Combined Task Force 150 in early 2025.
This task force is responsible for coordinating
multinational activities to counter smuggling, piracy and
terrorism in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. This Command
Team will be supported by the deployment of an Anzac-class
frigate for a two-month period.

A mine countermeasure
task unit will also be deployed to United States Naval
Forces Central Command for six months some time between May
2025 and June 2026, to work alongside partners to promote
open sea lines of communication.

“These deployments
provide significant opportunities for the New Zealand
Defence Force to develop and test skills and capabilities
that are vital for protecting New Zealand’s interests,”
Ms Collins says.

Note: About the
missions

  • New Zealand has contributed to the
    United Nation Mission in South Sudan since 2011. This
    mission plays an important role in the protection of
    civilians in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises
    zones.
  • New Zealand has contributed to the
    Multinational Force and Observers mission, based in the
    Sinai Peninsula, to monitor the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty
    since its establishment in 1982.
  • The United Nations
    Truce Supervision Organisation was established in 1948, and
    is the UN’s longest standing mission. This mission has
    troops in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Syria including
    in the Golan Heights. The mission acts as a neutral arbiter
    in the highly-contested border regions between Israel and
    its Arab neighbours. New Zealand’s contribution to the
    United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation is our
    longest-running (since 1954), and our single largest
    contribution to United Nations peacekeeping.
  • New
    Zealand has contributed to Middle East maritime security
    efforts since the 1990s, and to the Combined Maritime Forces
    since 2013. The Combined Maritime Forces is a multinational
    maritime partnership, which exists to uphold the
    international rules-based system by countering illicit
    non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security,
    stability and prosperity across approximately 8.2 million
    square kilometres of international waters, including some of
    the world’s busiest shipping lanes. This deployment is
    distinct from New Zealand’s contribution to the US-led
    coalition undertaking strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and
    the Red
    Sea.

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