3 Nov 2010

NZ defence minister lists regional challenges

2:34 pm on 3 November 2010

New Zealand's Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, says the fragility of the Pacific over the next 25 years could result in the region becoming havens for international crime.

The New Zealand Defence Force has released a White Paper which discusses New Zealand's responsibilities in the South Pacific.

Dr Mapp says the Defence Force looked at the patterns over the last 25 years and concluded the region has significant challenges ahead of it.

He says an unstable region could pose a criminal and reputational risk to New Zealand.

"If you have failing states, invariably they become a haven for transnational crime, drug shipments and things of that nature, that obviously is a risk to New Zealand."

Wayne Mapp says the White Paper shows the New Zealand Defence Force will need greater engagement in the Pacific.