The New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands says a New Zealand-led military exercise in the northern Cook Islands has enforced very important partnerships in the Pacific region.
The 60-strong Exercise Tropic Twilight team, made up of military engineers from China, New Zealand, Britain and the United States, has spent six weeks working on a range of infrastructure projects on Penrhyn and Manihiki.
The exercise aimed to develop the New Zealand Defence Force's capability to deploy alongside other militaries to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Pacific.
Nick Hurley says it saw the Chinese participate for the first time.
"It's very significant as a genuine partnership issue. Getting that interoperability, getting used to each other has been one of the key learnings from this and it's been really great having that opportunity."
The New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Nick Hurley.
The exercise, funded by the New Zealand government, cost almost US$670,000.