Minister Sajjan and Minister MacAulay meet with Minister Mark of New Zealand

News release

Canada and New Zealand enjoy a close defence and bilateral relationship, based on common values and a commitment to upholding the rules-based international order.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan and Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay today met with New Zealand’s Defence Minister Ron Mark in a series of bilateral meetings in Ottawa.

As a Pacific nation, Canada recognizes the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to global peace and security. During his meeting with Minister Mark, Minister Sajjan highlighted the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) sustained presence and collaboration with partners and allies in the region. The two ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East and the importance of the international rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific. The Ministers also recognized the impact climate change is having on international peace and security, and committed to a continued partnership between Canada and New Zealand on preventing and responding to these challenges, both at home and abroad.

In a separate meeting, Minister MacAulay and Minister Mark discussed the importance of supporting still-serving members and Veterans through the transition into life after service. As outlined in Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is making the changes necessary to ensure a smooth and effective transition into the CAF, and back out at the conclusion of military service, to support the well-being of CAF personnel and the effectiveness of the operational force.

The three ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening their bilateral and military cooperation and reaffirmed their dedication to working together to help ensure peace and security across the Asia-Pacific region. The ministers also pledged to share knowledge and best practices related to the transition process for still-serving members and Veterans, focusing on how this impacts overall well-being.


“Canada and New Zealand have been close partners and friends for many years. I appreciated being able to host Minister Mark in Ottawa for the first time. We remain committed to building a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region based upon the international rules-based order. We will continue to work together on our shared defence and security interests.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“It is always great when we can meet with our international partners and friends to share knowledge and best practices related to our Defence and Veteran communities. We know that transition can be challenging, but these relationships allow us to better support our military members and Veterans. We look forward to continuing to work together with New Zealand on many different initiatives in the years to come.”

The Honourable Lawrence A. MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • CAF in the Asia-Pacific Region:

    • The CAF participates in several military engagements to maintain a strong and persistent presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region and strengthen defence relationships with key regional partners.
    • HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Regina, and NRU Asterix deployed on Operation PROJECTION (Asia-Pacific) and Operation NEON in 2019. While deployed, the vessels contributed to the monitoring of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Sanctions against North Korea. In addition to UNSC sanctions implementation, RCN vessels routinely conduct engagements with various Asia-Pacific nations and regularly participate in major exercises with allies and partners in the region.
    • Other recent Royal Canadian Navy deployments to the region include HMC Ships Calgary and Vancouver and HMC Submarine Chicoutimi in 2018, HMC Ships Winnipeg and Ottawa in 2017, and HCMS Vancouver in 2016.
  • Canadian Armed Forces’ Transition Group:

    • The new Transition Group of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF TG) has a mandate to support all members with professional services as they transition from active duty to post-military life. We work in close collaboration with our numerous partners to support all CAF members and their family to prepare for and, at the appropriate time, complete a seamless and successful transition.
    • There has been significant progress on many of the Transition Group’s initiatives. Since its inception the Transition Group has addressed many different initiatives, including:
      • Implementing a Veteran’s Service Card;
      • Setting up guided support at Veterans Affairs Canada;
      • Delivering a joint base outreach tour to transitioning members across the country; and
      • Creating a seamless transition roadmap highlighting the many actions taken to improve the transition experience for serving members, Veterans, and their families.

Associated links


Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
Phone: 613-992-7468

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