|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Justice Minister Judith Collins has welcomed the announcement made in Washington, DC that United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will visit New Zealand this week.
Secretary Napolitano heads the 200,000-strong Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for safeguarding domestic security from global terrorism and natural disasters, as well as dealing with immigration and trade security threats.
Ms Collins says New Zealand and the United States work closely across the wide range of activities covered by Secretary Napolitano’s department.
“We collaborate on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across borders, civil defence and emergency management, and combatting trans-national crime.
“Both countries see room to expand the level and quality of that cooperation, as mandated in the Wellington Declaration.”
This will be Secretary Napolitano’s first visit to New Zealand. She was scheduled to visit Christchurch to attend the NZ-US Partnership Forum in February 2011 but was unable to come following the fatal shooting of a United States immigration and customs enforcement agent.
“This visit by a senior member of the Obama Administration is another significant step forward in the warm relationship between New Zealand and the United States,” Ms Collins said.
Secretary Napolitano will arrive in Wellington on Tuesday 1 May and depart on Thursday 3 May for Australia. While in New Zealand, the Secretary will meet the Prime Minister and New Zealand counterpart ministers.