New Zealand is joining Britain in the fight against cyber-crime, by signing an agreement that will see the two nations share intelligence, research and development on internet offences.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully made the announcement following bi-lateral talks with Britain's visiting Foreign Secretary William Hague today.
"New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a long history of co-operation on defence and security policy based on our shared values, and cyber space is one of the greatest national, global and strategic challenges now of our time," said Hague.
The agreement means that New Zealand will be able to draw on research and development from a Global Cyber Security Centre being built in the UK.
And cooperation between our countries may go further, with both ministers promising to make strategic talks an annual event.
"We've also put in place a scheme which will allow our officials to be seconded across from each other's ministries which will give us a greater understanding and cooperation," said McCully.
Hagues visit, his second in as many years, confirms that Britain is serious about rekindling economic and diplomatic ties.
"For me one of the most striking recollections of last year was the presence of the Maoris, the Maori waka, at the Diamond Jubilee river pageant, for our shared monarch," Hague said at the meeting.
Earlier, McCully said the meeting was an excellent opportunity to address critical foreign policy issues with a close and valued partner.
He expected the situation in Iran and Syria, the Middle East Peace Process and developments in Afghanistan will feature in the discussions, as will regional issues such as Fiji and Burma.
The Foreign Secretary will later have a meeting with opposition leader David Shearer.
While in Auckland, Hague will also meet New Zealand business leaders and entrepreneurs, young Pacific leaders, academics and non-government organisations.
Tomorrow, Hague will visit Christchurch for a tour of the Red
Zone and to lay a wreath at HMNZS Pegasus naval base in honour of
New Zealand service men and women.