Papua New Guinea's (PNG) Defence Minister, Dr Fabian Pok, accompanied me from Australia to New Zealand.
While in transit to New Zealand, Minister Pok and I conducted a bilateral meeting.
This was our first meeting since Minister Pok's appointment late last year.
During the meeting, we discussed our common interests in improving maritime security in the region, including combating transnational crime and countering piracy.
Minister Pok and I also affirmed our commitment to the finalisation of a bilateral Defence Cooperation Arrangement between Australia and PNG.
This will provide a set of mutually agreed principles to guide future developments in our Defence relationship.
is the largest recipient of assistance under Australia's Defence Cooperation Program.
Tomorrow, Ministers Coleman, Pok and I will depart New Zealand for the Kingdom of Tonga for bilateral meetings and to attend the inaugural South Pacific Defence Ministers' Meeting on Thursday 2 May.