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Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse were in Ottawa, Canada this week to attend the annual Five Country Ministerial.

The Five Country Ministerial brings together Interior Ministers, Immigration Ministers and Attorneys General from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand to discuss a range of common national security issues and identify areas for collaboration. This year topics included counter-terrorism, cyber-security and border security.

“New Zealand takes our partnership with our Five Country colleagues extremely seriously,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“At a time when global terror threats are heightened, these meetings are an opportunity to share intelligence and ideas with our Five Country colleagues, particularly in relation to border security issues and the general movement of people.”

While in Ottawa, Mr Finlayson also attended the Attorneys General Quintet, now in its eighth year. The Quintet brings together the Attorneys General of the same five countries to share approaches to a range of complex and trans-border legal issues.

This year’s meeting included a session led by New Zealand to discuss current legal frameworks for intelligence and evidence in legal proceedings.

“Our countries are dealing with a number of common issues, many of them with cross-border aspects,” Mr Finlayson says.

“These meetings provide a valuable opportunity to work with jurisdictions similar to our own on difficult challenges posed to security, law enforcement and the courts.”

The Five County Ministerial Joint Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting is available here: www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/fv-cntry-mnstrl-2017/index-en.aspx.

The Quintet of Attorneys General Joint Communiqué will be available shortly.

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