23 May 2012
Prime Minister to welcome US Marines to NZ
Prime Minister John Key will next month welcome United States Marines to New Zealand to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of US World War II forces to this country.
Next month marks 70 years since the large-scale arrival of United States forces in New Zealand in June 1942, following the entry of the United States into the Second World War.
A series of events are planned to help mark the anniversary.
“On 14 June, I will host a contingent of US Marines to an evening reception at Parliament, which will follow a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial in the morning,” says Mr Key.
“Fifty US Marines and a 50-person Marine band will be spending three weeks in New Zealand participating in commemorative events.
“These commemorations are a reminder that New Zealand and the United States have a longstanding and strong history of mutual aid and support, built on shared values.”
Mr Key says the relationship between New Zealand and the United States has always been underpinned by co-operation on region-wide issues, and was articulated in the Wellington Declaration signed between the two countries in 2010.
He says New Zealand appreciates the commitment and courage of the US Marines who arrived 70 years ago.
“Together we will be remembering and honouring the sacrifices made during the Second World War,” says Mr Key.
In addition to ceremonial activities, 36 New Zealand Defence Force personnel will deploy to US Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, California, in early June to participate in a three-week field exercise with Marine engineers, conducting engineering tasks.
About the same time, 50
US Marine personnel will deploy to New Zealand to participate in a field
training exercise in Waiouru and the South Island.