WELLINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - New Zealand is negotiating a new type of partnership with NATO, which will likely cover areas of common interest including the international rules based order, climate change and cyber security, the country's foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Nanaia Mahuta said in an email to Reuters that NATO is shifting all of its partnership arrangements to a new model called an Individually Tailored Partnership Programme and that New Zealand was currently working out the details.
"Our ITPP will record long-standing areas of mutual interest between New Zealand and NATO, and possible opportunities for cooperation over the arrangement period," she said.
"While the exact areas of work are yet to be agreed, we expect it will cover areas of common interest such as support for the international rules based order, climate change, and cyber security," she said.
New Zealand has been a NATO partner since 2012 but is not a member. A NATO statement in February said New Zealand and NATO were strengthening relations to address shared security challenges.
Mahuta said neither New Zealand nor NATO considers the ITPPs to be a new bloc or formal regional grouping.
New Zealand has only one official ally - neighbouring Australia - although both are part of the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance that includes Britain, Canada and the United States.
New Zealand has a long-standing nuclear free policy and Mahuta said the ITPP would be in line with that policy.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins earlier this week confirmed he would be attending the NATO summit in Lithuania as well as visiting China at the end of June.
NATO will set up a liaison office in Tokyo in 2024 and use it as a hub for co-operation with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the Nikkei newspaper said on Tuesday, a plan China has previously described as unwelcome.
Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Lincoln Feast.
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