Chiefs launch Anzac rapid reaction force

New Zealand and Australia will form a joint Anzac rapid reaction force whose duties will include future disasters such as the Samoan tsunami, the two countries' defence ministers said yesterday. New joint contingency plans for regional emergencies will also be drawn up over the next six months.

And New Zealand Defence Ministry principal adviser Dr Jim Rolfe will in November become deputy director of the Asia Pacific Civil Military Centre of Excellence. The centre, near Canberra, supports the development of civilian and military capabilities to deal with foreign disasters and conflicts.