NEW ZEALAND PONDERS JOINT NAVY WITH AUSTRALIA

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (March 23, 1998 - Radio Australia)---New Zealand Defense Minister Max Bradford says the nation's Navy is now so small it might make sense to form a joint naval force with Australia.

The comment came on the eve of annual talks with his Australian counterpart, Ian McLachlan.

Mr. Bradford says that even if the navy got a third modern frigate it would be right at the edge of what you can define a navy to be.

Mr. McLachlan, who arrives tomorrow, will deliver a lunch time address in Wellington on Wednesday in which he is expected to speak on the theme of the spirit of the ANZACs.

The acronym, ANZAC, has been used to describe joint Australia-New Zealand defense operations since the formation of the Australia- New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War.

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