Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrived in New Zealand yesterday for a two-day visit that will coincide with the visit of Singapore navy vessel.

Mr Lee has not visited New Zealand since 2006 despite New Zealand and Singapore having close economic and defence relations.

The closer economic partnership between the two countries has grown into the proposed Trans Partnership Partnership deal among 11 countries.

Mr Lee is Singapore's third Prime Minister and is the son of its first, Lee Kuan Yew.


He was welcomed to Auckland last night at a reception hosted by the Asia Foundation.

Mr Lee will have talks at the Beehive today with Prime Minister John Key.

Tomorrow Mr Lee and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman will visit the Singapore Navy frigate RSS Stalwart in Wellington which is in New Zealand for Exercise Lion Zeal.

Singapore is part of the five power defence arrangement that was established 41 years ago with Britain, Australia, and Malaysia.

New Zealand signed a Defence Cooperation Arrangement with Singapore in May 2009.
Singapore signed a strategic defence and security partnership agreement with the United States in 2005.

In June this year New Zealand signed a closer defence agreement with the United States called the Washington Declaration.

Mr Lee will travel to Australia on Tuesday where he will watch Singapore troops taking part in Exercise Wallaby at Shoalwater Bay in Queensland.