NZ PM Jacinda Ardern becomes first leader to visit Albanese in Australia

By Anna Macdonald

June 10, 2022

Anthony Albanese-Jacinda Ardern
Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern. (AAP Image/Pool, Mark Baker)

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is meeting with prime minister Anthony Albanese today, during the first visit to Australia by a head of government since the election.

Meetings between the two are happening today, with the prime minister tweeting a selfie between the two. 

 

In a statement announcing the visit, Ardern said the relationship between Australia and New Zealand is like ‘family’.

“This meeting also comes at an important moment in our reconnecting programme, as for New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses alike, Australia is a source of prosperity, labour, tourism, innovation, science and knowledge.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Albanese in person following our recent phone conversations, and I know it will be the first of many as New Zealand and Australia continue to cooperate closely in a world of increasing challenges,” Ardern said.

The New Zealand prime minister said she expects discussion to centre on climate change, AUKUS and the upcoming Pacific Island Forum. 

Albanese has also labelled the relationship between the nations as ‘close’ and ‘unique’.

“Prime minister Ardern’s visit will be an opportunity to build on Trans-Tasman cooperation, including economic recovery after COVID-19, the role of Indigenous peoples in the identity of both countries, climate change, support for the Pacific, and global trade and security,” the prime minister said. 

A potential point of friction between the two, however, is Australia’s deportation of criminals on visas to their home countries, which Ardern has criticised. 

“Our concern has been that we have seen some of the really extreme examples — those who have little or no connection to New Zealand, who have been deported to New Zealand. And then we see the consequences of that anti-social [behaviour] and that lack of connection back at home,” Ardern said in a press conference as reported by the ABC

Ardern is expected to fly back to New Zealand on Friday evening. 


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