Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday held their first bilateral meeting in Canberra.
It was Chris Hipkins’ first overseas visit since he took office, reflecting the close relationship between New Zealand and Australia.
“New Zealand has no closer partner than Australia. I was pleased to meet Prime Minister Albanese in person today and am looking forward to working collaboratively with him across a range of issues and opportunities,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Through our single economic market, our people-to-people links and our shared interests in our region and the world, New Zealand and Australia are strongest when working side by side.
“We discussed the global economic challenges facing both countries and affecting New Zealanders and Australians alike, including rising inflation, the cost of living and the wide ranging impact of the war in Ukraine,” Chris Hipkins said.
The pair also discussed Australia and New Zealand’s common goals on the international stage, including support for the international rules-based order and its institutions, and maintaining a safe and secure region.
Cooperation and engagement in the Pacific region was also on the agenda, in particular the importance of working together to support Pacific partners facing a complex and growing array of challenges, including climate change.
The Prime Minister also noted that he and Prime Minister Albanese had discussed the situation of the 700,000 New Zealand citizens living in Australia, and Australia’s 501 deportations policy.
“I thanked Prime Minister Albanese for keeping these matters high on his agenda and my hope is we can continue to work closely together in the spirt of friendship and good faith to address them,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We look forward to hosting the Australia-New Zealand Leaders Meeting and Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum in July this year, providing further opportunity for trans-Tasman business and government leaders to connect.”
Image credit: Daniel Morton-Jones