Morrison to visit New Zealand this month

AAP logo AAP 17/05/2021 06:20:04 Ben McKay
Jacinda Ardern, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture: Scott Morrison will fly to New Zealand on May 30 for bilateral talks with Jacinda Ardern. © AP PHOTOScott Morrison will fly to New Zealand on May 30 for bilateral talks with Jacinda Ardern.

Scott Morrison will make use of the trans-Tasman bubble next week, flying to Queenstown for bilateral talks with Jacinda Ardern.

The Australian and New Zealand prime ministers have locked in the South Island tourist hub for their annual leaders meeting.

Mr Morrison, accompanied by wife Jenny, will land in NZ on Saturday May 30 for a 24-hour visit, beginning with a Super Rugby match between the Otago Highlanders and Melbourne Rebels.

Ms Ardern said it would be "both a milestone and a pleasure".

"I'm looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Morrison back to New Zealand following a difficult year for both our countries through the pandemic," Ms Ardern said.

"Our relationship with Australia is our closest and most important and this has never been more evident than in these trying times for the world."

Mr Morrison said it was fitting his first trip of 2021 was across the Tasman.

"Australia and New Zealand are family and we share deep historical bonds of friendship, trust and the Anzac spirit," he said.

"Both Australia and New Zealand have been world leaders in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this visit is a great illustration of the Trans-Tasman Safe Travel Zone in action."

The last Australia-NZ leaders' meeting took place in Sydney in February last year.

Then, Ms Ardern lashed Mr Morrison for Australia's stance on deporting criminals across the Tasman, saying "do not deport your people and your problems".

The Kiwi prime minister hasn't left NZ since - but has flagged a trade trip to Australia in July.

The visit will be Mr Morrison's second overseas trip since COVID-19 after he visited Japan in November last year to meet new prime minister Yoshihide Suga.

Mr Morrison spent 14 days in isolation after that trip - even appearing in parliament via videolink - but won't be required to do so after visiting NZ.

An agenda for the Queenstown talks is yet to be confirmed, but a statement said it would involve "business, tourism, and community leaders" and the two leaders would lay a wreath at the Arrowtown War Memorial.

Ms Ardern said the fact the meeting could take place in person was a significant achievement in itself.

"The key focus of the meeting will of course be our COVID-19 recovery as well as how we continue working together on key regional and security issues," she said.

"This visit will also be a good opportunity to celebrate the resumption of two-way quarantine free travel and to welcome our trans-Tasman cousins back to Aotearoa."

lundi 17 mai 2021 09:20:04 Categories: AAP

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