New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s mission to strengthen trade, tourism and security ties with Australia will continue in NSW ahead of her meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese later this week.
Following two days of meetings and events in Melbourne, Ms Arden is scheduled to appear at several tourism and business events in Sydney on Wednesday.
She has billed her five-day trip to Australia as a way to reconnect New Zealand after largely being closed off to the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a singular focus on making sure we’re driving trade, investment opportunities and tourism opportunities for New Zealanders,” Ms Ardern said in Melbourne.
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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews met Ms Ardern on Tuesday, with the pair discussing a range of topics including COVID-19 management, healthcare system pressures and rail infrastructure.
“(There are) some significant projects underway here,” said Ms Ardern, who described Mr Andrews as a friend.
“We talked about what we’re working on back in New Zealand and perhaps the ability to exchange, or at least share, a little bit of the expertise that exists here in Melbourne.”
Ms Ardern is scheduled to hold talks with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday and Friday, respectively, before heading home.
Friday’s Australia-New Zealand leaders’ meeting will be the first since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and is expected to focus on economic links, regional security, Indigenous cooperation, migration settings, economic recovery and climate change.
It will mark the second time Ms Ardern has met with her Australian counterpart since Mr Albanese ousted Scott Morrison as prime minister at the May federal election.
Both leaders have recently been overseas to attend the NATO leaders’ summit in Spain after Australia and New Zealand were invited to attend, alongside Japan and Korea, as part of the Asia Pacific partners grouping.