Prime Minister Scott Morrison is preparing to hold face to face talks with the New Zealand Prime Minister later this morning.
The leaders have met in Queenstown in what will be a very quick trip for Mr Morrison, who’s only in New Zealand for less than 24 hours.
Actual talks are only expected to go for around three hours, with the leaders tipped to discuss Covid-19 and relationships with China.
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Jacinda Ardern says she hopes to discuss the next steps for the Covid vaccine rollout in the Pacific, as well as the future of Australia and New Zealand’s “unique” approach to the pandemic.
“The path that New Zealand and Australia carved (during COVID-19) was unique, and it continues to be unique,” Ms Ardern said ahead of the meeting.
“That however means there is no rulebook for us. We’re both looking forward to the next day of talks, that next stage of writing the rulebook.”
Scott Morrison hinted that the two countries will unite in the ongoing trade disputes with China.
Both Australia and New Zealand are heavily dependent on China for trade, but New Zealand is now expected to support Australia in the World Trade Organisation dispute with the super power after it imposed tariffs on our barley exports.
“These talks will be an important opportunity for us to continue our efforts to support an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific,” the Prime Minister said.
The pair will sit down for official talks later this morning.