Today I met with my counterpart, New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, for our biannual Australia-New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations, by videoconference.
The trans-Tasman relationship has never been stronger, as the alignment of our efforts to tackle the challenges of the past year has shown.
During our virtual meeting, we discussed our nations’ close cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and our shared interests in an open and prosperous region. We work in unity in support of the sovereignty and resilience of Indo-Pacific states.
We value highly our work with New Zealand to promote the rules-based international order, strengthen global institutions, and build international and regional cooperation, including through ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum.
We reaffirmed our joint commitment to support COVID-19 vaccine access across the Pacific, and to support the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic consistent with Australia’s Step-Up and New Zealand’s Reset.
Australia and New Zealand are working to finalise arrangements for two-way, quarantine-free travel across the Tasman, to boost opportunities for trade and investment, and enable families and friends to travel again. This will build on one-way quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia.
I also look forward to working closely with Minister Mahuta on our shared commitment to enhanced women’s leadership and gender equality in the Pacific.