Ministerial talks in Canberra to progress trans-Tasman relationship

  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta

The importance of cooperation in the Pacific to support the region’s recovery and resilience will be a focus of formal talks in Canberra tomorrow between the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong.

Nanaia Mahuta will meet Senator Wong for the second formal Foreign Ministers’ Consultations following talks in Wellington in June. She will also meet the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney.

“The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia is unlike any other,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“The single trans-Tasman economic market is one of the most effective and far-reaching free trade agreements anywhere in the world. It enables an extremely high level of economic integration to support business, exports, investment, and people to people links.

“We are closely aligned in our responses to regional and global challenges, and we share aspirations in common with fellow members of the Pacific Islands Forum closer to home.

“While we communicate frequently outside more formal international summits and meetings, I look forward to these in-person discussions with Penny Wong to focus on priorities we share in the field of foreign policy.

“I anticipate discussion on cooperation in the Pacific, including support for Pacific nations for mitigation and adaption to the impacts of climate change, and on the geostrategic situation in the wider Indo-Pacific.

“Looking outside our region, I expect we will also exchange views on Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the very concerning human rights violations in Iran.”

“Our talks will also provide an opportunity to look ahead to key priorities for the trans-Tasman relationship. Next year is a year of significant anniversaries for us. In 2023 we mark the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations, the 50th anniversary of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement and the 80th anniversary of diplomatic missions in Canberra and Wellington.

“New Zealand wants to ensure there are ambitious plans for the year which build toward a set of new and progressive elements for the relationship.

“I am also looking forward to meeting the Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney and paying my respects to the Ngunnawal people during the Welcome to Country ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

“Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia have a strong foundation for cooperation on indigenous policy issues. I look forward to discussing how we can continue to build on this, to share experiences and offer mutual support to ensure indigenous perspectives are represented throughout policy development,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta departs for Canberra on 1 December. The Foreign Ministers Consultations take place in the morning of Friday 2 December and the Minister departs Canberra on Friday afternoon.

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