Tuesday, March 5, 2024

‘Aviation nerd’ Prime Ministers reunited in Sydney

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with Australian leader, Anthony Albanese in Sydney.

It was the first face-to-face meeting for the Prime Ministers since Mr Luxon was sworn in last month.

The pair discussed New Zealand’s interest in furthering opportunities for technology sharing under the AUKUS partnership, with Mr Albanese saying he was supportive of greater co-operation between the two countries’ defence organisations.

Prime Minister Luxon thanked the Australian PM for his recent decision to make it easier for New Zealanders to gain Australian citizenship, saying, “I think they’re probably your best migrants”.

Mr Albanese also yesterday revealed some personal history between the leadership pair, describing them as “aviation nerds” who had met when Mr Luxon was head of Air New Zealand and he was Australia’s Transport Minister.

“So, we have known each other for a very long period of time and that’s a good thing. It means our relationship is not starting, it’s continuing, and that was shown by the nature of the discussions that we had today.”

During the talks in Sydney, the two leaders recommitted to the Trans-Tasman Roadmap to 2035, which will be reviewed and modified annually.

“I have invited Prime Minister Luxon to attend and take up the opportunity very early on in his Prime Ministership to meet the ASEAN leaders when we host the Australia-ASEAN Summit in March of next year in Melbourne,” said Mr Albanese.

“We discussed the way that we can work together in the Pacific Islands Forum as well. Our common values that we have as nations mean that there are great opportunities for us to work together on closer economic ties, closer social ties, and working together in the international community too to meet our common objectives.

“Australia and New Zealand will continue to support Pacific priorities, working together to respond to our region’s shared challenges. And that includes, of course, very importantly action dealing with climate change. We’ll continue to deepen our trade and economic engagement in the context of our unique single economic market agenda,” he said.

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