Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pacific recovery focus of trans-Tasman talks

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

Ms 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 Ms 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.”

The Minister said she looked forward to having in-person discussions with Senator Wong to focus on priorities New Zealand and Australia 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,” she said.

Minister Mahuta departed for Canberra today. The Foreign Ministers Consultations take place tomorrow morning, with the Minister then departing Canberra tomorrow afternoon.

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