Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has touched down in Sydney, Australia for talks with newly-elected Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese in what is the new leader’s first visit from a foreign head of state since coming to power last month.
The leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues, from the economic impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine, to climate change and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The changing geopolitical atmosphere in the Pacific is also likely to be discussed.
Both nations have watched on as China expands its ties in the region, with PM Ardern describing China’s recent announcement of a security pact with Solomon Islands as “gravely concerning”.
Australia’s deportation policy is also expected to be broached in the trans-Tasman talks. The current policy has seen thousands of New Zealanders with criminal records sent home from Australian shores.
The New Zealand government argues that many who have been returned have in fact spent most or the majority of their lives in Australia and have few, if any, remaining links to Aotearoa.
A recent investigation by local media found that deportees from Australia had committed more than 8,000 offences in New Zealand since 2015.
Prime Minister Ardern has described the policy as “corrosive” to relations between the two countries, telling former Australian PM, Scott Morrison, “Do not deport your people and your problems” at a press conference two years ago.
Mr Albanese has not indicated any proposed changes to Australia’s deportation policy.
Ms Ardern appeared on live television this morning (pictured), joining Channel Nine’s Today show and is expected to meet with Mr Albanese later today.