Image of PM Morrison shaking hands with Prime Minister Ardern with Australian and New Zealand flags as a backdrop

Remarks, Leaders' Meeting - Auckland

Transcript
22 Feb 2019
Auckland, New Zealand
Prime Minister, Prime Minister of New Zealand
E&OE

THE RT HON JACINDA ARDERN MP, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: Prime Minister Morrison, can I begin by thanking you somewhat unofficially in the middle of our engagement. We’ve just had a fantastic informal lunch, a good chance for us to catch up on some of the issues of the day and a bit of a cricket chat and of course covering off all of the issues we that have shared and mutual interests, which we will do in the course of our next conversation as well.

But it is a great pleasure to welcome you here. I will repeat again what I said at lunch, the fact that you are at an incredibly busy time in your political schedule and have just obviously had a trip also within the Pacific. The fact that you have prioritised New Zealand is significant for us and that’s a shared sentiment. We prioritise our relationship with you, you are a friend unlike any other we have. A friend and an ally, and I want to recognise that and of course the great cooperation we have in many areas which I know will continue.

But welcome and thank you for also bringing your wife Jenny. A lovely time has been had by all.

THE HON SCOTT MORRISON MP, PRIME MINISTER: Well thank you very much Prime Minister, it’s a great thrill to be here. Kia ora. It’s wonderful to be back in New Zealand, a place of great fondness for Jenny and I. She didn’t need much convincing, I can tell you that, in joining me today and I’m sure she is enjoying that.

Can I also join with you, this is a very significant day for New Zealanders, the eighth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake all those years ago. Australians grieved and shed tears with their Kiwi cousins on that day, along with people I think all around the world. And so for us to be able to meet on that day is a sign of our friendship.

And when it comes to these meetings, it is always families first and we’re family here in the Pacific, particularly between Australia and New Zealand. So we appreciate the cooperation, particularly just in December I was in Taji visiting our troops there and quite a few of your troops too. They’re working so well together with our team there and they have been for some time. I really value that part of our partnership as well. We always turn up in these places together, always have, always will, and we thank them very much for their service.

PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: Thank you. We did have a discussion around some of the disasters which we have had.

PRIME MINISTER: Yes.

PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: And I acknowledge some of the really testing times you have had in that regard, whether drought or fire. But I acknowledge the contribution you made eight years ago alongside us in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes and of course you lost people too. So thank you for that acknowledgement and we will probably say a little bit more on that later on as well. Thank you, thanks everyone.