I look forward to welcoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand, The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern MP, to Australia this Sunday.
Australia and New Zealand are not just mates, we are family.
Our relationship is built on a solid foundation of economic, security, community and historical ties.
Around 650,000 New Zealand citizens currently reside in Australia. Earlier this year, I was pleased to establish a new pathway to permanent residency for those citizens who continue to contribute to the success of our nation.
Our economic integration over the past 30 years is a remarkable success story. In 2016, our two-way trade reached $24.8 billion and two-way investment totalled $153 billion. Prime Minister Ardern and I will discuss how we can further our trade and economic opportunities and promote jobs and skills development in both countries.
Our discussions will also cover our security and defence partnership, which dates back over a century. Australian and New Zealander soldiers have fought, and died, together, as ANZACs, on far flung battlefields across the globe.
Our discussions will cover a wide range of topics including the forthcoming APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam, the East Asia Summit in the Philippines and how we can work most effectively together with our South Pacific neighbours.
I look forward to congratulating Prime Minister Ardern on her recent election and discussing how we can further strengthen the already close friendship between our nations.