PM's trade visit to Australia delayed due to Covid outbreak

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Jun 2021, 5:15PM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / George Heard
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / George Heard

PM's trade visit to Australia delayed due to Covid outbreak

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Jun 2021, 5:15PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trade mission to Australia has been delayed until later in the year.

This was due to the Covid-19 situation in Australia, a spokeswoman from her office said.

Ardern was set to travel to Australia as part of a trade and tourism delegation in July.

The trip was meant to be the first major Government delegation to leave our shores since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In announcing the trip, Ardern said she wanted to "further strengthen business ties with our transtasman partners".

"The focus is both on tourism but also exports. I will be looking to travel across multiple states so it will be several days."

The PM's last official overseas visit was in February 2020, when she travelled to Australia and Fiji.

Australian PM Scott Morrison recently led a delegation here for top-level talks, meeting with New Zealand Government officials in Queenstown.

After the meeting, Ardern said the pair discussed climate change, trade and security, the rollout of vaccines to the Pacific, and managing the borders.

Morrison said it was a privilege to be able to visit New Zealand, referring to the "ancient indigenous histories" of both countries.

He said that was even more important as both countries looked to steer through "uncharted waters" following Covid-19.

He said the relationship between himself and Ardern made negotiating issues easier. "We have pursued a very uniquely Anzac path through Covid-19. We must continue to pursue a very Anzac path through the other issues we face."

He referred to regional security as one of those issues.

The two leaders had agreed to work together to ensure the Pacific islands got the vaccinations they needed.

Morrison said the economies of New Zealand and Australia were fused more closely together than they had been, at least in his lifetime, because of Covid-19 - partly because of the travel bubble. "While the rest of the world is closed off to us."

Ardern also told a business reception about the importance of New Zealand's "family ties" with Australia to counter China's increasing influence in the Pacific.

"In this increasingly complex geo-strategic environment, family is incredibly important, and Australia, you are family."