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PM to meet ScoMo at Pacific Islands Forum, discuss climate change, China

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 14 August 2019, 5:42PM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at Funafuti Airport for the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvali. (Photo / NZME)

Jacinda Ardern's refusing to comment on our trans-Tasman neighbour's contribution to climate change.

The Prime Minister's arrived in Tuvalu with Aussie leader Scott Morrison, for the Pacific Islands Forum.

Morrison's been given an earful by Fiji's leader, who says Australia's continued coal-burning poses an existential threat to Pacific nations.

Ardern brushed aside a number of questions about her thoughts on the topic, instead offering this:

"We speak, I believe strongly, on the international stage about these issues but ultimately we all have to take responsibility ourselves. My reference was that Australia has to answer to the Pacific, that is a matter for them."

However, NZME reporter Jason Walls told Heather du Plessis-Allan she's made it clear the topic will come up during their bilateral talks.

"With New Zealand and Australia being leaders in the Pacific, the onus will be on New Zealand and Australia to see what they are doing and what they could be doing more. I'm sure she will be talking to [Australian Prime Minister Scott] Morrison about that."

Walls says deporting criminals to New Zealand is also likely to be discussed, while China is expected to be a hot topic at the Pacific Islands Forum.

He says there's at least one representative for the country there, as well as one from the United States.

Walls says it will be interesting to see how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart talk about China at the Forum.

"We know their influence in the Pacific is something that has been building up over the last couple of years, and certainly it's something that looks to be building up a little bit more as well."

Walls says before the Forum, Papua New Guinea appealed to China to help appease its debt levels - and other Pacific nations might follow suit.



ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM