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PMs Key and Abbott meet in Auckland

PMs Key and Abbott meet in Auckland

Prime Minister John Key met with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Auckland today for their annual Leaders’ Talks.

“Prime Minister Abbott and I had an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues and to reflect on the areas where we might be able to do more,” says Mr Key.

“Australia remains New Zealand’s closest bilateral partner. We enjoy close ties in all areas of our relationship, including in the trade, economic, defence, people-to-people and sporting areas.

“This year is a significant one for both countries with the co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup, and the Centenary of the First World War and the formation of the ANZACs.

“Our cooperation and sense of shared purpose is even stronger today than it was one hundred years ago and is considerably more diverse.”

Mr Abbott and Mr Key acknowledged an arrangement between the two countries for the recovery of student loans to assist New Zealand to recoup unpaid student loans in Australia.

They also acknowledged the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will allow for Criminal History Information Sharing for Employment vetting purposes.

Mr Key welcomed Prime Minister Abbott’s agreement to progress an arrangement covering deportations. The Prime Ministers agreed that the relevant agencies from the two countries would develop a Memorandum of Understanding to share more information about Trans-Tasman deportations, so that appropriate due diligence and risk management procedures can be put in place.

“It is in both countries best interest to manage deportations in such a way that minimises the risk posed to both countries and ensures appropriate steps are taken to flag any high-risk individuals,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key and Mr Abbott also discussed the progress of the trans-Tasman Single Economic Market agenda and their joint engagement in regional and global trade initiatives.

“One hundred years on from the Gallipoli landings, my meeting with Prime Minister Abbott has once more underlined that the relationship between New Zealand and Australia is as strong as ever, and our commitment to ensuring that it continues to flourish.”

ENDS

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