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New Zealand, Australian PMs discuss trade, climate change, COVID-19

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting on Monday, May 31, 2021 in Queenstown.

Scot Morrison and Jacinda Ardern
Scot Morrison and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Julian Smith/Pool via AP

The leaders are meant to discuss a range of issues from trade, climate change to COVID-19 response and cooperation.

It was their first in-person meeting since February 2020 when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic broke out, partly thanks to the two-way quarantine-free travel bubble across the Tasman Sea.

“The Australia-New Zealand relationship is unique in its closeness; we are partners and allies, and we share a relationship of family, of whānau (community).

“Through our single economic market, our people-to-people ties and our shared interests in the region and the world, Australia and New Zealand stand together,” both prime ministers said in a joint statement.

They agreed to continue cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, including research and development.

The prime ministers undertook to support efforts to ensure the free international movement of medical goods, including vaccines and vaccine components.

They said opportunities to collaborate on initiatives to extend travel options for Pacific neighbours when safe to do so, including through the trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel zone, so as to reconnect with the wider world.

Ardern and Morrison agreed to sustain close and valuable cooperation on climate change, including in the Pacific and on agricultural emissions.

They reiterated their support for the multilateral trading system and the importance of a well-functioning World Trade Organisation in promoting sustainable global economic growth and prosperity, including as part of the COVID-19 recovery. 

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