Key taking relationship with Australia to next level

The salient message John Key will put before Australia’s Parliament as the first NZ PM to address it when he visits Australia from June 19-21 will be – as close trading partners will Australia and NZ take the relationship to the next step? Both countries are well positioned to exploit the enormous economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, so how much do we compete, or how much do we collaborate?

Key’s answer is we should put an Australasian face on it. Whether this will meet with the right response given the current fractious political mood in Canberra is unclear at this point, though Australian PM Julia Gillard has gone out her way to emphasise how important she regards the trans-Tasman partnership, to the extent of pushing her officials hard on questions of importance to NZ.

Moreover in inviting Key to Canberra out of the normal cycle of annual prime ministerial exchanges she has taken a very different approach to the trans-Tasman relationship than her predecessor did. A significant issue to be discussed will be the co-ordination of the Australian & NZ position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation with the US in particular, with both countries insisting it must be a high-quality, comprehensive agreement.


13 Jun, 2011
| News

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