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Australian PM set for two-day NZ visit

Photo: RNZ

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will arrive in Queenstown for a two-day visit, his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern has announced.

The visit, set to begin Sunday 30 May, was announced after a Cabinet meeting in New Zealand this afternoon.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Ardern says Morrison will be in the country for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders' Meeting, with the formal talks to be held on Monday.

Ardern and Morrison will also be going to the Highlanders vs Melbourne Rebels rugby game in Queenstown on the Sunday afternoon; would meet with Australian and New Zealand business, tourism, and community leaders; and would lay a wreath at the Arrowtown War Memorial.

Ardern says the last time she met with Morrison was the day the country's first Covid-19 case was announced.

"It will be a pleasure and a milestone to meet face-to-face again."

She says she is looking forward to welcoming Morrison after a "difficult year" for both countries through the pandemic.

"Our relationship with Australia is our closest and most important and this has never been more evident than in these trying times for the world.

"Discussions will centre on how Australia and New Zealand will meet the shared challenges we face.

"The key focus of the meeting will of course be our Covid-19 recovery, as well as how we continue working together on key regional and security issues," she says.

Face to face leaders' meetings in these Covid times are "highly unusual", says Ardern, and Morrison's visit "reflects a significant achievement for both our countries".

  •   •  RNZ

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