New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison met in Queenstown on Sunday, their first in-person talks since Covid-19 closed the borders in 2020.
In the first public statements of the two-day talks, Ardern said he looked forward to “the next stage of drafting the regulation” on how both countries would approach reopening to the world after Covid.
“The path that New Zealand and Australia paved at that time is unique and remains unique,” Ardern said. “That, however, means that there is no rule book for us, and one of the things I look forward to during the next day of talks is the next stage of writing the rule book.”
Ardern also took a moment to acknowledge that the two nations did not always agree. “As two sovereign nations, we will not always see all problems in the same way; we will often see and do things differently, and not just on the cricket field,” Ardern said, referring to an Australian armpit bowl. which remains a sore spot among New Zealand sports fans.
“But in this increasingly complex geostrategic environment, family is incredibly important, and Australia, you are family.”
Morrison emphasized the “shared prosperity” of the two countries. “That’s what the closest economic relationship has always been about,” he said. “This is a shared prosperity … realized through what we have been able to achieve both through Covid and now by opening up, and let’s see how much more can be achieved.”
The Australian prime minister urged not to be complacent, saying that both human biosecurity and animal biosecurity would be on the table for talks. “All we know is that it is not over yet.”
Other issues, including the rise of China and trade relations, loom in the background of the talks.
Over the past year, the tanned-Tasmania relationship has been strained by conflict over Australia’s “501” deportation policy and different approaches to China.
Earlier on Sunday, reporters asked Morrison if New Zealand’s “soft” approach to China and a fragmented relationship had prompted the talks. “Did not say. “We meet every year and work on the issues that are part of such a successful partnership … this is another opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the security interests of the region, the security interests of our bilateral partnership, and to move forward. in our economic cooperation. for our mutual prosperity, ”he said.
On Sunday afternoon, Morrison was greeted by a Welcome – a traditional Maori ceremony, which included a representative from New Zealand singing Waltzing Matilda in Maori. Formal talks between the two prime ministers will begin on Monday.
On Saturday, the New Zealand government confirmed that it would become a third in a trade dispute between Australia and China over barley tariffs.
In May 2020, China imposed punitive tariffs of 80% on barley imports from Australia after the Canberra government publicly backed the call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. In December, Australia brought its case against China to the WTO.
New Zealand Commerce Minister Damien O’Connor confirmed that New Zealand would join the dispute as a third party, a step it routinely takes when it has business or legal interests related to a dispute.
In a televised interview on Saturday Tomorrow, He said the rules-based international trading system was “the only way a small trading nation like New Zealand can guarantee a fair and equitable playing field.”
O’Connor said: “New Zealand was not asked to join as a third party, however we have been a third party in over 60 WTO cases since 1995 and it is not uncommon for us to join actions, disputes when we see challenges to the international trade rules. “
The move comes as Australia has been embroiled in a deepening trade war with China, a conflict New Zealand has been watching closely from the sidelines. Like Australia, it relies heavily on China for trade, and New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has recently called on exporters to diversify in order to survive a “storm” of anger from Beijing.
“We cannot ignore, obviously, what is happening in Australia with its relationship with China. And if they are close to one eye of the storm or in the eye of the storm, we have to legitimately ask ourselves: it may only be a matter of time before the storm approaches us, ”he told The Guardian in an interview on May.
“The signal I’m sending to exporters is to think about diversification in this context … and the buffer aspects of whether something significant happened with China. Could they withstand the impact? ” she asked.
porcelain accounts for nearly 30% of New Zealand’s exports, more than its next three largest trading partners combined.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism