Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has undergone a stern baptisim of fire in his first week in his new job, but it doesn’t get any easier.
Next week, he has a vital meeting in Canberra with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, where he has to establish the same kind of rapport as was established between Albanese and Jacinda Ardern as well as inject new energy into the trade and defence ties with NZ’s closest partner and ally.
It’s true Ardern won some concessions from Australia on the sore point of what became known as the “501 deportees”. As applied by previous administrations, waves of people with criminal records have been sent to New Zealand. Details of the changes now being made have yet to be fully disclosed, although Albanese has said the policy itself will remain. Continue reading “Hipkins has a chance to show he is more effective in getting results than Ardern in his Canberra talks” →
Australia’s election, thrusting the ALP and its leader Anthony Albanese back into a governing role, offers the Ardern government a fresh opportunity to blow the cobwebs off the Anzac partnership.
During the last years of the Liberal era, the once-strong Trans-Tasman relationship appeared to cool. Australia’s deportation policy under the notorious 501 provision of its immigration law has become a sore point and the Liberal government under Scott Morrison planned to increase the flow of Kiwi deportees, much to Wellington’s chagrin.
Australia and NZ share similar goals in trade and defence, but these, too, need a fresh polish. The world during the Covid era has been changing rapidly, and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a deep tension in global relationships.
China – in signing a pact with the Solomon Islands that will enable it to establish a base in that territory – has shaken both NZ and Australia out of their Pacific complacency.
In the John Key era, the Trans-Tasman relationship had a warm glow to it, even when the ALP had command in Canberra. There was never any doubt that Australia and NZ marched in lockstep on issues of mutual interest. Continue reading “Aussie election result result opens the way for a revitalisation of the Anzac partnership” →