Trade and security matters will be on the agenda when
Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart, Julia
Gillard, meet in Queenstown this weekend.
Mr Key will host Ms Gillard for the annual New Zealand,
Australia Prime Ministers' talks, beginning on Friday at the
Hilton Hotel at Kelvin Heights.
The two leaders will discuss New Zealand's engagement on
defence and security matters, including co-operation on
cybersecurity as well as co-operation in the Asia-Pacific
region and other parts of the world, particularly as
Australia looks towards assuming presidency of the G20 and a
seat on the UN Security Council. This year marks 30 years
since the conclusion of the closer economic relations (CER)
trade agreement, which Mr Key said had helped make the two
countries one of the most integrated economies in the world.
CER, a free-trade agreement between the two countries,
resulted in the elimination of tariff restrictions by 1990.
''With Prime Minister Gillard, I also look forward to
discussing the recommendations of our Joint Productivity
Commissions' report into strengthening economic relations
between Australia and New Zealand.''
The meeting provided an opportunity to build on the
countries' shared ties.
''It is always a pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Gillard
to New Zealand. I look forward to making progress on our
shared agendas and strengthening the friendship between our
Mr Key said he would be unable to attend the funeral of
broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes on Friday because of the meeting.