Queenstown to host Key and Gillard

John Key.
John Key.
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.

Julia Gillard.
Julia Gillard.
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 respective countries.''

Mr Key said he would be unable to attend the funeral of broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes on Friday because of the meeting.