The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, will visit New Zealand from 21-23 April, in a first visit since Australia-New Zealand borders reopened both ways, to continue and deepen cooperation with New Zealand to meet the shared challenges facing our region.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs will participate in the biannual Australia-New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations and will hold discussions with other senior New Zealand ministers and representatives. She will meet with New Zealand Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern.
This will be the first ministerial travel under our quarantine-free safe travel zone between Australia and New Zealand, which commenced on 19 April. This will be Minister Payne’s first opportunity to meet Prime Minister Ardern since the COVID-19 pandemic and the first opportunity for an in-person meeting with the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Minister Consultations will include a strong focus on furthering trans-Tasman cooperation to promote our shared interests in an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Minister Payne and Minister Mahuta will also discuss steps to strengthen COVID-19 support for our Pacific neighbours, including in relation to our respective vaccine programs, and our response to the broader economic and health impacts of the pandemic.
This will also be an opportunity to meet other New Zealand women leaders in government, business and civil society.
This visit will mark Minister Seselja’s first opportunity since his appointment as Minister for International Development and the Pacific to meet in person with the Hon Aupito
William Sio, New Zealand’s Minister for Pacific Peoples. Vaccine access and rollout coordination across the Pacific will be a key focus of discussion for Minister Seselja and Minister Sio, as well as efforts to drive economic recovery in the region.
Minister Seselja will also meet with other key government and civil society representatives to discuss issues of regional security, progress cooperation with New Zealand in the Pacific and foster renewed growth in the region.