Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits New Zealand

Morrison in Auckland
Scott Morrison is due to touch down in Auckland later this morning. Photo: AFP

22 February 2019

Chris Bramwell – Deputy Political Editor, Radio NZ

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison touches down in Auckland later this morning for meetings with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Mr Morrison will be formally welcomed at Government House in Auckland after midday and the two leaders will hold formal talks in the afternoon.

Jacinda Ardern said there would be a wide range of topics on the agenda including those that were raised every time they meet.

“Issues around citizenship, deportation, of course we always have a standing item around regional issues, regional security and we are both stepping up our roles in the Pacific so there is a conversation to be had there.”

Mr Morrison recently announced that the Christmas Island detention centre will reopen.

The Christmas Island facility closed last October when about 239 men were shifted off the island.

At its peak in 2010, almost 2,500 people were held there as Australia faced unprecedented numbers of asylum-seeker boat arrivals.

Ms Ardern said the reopening of the centre would be discussed.

“This is one of the agenda items more broadly that we have had in our exchanges across ministers, and myself across a number of months and will continue to be an agenda item.”

Ms Ardern said the coalition government had always had a consistent position on detention centres.

She said the issues around Huawei wanting to be part of the 5G rollout in New Zealand is not something she is explicitly setting out to discuss, but did not rule out it being on the agenda.

In August last year Australia blocked Huawei from building the country’s 5G network, and in New Zealand Spark is still deciding whether or not it will submit a revised proposal to the GCSB in hope of partnering with Chinese company Huawei to deliver 5G to New Zealanders.

Mr Morrison will also meet business people and National Party leader Simon Bridges before he departs this evening.

[Read the Radio NZ article].

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