Joint Statement by Prime Ministers the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and the Hon Scott Morrison MP Auckland

Joint Media Statement Feb 2019

22 February 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

1. Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP met in Auckland on 22 February 2019 for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting. Prime Minister Ardern and Mr Clarke Gayford warmly welcomed Prime Minister Morrison and Mrs Jenny Morrison to New Zealand.

2. The trans-Tasman relationship is unique and precious. It is underpinned by two centuries of shared history, values, open borders, free trade, and joint endeavour. It is a relationship of family, of whānau.

Trans-Tasman Cooperation

3. The Prime Ministers welcomed the role that Closer Economic Relations (CER) and the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda play in growing both economies, driving prosperity and creating jobs. The trans-Tasman trade and economic relationship sets the benchmark for economic integration. The Leaders committed to making sure the SEM agenda continues to meet the day-to-day needs of trans-Tasman business and remains ambitious and responsive to new opportunities and challenges such as the future of work, the growth of the digital economy, data and emerging technologies.

4. The Prime Ministers welcomed the Australia and New Zealand Productivity Commissions’ joint report on “Growing the trans-Tasman digital economy and maximising opportunities for SMEs”. They directed officials to consider the Report’s findings and proposed actions, including on improved digital delivery of government services; digital financial services and open banking; possible areas for the expansion of trans-Tasman data sharing; and the alignment, standardisation and streamlining of the collection and use of data, including from importers and exporters.

5. The Leaders welcomed the Report’s focus on addressing domestic barriers to digital trade. They committed to strengthening trans-Tasman cooperation on e-procurement (including electronic invoicing), payment practices, digital identity for citizens and businesses, and company director identification. Leaders took particular note of the Report’s finding that the mutual recognition of verified digital identities is a foundation for growing the digital economy, and directed officials to seek opportunities to align our processes to drive growth in the digital economy by increasing citizen and business confidence in the digital marketplace. They agreed to promote global digital trade rules.

10. The Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to a more streamlined and secure trans-Tasman travel experience, noting that both countries have now removed departure cards, and remained focused on more efficient passenger clearance processes through the better use of more timely data, and of digital and x-ray technology, including digital options for arrival cards and passports. Leaders also welcomed joint efforts to improve trans-Tasman movement of goods, through joint trialing of a secure trade lane for low risk cargo, and improving processes for border clearance of online purchases sent by mail.

15. Prime Minister Ardern welcomed Australia’s 2018 budget initiative to reunite people with their lost retirement savings and Prime Minister Morrison’s support for this initiative to be extended to New Zealanders who have worked in Australia.

16. Leaders welcomed New Zealand’s application to become an international member of the Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers (MCM) as a way to strengthen collaboration on arts, culture and heritage. New Zealand and Australia will collaborate on the repatriation of ancestral remains, and a joint 18 month project on cultural indicators.

20. Leaders recognised the trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement as a key pillar of the Australia-New Zealand relationship, and committed to working closely on ongoing implementation of the unique pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who are long-term residents of Australia. They acknowledged the importance of the sensitive management of visa cancellation decisions, appeals and removals of New Zealand citizens who have been convicted of crimes in Australia, and committed to continue working together.

Regional and Global Trade, Security and Environment

21. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their steadfast support for an open, rules-based global trading system and agreed that Australian and New Zealand citizens benefit from a global trading system that creates jobs, delivers opportunities, and lowers costs for consumers.

[Read the full joint media statement].

Comments are closed.