PM Hipkins flying to meet Australian PM Albanese next week
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed he will travel to Canberra next Tuesday to meet with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.
In a statement this afternoon, Hipkins' office confirmed the meeting and said it would be his first with an international leader since he became prime minister last week.
The two leaders spoke shortly after Hipkins was confirmed as the sole nominee to replace Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader, after her shock resignation.
Hipkins will be flying across the Tasman on a Defence Force flight on Tuesday morning, following Waitangi commemorations and festivities on the Monday.
"Prime Minister Albanese was the first international leader I spoke with after becoming prime minister, and I look forward to continuing our discussion in person on how we can further work together to secure our economies against the global economic challenges," Hipkins said in the statement.
"I look forward to discussing our many shared security priorities within the bilateral relationship, and for our engagement in the Pacific and wider Indo-Pacific regions."
He had described their first conversation as "warm" and predicted they would have a good working relationship.
This year also marks 40 years since the start of an economic agreement between New Zealand and Australia, and 80 years since high commissions were established between the two countries.
The first of a new yearly delegation of top New Zealand ministers is expected to visit Australia this year as part of efforts to strengthen diplomatic relations.
In a trip to meet with Albanese in July last year, Ardern secured agreement from Albanese to have the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia - including the path to citizenship - reviewed by Anzac Day.