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Pandemic has underscored the importance of trans-Tasman relations: Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has lauded her nation’s close ties with Australia as she and Prime Minister Scott Morrison held formal bilateral talks in Queenstown.

“The trans-Tasman relationship as we have said many times is New Zealand’s most important,” Ms Ardern said.

“We are family and the pandemic has underscored that in many ways. We have seen the scenes of people being reunited but there has also been the cooperation during COVID.

“We discussed everything from climate change to trade and security issues, to our commitment to see the rollout of the vaccine in the Pacific, and really checking in that between ourselves we felt like we have the breadth of coverage to ensure we were supporting our Pacific neighbours and their rollout.

“We talked about managing our borders and the work we can do collaboratively together as we write the rulebook for that next phase, and look when it is safe to do so to reconnect with the world.”

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