Scott Morrison has touched down in New Zealand for talks with Jacinda Ardern, and the two leaders shared a traditional Maori greeting in Queenstown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has shared a traditional Maori Hongi greeting with New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern to begin their meeting in picturesque Queenstown.
Mr Morrison touched down in the famous ski town of Queenstown on Sunday afternoon to hold talks with Ms Ardern and the two kicked things off by pressing noses.
The traditional greeting has an important role in Maori mythology and signifies the sharing of life force.
It is said the god Tāne-nui-a-Rangi moulded the shape of the first woman, Hine-ahu-one, from earth and breathed life into her by pressing his nose against hers.
The moment between Ms Ardern and Mr Morrison is politically significant as it is believed to be the first meeting of world leaders without masks in a nation devoid of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Rising tensions with China and the severe economic impact of the pandemic in the Pacific are expected to be the focus of the meeting.
It is only Mr Morrison’s second time leaving Australia in more than a year, and eh will attend a business function in Queenstown on Sunday before holding a private diner with Ms Ardern and both leaders’ partners.
There will be more formal talks on Monday between the two.
More to come.