Visit celebrates close bonds between New Zealand and Australia

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has concluded his visit to Brisbane today, after participating in an Australian citizenship ceremony marking a new direct pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders living in Australia.

“I was pleased to welcome the announcement over the weekend of a new direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Successive New Zealand Prime Ministers have advocated for this change for two decades. It’s pleasing that the close relationship between leaders of two like-minded governments was instrumental in reaching this outcome.

“This will ensure the rights of New Zealanders who choose to live and work in Australia long-term. It brings our two nations closer together.

“I acknowledge Prime Minister Albanese has been instrumental in prioritising these improvements.

“In addition to the announcement of rights of New Zealanders in Australia, my visit to Australia this weekend underlines the strength and breadth of bonds between Australia and New Zealand, which enhance resilience and opportunities for both countries.

“Prime Minister Albanese and I visited a cemetery in Brisbane to attend the unveiling of plaques for the previously unmarked graves of soldiers who served during the two World Wars. It was an incredibly moving experience.

“We also had a useful discussion about some of the regional security and economic interests which New Zealand and Australia share. Our conversation reaffirmed New Zealand and Australia are the closest of partners and our commitment to working together to advance collective well-being and security, and that of the wider region.”

“Together with the Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister of Agriculture Murray Watt, Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and I hosted a business reception which marked the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations and supported trade links between firms in both countries.

“CER and the integration of our economies through the Single Economic Market agenda remain crucial to the success of both countries.

“I also had a good discussion with Australia’s Minister for Emergency Management and Queensland counterparts about how Australia and New Zealand support each other to respond to natural disasters, and how we can learn from each other to build our resilience in future. Building those links will be increasingly important.”