3 Mar 2004

New Zealand praises Australia's Pacific focus

4:07 pm on 3 March 2004

The New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, says she is satisfied with Australia's renewed focus on the Pacific.

She was speaking during a brief visit to Canberra for talks with Australian government and opposition politicians.

Miss Clark says New Zealand is delighted that Australia is taking an increased interest in the Pacific and is prioritising the relationship.

Her Australian counterpart, John Howard, says he welcomes the progress being made with the eminent persons group set up at the last Pacific Forum meeting in New Zealand.

And he says he hopes a brief meeting of all leaders in New Zealand can be arranged to deal with that particular issue.