23 Jun 2014

John Key hails strong US relationship

6:31 am on 23 June 2014

Prime Minister John Key says the relationship between the United States and New Zealand is in excellent shape, and he hopes President Barack Obama will visit New Zealand later this year.

Mr Key has returned from a four-day visit to the United States that included a meeting with President Obama.

John Key said he hoped President Obama would visit New Zealand later this year.

John Key said he hoped President Obama would visit New Zealand later this year. Photo: AFP

The prime minister said the trip was very successful, with a series of very positive meetings at the United Nations about New Zealand's bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

Mr Key said he had unfettered access in Washington to people at the highest levels of the Obama administration.

"That just reaffirms what we feel in New Zealand which is that the United States and New Zealand have a shared history that words probably can't define. We have a feeling and an understanding of each other, and we back each other up, and I think that's reflected in the relationship."

Meeting at the White House on Saturday morning, Barack Obama and John Key discussed trade, climate change, and regional and global security, including Iraq.

President Obama said his country's relationship with New Zealand is the strongest it has ever been, and that the countries share the same values, excellent commercial ties and increasing military relationships.

He said he would like to see the TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations completed by the end of the year, and hopes to have a document that can be made public by the time he meets Mr Key again at the G20 summit in November.

The president said his office is working on scheduling a trip to New Zealand, if not around the time of the G20 in November, then before the end of his presidency.