25 Aug 2018

New Aus PM knows NZ political psyche

7:00 pm on 25 August 2018

The Foreign Affairs Minister expects the trans-Tasman relationship will continue on a strong footing with Australia's new prime minister, Scott Morrison.

NZ First Leader Winston Peters

NZ First Leader Winston Peters Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

Mr Morrison took the top job yesterday, narrowly beating Peter Dutton, in a contest triggered by Malcolm Turnbull losing a leadership vote.

The former treasurer was sworn in as Australia's 30th Prime Minister yesterday evening after a tumultuous few days.

On this side of the Tasman, Winston Peters said there are positive aspects to Mr Morrison's rise to power.

"We're dealing with someone who's familiar with the New Zealand political psyche, the composition of New Zealand, how [we] think and work so I would imagine that basically is a very good start," he said.

Mr Morrison has previously lived and worked in New Zealand, and was involved in the high profile 100 percent Pure New Zealand tourism campaign.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Mr Morrison yesterday afternoon.

She said Mr Morrison's close ties with New Zealand will be helpful as they build their relationship.

"Australia is New Zealand's most important partner," said Ms Ardern.

"We enjoy close ties in all areas of our relationship, including on trade, economic, defence and security matters and we cooperate closely in our region and on the international stage."

"I am looking forward to working with Mr Morrison to advance that."

But Ms Ardern also acknowledged the work Malcolm Turnbull had done while he was in office.

"He was instrumental in putting in place the Pathway to Citizenship, which has allowed many New Zealanders to regularise their status in Australia."

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