13 Mar 2020

Grant Robertson cancels trip to Australia

10:56 am on 13 March 2020

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has made a last-minute call to cancel his visit to Australia today to instead focus on New Zealand's economic response to Covid-19.

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Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Just yesterday, he announced the one-day trip would go ahead - with plans to sit down with his Australian counterpart Josh Frydenberg in Canberra.

But in a statement this morning, Robertson said the meeting would now take place over Skype.

"This is a rapidly changing situation, and, as I am sure people will understand, that means we have to be prepared to make changes like this from time to time."

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

It's understood the minister was able to bring forward meetings with officials to help finalise the business support package which is to be announced next week.

In his statement, Robertson said he would still hold a teleconference with Frydenberg as it was vital to keep in regular contact with Australia.

"On the call with Treasurer Frydenberg today, we will cover a range of important issues, including responses to the situation presented by the global spread of Covid-19.

"It is important that we share information and work closely together on our responses to this global event."

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