PM congratulates Gillard on election result

6:35 am on 8 September 2010

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says Australian residents will be pleased a government is now settled and he is sending his congratulations to prime minister Julia Gillard.

Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott announced on Tuesday they will back Labor, giving the party 76 votes in the 150-seat lower house.

Mr Key says he will also pass his commiserations on to the Coalition leader, Tony Abbot.

He says his Government has a good working relationship with the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Key says New Zealand is proof that minority Governments can work and be effective, and that will be the challenge ahead for Ms Gillard.

He says the two countries will continue to work closely together and sees no reason why New Zealand's relationship with Australia would not continue to go from strength to strength.