Today I will make my first visit to New Zealand as Leader of the Australian Labor Party.
I am determined to strengthen relations with our nearest neighbours across the many interests we share.
These relationships are crucial, not just in the interests of regional cooperation, but also economic development.
New Zealand is more than a close friend of Australia, it is family.
Our trade relationship with New Zealand is a special one, with two way trade in merchandise and services totalling almost $30 billion.
Australia’s relationship with New Zealand is a crucial part of our engagement with the Pacific.
As the Pacific faces the impacts of climate change it is more important than ever that Australia takes a leadership role in supporting our neighbours.
While in New Zealand I will meet with Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters and address the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum.
I will be accompanied by Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong.