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PM Addresses Australian Parliament

Press Release – New Zealand Government

John Key today addressed the Australian Parliament, and underscored New Zealand’s commitment to its closest relationship. “New Zealand is committed to your country above all others,” he told members of the Australian House and Senate this afternoon.Rt Hon John Key

Prime Minister

20 June 2011

Media Statement

PM Addresses Australian Parliament

Prime Minister John Key today addressed the Australian Parliament, and underscored New Zealand’s commitment to its closest relationship.

“New Zealand is committed to your country above all others, and for all time,” he told members of the Australian House and Senate this afternoon.

“In recent times you have shown New Zealand a degree of loyalty and support that only family can.”

Mr Key thanked Australia on behalf of all New Zealanders for their moral support and practical assistance during the Christchurch earthquakes and the Pike River Mine tragedy.

“Your acts were living testament to the perpetual Anzac spirit. New Zealand will never hesitate to reciprocate this support.”

In the first address to the Australian Parliament by a New Zealand Prime Minister, Mr Key spoke of the two countries’ shared values, common history and areas of mutual concern.

“Today our two countries walk a very similar path, in pursuit of shared aspirations. We pursue security, prosperity and opportunity for our citizens. We share a confidence about our place in the world and the stakes our people should have in it.”

Mr Key emphasised New Zealand’s steadfastness in the country’s defence and security relationship with Australia.

“We place priority on discharging our alliance obligations to you above all other defence priorities – save for defending ourselves.

“We have no better friend and no closer ally than Australia.”

Mr Key also urged both countries to further strengthen their economic relations and particularly the way the two countries worked together in global trade.

“In 2013, we will look back on 30 years since the birth of Closer Economic Relations (CER) between Australia and New Zealand.

“The question now is, can we take our relationship to the next level?

“CER has already provided a platform for regional integration. We saw that with the 2009 signing of the ASEAN Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. That was a ground-breaking and ambitious regional trade agreement that opened up opportunities for our economies.

“We must now raise our sights to the Trans Pacific Partnership. Together, we can drive to make this agreement as high-quality and comprehensive as possible.”

Mr Key said he looked forward to working closely with Australia on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

“The Anzac centenary in 2015 will be a deeply significant occasion for New Zealand and Australia. We look forward to close co-operation in the lead up to these commemorations.”

Mr Key addressed the Australian Parliament at the invitation of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who spoke to New Zealand parliamentarians in February. Mr Key returns to New Zealand tomorrow.

ENDS

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