New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

PM John Key Congratulates Julia Gillard

Prime Minister John Key yesterday congratulated incumbent Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for winning the right to govern after the hard-fought Australian federal election.

"Since the election two weeks ago, negotiations between parties have been intense. Here in New Zealand, we fully appreciate the effort that goes into these negotiations prior to forming a government, and I congratulate Ms Gillard for retaining the role of Prime Minister," says Mr Key.

"I am delighted at the prospect of continuing to work with Ms Gillard, and with her government. The relationship between New Zealand and Australia is a unique one and I will work constructively with Ms Gillard to ensure it continues to grow from strength to strength.

"Regardless of the make-up of Australia's government, the trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand's most important, and it is a priority for this Government.

"There are a number of issues I am sure both governments are keen to discuss and advance, including the Single Economic Market, trans-Tasman travel, and our initiatives in the Pacific.

"I have had several conversations with Ms Gillard during her time as Prime Minister, and I am looking forward to meeting her in the near future."

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