New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia


Please see below for a Ministerial Statement by Prime Minister John Key to the New Zealand Parliament on 4 March 2011.


On this day two weeks ago, the great city of Christchurch was ripped apart by a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale.

So far it has been confirmed that 166 loved ones have lost their lives, and we are told that the final death toll could be more than 200.

To lose so many people at once, including many foreign nationals, is hard to fathom. It is a tragedy that one cannot put into words.


On 4 March Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and New Zealand Minister of Justice Simon Power announced reforms to ensure Trans-Tasman legal disputes can be resolved more effectively and at lower cost are close to completion.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) met in Wellington to discuss progress on a number of issues of mutual concern.


The Australian Federal Government has announced that assistance measures for those affected by flooding in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales will be extended to those affected by Cyclone Yasi.

The Australian Government has agreed to provide ex-gratia assistance to New Zealand non-protected Special Category Visa holders (subclass 444) residing in Australia who can provide evidence they have been working in Australia in the past three years and who have been affected by the recent flooding events in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria or Cyclone Yasi.


Condolence Books

The New Zealand High Commission in Canberra and Consulates General in Sydney and Melbourne have opened condolence books to the public. 


Prime Minister John Key today launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a global fundraiser for the recovery effort in the city and the Canterbury region.

“It’s vital we reach as many people throughout the world as possible who want to help. This isn’t just New Zealand’s tragedy – the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally.


On 25 February, 2011, a contingent of Australian Federal Police personnel left Canberra to support recovery efforts in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the devastating earthquake on 22 February.

The contingent were farewelled by Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Vangelis Vitalis. The Acting High Commissioner's speech follows:


A magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred near the city of Christchurch in Canterbury, New Zealand, on 22 February 2011.

Updates on the earthquake are available on the Canterbury Earthquake website.

More information can be found on the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management website.


A new Investment Protocol under the Closer Economic Relations (CER) trade agreement further strengthens the investment relationship between Australia and New Zealand, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key signed the Investment Protocol in Wellington today.


Prime Ministers John Key and Julia Gillard held bilateral talks in Wellington on 16 February 2011 during Prime Minister Gillard’s first official visit to New Zealand.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the opportunity to meet and committed to holding annual Prime Ministerial talks.


On 2 February, Prime Minister John Key announced that the 2011 General Election will take place on Saturday 26 November.

“I believe it is in the country’s best interests to know the date of the General Election early in election year,” said Mr Key.

“It creates certainty for New Zealanders and allows people to plan accordingly. This is particularly true this year when the Rugby World Cup, the third largest sporting event in the world, is being hosted by New Zealand.

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