New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia


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.


Prime Minister John Key announced that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard would visit New Zealand on 15 and 16 February.

“I am pleased to be able to welcome Julia Gillard to New Zealand on her first visit as Prime Minister,” said Prime Minister Key.

“I believe her visit will strengthen the already strong partnership between New Zealand and Australia, and will continue a long-standing tradition of regular contact between the prime ministers of our two countries.


Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith held their annual meeting in Wellington on 10 February.

The Ministers acknowledged the importance of our close and enduring defence relationship, based on a common history, a shared strategic outlook, and sticking together in troubled times. This was especially evident in the offers of assistance following the multiple disasters that have recently affected our countries: Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the Queensland floods, the Pike River coal mine disaster, and the Canterbury earthquake.


Tropical cyclone Yasi (currently a category 3 cyclone) is projected to make landfall in Queensland the evening of Wednesday 2 February. At this stage the cyclone is tracking towards Cairns and is expected to be a category 4 cyclone when it makes landfall.


The New Zealand Government has decided to donate NZ$4 million to assist people affected by the devastating floods in Australia, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.

"Australians are our closest friends and neighbours and we have a history of reciprocal support during natural disasters. We want to help them as much as we can in their time of need,” says Mr McCully.


New Zealand’s next High Commissioner in Australia, resident in Canberra, will be Martyn Dunne, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced on 26 January.

Martyn Dunne has been Comptroller and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service since September 2004. Prior to joining Customs, Martyn spent 27 years in the New Zealand Defence Force, most recently as Commander Joint Forces in the rank of Major General, and his military service included appointments with the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS).


The Australian Federal Government has announced assistance measures for those affected by flooding in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

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.


Heavy rain has led to severe flooding in parts of Queensland and has caused flash flooding across the region. Further heavy rainfall has been predicted.


On 4 January Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced that New Zealand will send a Civil Defence emergency response team to Queensland to assist Australia in its response to the devastating floods.

The deployment comes after a phone conversation between the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers.

"Australia has always been ready to help when New Zealand is in need, as we saw most recently during the Pike River disaster," Minister McCully said.

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