'Families don't always agree' - Julie Bishop says last year's war of words with NZ Labour a thing of the past




Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says her ire with the New Zealand Labour Party has subsided, having previously accused them of interfering in her deputy prime minister's citizenship saga.

The Australian Foreign Minister said the conversation flowed effortlessly with the NZ Prime Minister last night at Winton Peters' house.
Source: 1 NEWS

But her irritation with Labour's Australian equivalent continues.

Ms Bishop met new Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the first time on Friday night, dining together at the home of Foreign Minister Winston Peters in Auckland.

She had previously suggested she would find it difficult to trust the Kiwi Labour Party after alleging in August that it colluded with the Australian Labor Party to question Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's citizenship.

Mr Joyce was later ruled ineligible to sit in parliament by the Australian High Court, and only returned to his New England seat via a by-election.

On Saturday, Ms Bishop told reporters she was assuaged by Ms Ardern's vocal criticism of Labour MP Chris Hipkins' involvement in the saga, who reportedly helped fish for information into Mr Joyce's status as a Kiwi citizen.

The pre-election trust issues with the NZ Labour Party are all in the past for the Australian Foreign Minister.
Source: 1 NEWS

But she remained angry with both Mr Hipkins and Australian Labor.

"After I said that, the now-prime minister, Prime Minister Ardern, said that the behaviour of her colleague and the Australian Labor Party was inappropriate, it was unacceptable and shouldn't have happened," Ms Bishop said.

"I agree with her, and of course we move on.

"Australia and New Zealand have the deepest and closest of relationships - we see New Zealand as our essential partner, our natural partner."

Mr Hipkins is now the New Zealand education minister.

Ms Bishop said she discussed a range of issues in an informal setting with Ms Ardern, who had travelled from the Coromandel to attend the dinner.

Mr Peters hosted a dinner for Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Jacinda Ardern last night in his Auckland home.
Source: 1 NEWS

A day later, she had bilateral discussions with Mr Peters on Waiheke Island, and gave a full-throated endorsement of the trans-Tasman relationship.

"Australia and New Zealand stand side-by-side on virtually every major issue of concern to our nations," Ms Bishop said.

"We have fought together, defended freedom together.

"Australia always wants to have New Zealand at our side."

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