Source:1 NEWS, AAP
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says she has told the Australian High Commission the relationship between the Labour Party and the Australian government is too important for politics to get in the way.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said today she would find it "very difficult to build trust" with a Labour government should the opposition party win the upcoming New Zealand election saying Labour "had been used by the Australian Labor Party to seek to undermine the Australian government".
This came after Labour MP Chris Hipkins, in a parliamentary question last week, asked the Internal Affairs Minister whether a child born in Australia to a Kiwi father would automatically have citizenship.
Australia's High Court has been asked to rule whether Barnaby Joyce's New Zealand citizenship by descent made the deputy prime minister ineligible for election to the Australian parliament.
Ms Ardern told reporters this evening she made a call to the Australian High Commission "to be absolutely clear that the New Zealand Labour Party's relationship with the Australian Government is incredibly important to us".
She reiterated that Mr Hipkins' questions should never have been asked.
"Australia's domestic politics is for them not for us. We should not be involved and that is the line I maintain."
Ms Ardern also repeated that she she would be happy to talk to Ms Bishop about the matter.
Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today rejected suggestions from Australian government ministers of a conspiracy involving Mr Hipkins and an Australian Labor Party MP to bring down Barnaby Joyce.
"This is so much utter nonsense - while Hipkins' questions were inappropriate, they were not the instigator. Australian media inquiries were," Mr Dunne tweeted today.