New Zealand and Australia are going to work together to find a way forward for the Trans Pacific Partnership now that President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the trade agreement.
Prime Minister Bill English met with his Australian counterpart Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues.
The Prime Ministers confirmed that in light of the US decision not to ratify the TPP, Australia and New Zealand will work together as they engage with other TPP members on the way forward for the Agreement.
Mr English says trade liberalisation agreements are not about big business but creating jobs and that's why the two leaders are focussed on regional trade and the opportunities TPP and CER present.
Meanwhile, the pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who are long-term residents in Australia, announced by Mr Turnbull at the 2016 Leaders Meeting, will come into effect in July this year.
The pathway provides them the ability, first, to achieve permanent residency and then citizenship.
Mr Turnbull announced that special flexibilities would be applied for particular individuals who are unable, for reasons such as breaks in employment as a result of injury or carer responsibilities, to meet the income test requirements to enter the pathway.
The two Prime Ministers have welcomed these additional flexibilities, and looked forward to the pathway being implemented in a manner sensitive to the real-life challenges faced by those on Special Category Visas.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their deep concern at the conflict in Syria, which is entering its seventh year and underlined that only a negotiated political solution in Syria could provide a lasting peace.
They also recognised the valuable work of the joint Australia-New Zealand Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq.
Over the past two years, the mission has provided training to approaching 20,000 Iraqi Security Forces and has improved the ability and success of Iraqi troops in combatting ISIS in Iraq, including in the efforts to liberate Mosul.