By Te Karere

Welcome back to Anamata, the series where our reporters peer into the crystal ball to see what is ahead for 2018. Today’s reporter is Ripeka Timutimu who looks into international affairs.

Scotty: Ripeka we've seen the relationship between Australia and New Zealand a bit strained in recent months because of PM Jacinda Ardern’s challenge to their government to address rights of Kiwis there. What will the state of the relationship be in the year ahead, will it improve or get worse?

 

Ripeka: Yeah, it’s an interesting debate and the thing is, is that Jacinda Ardern won't back down on her push for better rights for Kiwis in Australia. I expect she will meet with their PM Malcolm Turnbull again this year, but whether or not he will address issues like Christmas Island and detainees is another thing. Kelvin Davis was really strong on the detainee issue so I wouldn't be surprised if he addressed it again next year in his capacity as Minister of Corrections.

 

Scotty: Some say the close relationship was founded on the shared experience of both countries in the two world wars at the start of the 20th century, an experience forged by the Anzacs. Hopefully that special relationship won't falter and both countries will continue to foster close relationships with each other. So that's Australia, let's head on over to Europe and the UK. Tell us about the UK and what you are expecting there for the year ahead?

 

Ripeka: Look Brexit will be at the top of agenda for PM Theresa May, so those negotiations will carry on in the new year with the end goal of finalising things in 2019. Outside of the political happenings, we will see a royal wedding, of course, Prince Harry will marry his fiance American actress Meghan Markle. She will be the first person to join the royal family that is of African-American heritage. That’s happening in May and I have no doubt the whole world will be watching. I mean come on who doesn't like a wedding?

 

Scotty: Exactly and no doubt the royal family's heritage will be made that much more richer through Meghan marrying Prince Harry. Both the UK and Australia are our allies,  and the US is another one of our allies. The USA is a global player and their president is well-known for communicating interestingly on Twitter. We can't look past President Donald Trump and America, what do you think will happen there?

 

Ripeka: I don't even think a psychic could keep up with President Donald Trump. That story is constantly changing. But the investigation into Trump’s administration is heating up so I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone by the end of the year. Staying with America, I think we are going to see some more big things from Te Whānau a Apanui director Taika Waititi. I understand he could be in the line to direct a Star Wars movie, so be prepared for his star to rise even more next year.

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