New Zealand and Australia share a longstanding and close political relationship.
There is extensive political engagement at all levels providing a sound framework for the management of the relationship. Prime Ministers hold annual bilateral talks, and Foreign Ministers hold formal talks every six-months. CER Economic Ministers, the Ministers of Defence and the Treasurer/Finance Ministers meet at least annually. These meetings supplement the frequent bilateral contact and coordination at regional and international meetings. New Zealand also participates in more than twenty Australian Ministerial Councils (meetings of Australian Commonwealth and State Ministers with shared portfolio interests). In addition there are strong connections between Parliamentary committees, political parties, and government agencies at officials’ level.
Australia and New Zealand work closely on a wide range of foreign policy and trade issues. This is particularly so in the Pacific, East Asia and in multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation. Cooperation is especially strong in the area of development assistance in the Pacific.
Trans-Tasman Government and public and private sector leaders meet annually to assess and advance the New Zealand-Australia relationship.
A very close partnership with Australia is central to New Zealand’s overseas development assistance, particularly through engagement in the Pacific region.