Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited New Zealand on 15 and 16 February. The highlight of the visit was her address to Members of Parliament, the first ever made by a foreign leader. This ground-breaking event symbolised New Zealand’s extraordinarily close relationship with Australia. A further important step in the economic integration process was taken when the two Prime Ministers signed the CER Investment Protocol.
Prime Minister Gillard arrived in Auckland, where she addressed business leaders and visited Glen Taylor School. She later had a working dinner at Premier House in Wellington, followed next morning by talks with the Prime Minister and members of the New Zealand Cabinet.
After a meeting with the Governor-General, Prime Minister Gillard was officially welcomed to Parliament with a Guard of Honour and Maori ceremony before making her landmark speech. She also invested Hugh Templeton with the Order of Australia in recognition of his role as an architect of CER.
The two Prime Ministers issued a joint statement on trans-Tasman cooperation [Beehive website], and the visit concluded with an Official Luncheon and the laying of wreaths at the National War Memorial to acknowledge our shared ANZAC history.