New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern concludes Australia trip after warm welcome from Albanian Labor government

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a particularly warm welcome in Australia this week and photos have revealed why.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a warm welcome during her visit to Australia this week.

It was Ms Ardern’s second trip through Tasmania since the election of the Albanian Labor government on May 21.

A smiling Ms Ardern was pictured with Anthony Albanese and some of their respective ministers after they met during the first Australia-New Zealand leaders meeting on Friday.

While Ms Ardern has maintained an effective working relationship with former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, she likely has much more in common ideologically with Mr Albanese and his MPs.

Indeed, the Australian Prime Minister and Ms Ardern lead the Labor and centre-left Labor governments respectively, unlike the more conservative coalition government led by Mr Morrison.

Ms Ardern last month became the first foreign leader to visit Australia following Mr Albanese’s election victory.

The two Prime Ministers appear to have found common ground, not only on their respective political philosophies, but also on action on climate change and how they engage with their Pacific neighbours.

Australia’s controversial ‘501’ deportation policy was a major sticking point between Ms Ardern and Mr Albanese’s predecessor in the top job.

The policy has been used primarily to deport criminally convicted New Zealand citizens, even though they have lived their entire lives in Australia.

It has been a source of tension between the two countries since it was introduced by Australia’s coalition government in 2014.

Scott Morrison and Ms Ardern publicly opposed the policy a few years ago when the New Zealand Prime Minister called on Australia to ‘stop exporting’ people.

“Australia is fully within its rights to deport individuals who break your laws, New Zealand does the same,” Ms Ardern told a news conference at the time.

“But we have a simple request; send back Kiwis, real Kiwis. Don’t deport your people and your problems.

Ms Ardern and Mr Albanese took a big step towards resolving the disagreement after their bilateral talks this week.

Mr Albanese said on Friday that his government would apply “common sense” to the “501” policy, so that people who had no real connections to New Zealand were not necessarily deported.

He and Ms Ardern have also agreed to work towards lowering barriers to citizenship for New Zealanders in Australia, with a plan to be featured on Anzac Day next year.

Mr Albanese also announced that his government would consider giving New Zealanders living and working in Australia the right to vote in its elections.

Mr Albanese said he would ask a parliamentary committee to review the change, as part of the “normal review process” that occurs after a federal election in Australia.

Their joint press conference concluded Ms Ardern’s official duties in Sydney. She spent Wednesday to Friday in the NSW capital, accompanied by a delegation of Kiwi business leaders.

While there, she gave a major foreign policy speech at the Lowy Institute in which she urged greater cooperation in the Pacific and castigated the “failed” United Nations response to the war in Ukraine.

She also met New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet to continue a series of trade talks with heads of state and business representatives.

Ms Ardern started the week in Melbourne, where she met Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews. The two leaders expressed their support for greater collaboration on infrastructure and the management of Covid-19.

Ms Ardern’s visit signals a ‘reset’ between Wellington and Canberra and the Pacific allies.

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