Payne to visit NZ as diplomacy resumes

·1-min read

Foreign Minister Marise Payne will visit New Zealand this week for the first in-person trans-Tasman ministerial meeting since COVID-19.

Ms Payne will meet Kiwi couterpart Nanaia Mahuta and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a three-day visit beginning April 21.

Ms Payne will travel with Australia's International Development and the Pacific Minister Zed Seselja, who will meet with his counterpart Aupito William Sio.

"It's significant," Ms Ardern said.

"We're very keen to host and re-ignite that face-to-face contact which has been very regular by phone and Zoom but there's nothing that beats face-to-face."

On Monday, New Zealand showed the importance of the trans-Tasman relationship by removing the need for Australian travellers to quarantine.

That has allowed thousands of people to meet up with loved ones on the other side of the Tasman Sea for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

It will now allow for the resumption of business-as-usal diplomacy, beginning with Ms Payne's visit.

Ms Ardern said a formal bilaterial meeting between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Ms Ardernwould follow "in the not too distant future".

That meeting is likely to be in Queenstown, with Ms Ardern keen to use the visit as an advertisement for possible Australian tourists.

"I'll be looking to showcase the best of New Zealand in a rather shameless way," she said.