Jacinda Ardern ended up in Sydney for her annual bilateral meeting with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
The two leaders will sit together on Friday to discuss the trans-Tasman policy, after a turbulent and tumultuous year for both countries.
It is known that Mrs Ardern and Mr Morrison are on opposite sides of political tracks, come from different generations and have very different leadership styles.
However, the two have succeeded in forging a close relationship that fits in with the recent history of the two countries and their old values.
It is a relationship that has been carved into tragedy and hardships so far.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hit Sydney prior to her annual meeting with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison
Ardern was received by Gerard Martin, representative of the secretary of the ministry of prime minister and cabinet when she arrived in Sydney on Thursday
Mrs. Arden will spend two days in Sydney and will also meet NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Governor General David Hurley before returning to Aotearoa on Friday evening
“The last 12 months have shown, if not otherwise, how close New Zealand and Australia are,” Ardern said.
“Whether it’s the fires in Australia and the hundreds of staff who went from New Zealand to Australia to support them and their efforts.”
“Or Whakaari White Island, or coronavirus, we have had many examples in the last 12 months in which we have been extremely close to each other.”
There has recently been cooperation during the Covid-19 crisis, with New Zealanders and Australians sharing space on each other’s mercy flights from the troubled Chinese region.
Mrs. Ardern could also have added the shooting at Christchurch Mosque to her list on 15 March last year, given the collaboration with Australian police and experts in the aftermath of the attack.
The couple will have enough to think about when they meet in Sydney on Friday for the annual prime minister meeting.
“Of all the leaders I work with, otherwise Prime Minister Morrison is the one I talk to the most,” said Ardern.
Mrs. Ardern said the past 12 months have shown how “New Zealand and Australia are close.” Pictured: Mrs. Ardern and Scott Morrison at Government House February 2019
‘I made jokes for officials that they no longer think they should do the work themselves, because we often just solve things together.
‘It would be fair to say that it is precisely the things that bring communities closer together that are the things that often bring countries close together.
‘We are countries that rely on each other in times of need.
“That is an incredibly important relationship, and with that ability, I think it means we’ve been able to resolve things very quickly.”
Jacinda Ardern won hearts around the world for her support for victims of the mosque terrorist attacks in Christchurch. Depicted with a mosque visitor after the attack in a hijab
That does not take away the differences.
In the Pacific, New Zealand is being held up as a major climate ally; Australia is lame for worshiping fossil fuels.
The gap is such that Ms. Ardern, who has enacted a law to achieve net CO2 emissions by 2050, says she will not bother to raise the issue in Sydney.
She has promised to discuss the “corrosive” issue of deportations, with hundreds of New Zealanders – some with very few ties to the country – being deported from Australia after committing serious crimes.
Australia is unrelenting in its position and New Zealand is realistic about whether concessions can be made.
Trade discussions will also take place, with Ms. Ardern referring to “what we can do at our borders to make it easier for our companies to switch between themselves.”
She is internationally acclaimed as respectful and a great role model for women (pictured during a trip to Fiji)
In an ancillary meeting, Minister of Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt and Maori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta will also conclude a groundbreaking cooperation agreement on indigenous issues.
Mrs. Ardern will also meet NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Governor General David Hurley before returning to Aotearoa on Friday evening.
Her visit comes when she prepares to get home in election mode – where she finds herself under fire because she has not kept her promises.
While New Zealand is preparing to go to the polls on September 19, many residents are upset about it because it has failed to deliver on its promises in a number of important policy areas.
During her time as prime minister, Mrs. Ardern developed a prominent and sympathetic international profile, both as a young mother in the top job in the country, and for her reaction to the massacre in Christchurch and the tragic volcano on the White Island.
John Wanna, professor at the Australian National University, said the prime minister “is considered a bit of a show pony that doesn’t deliver,” among her voters.
Issues include the failed KiwiBuild project, planting a billion trees to tackle climate change, reducing child poverty, free visits to general practitioners and its backlog of capital gains tax.