Ministers meet for first Australia New Zealand Climate and Finance summit
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Climate Change Minister James Shaw have signed the first memorandum of understanding with their Australian counterparts on climate change and the Pacific. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen were in Wellington on Thursday for the first so-called two by two meetings, a structure set up between former prime minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. They signed a joint statement outlining areas of enhanced cooperation, to support accelerated climate action and once-in-a-generation economic opportunities that the clean energy transformation offers both countries. Chalmers and Robertson, who have known each other since before they were in Parliament, will be making common cause on a number of issues. READ MORE: * Australia appears set to change immigration rules for Kiwis living there * Chris Hipkins to meet Anthony Albanese in Canberra: both have co-governance issues * President Xi Jinping warns Asia-Pacific must not 'relapse' into Cold War conflict, at APEC summit Robertson said the pair had been comparing notes after Australian floods and bushfires of the past few years, and New Zealands more recent floods and cyclones. One thing we specifically discussed today, and in fact, we've already done is our approach to how we manage our response to the Auckland anniversary weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, he said. [That] was to bring a taskforce together to get the voices at the table at the central government, local government iwi, insurers, other parts of the private sector that in many ways was based on models that we saw in Australia ... so we're already learning those things from each other and in continuing to do that. Bowen said the two nations also shared notes on issues including heatwaves, reaching net zero carbon emissions, and indigenous engagement. Were developing the national health policy change strategy in Australia ... we can learn from each other and there was a good exchange on those issues and an ongoing exchange as well as a bunch of other issues, he said. Overall, Robertson said the Albanese government had devoted a lot of attention to New Zealand. We're working together. I do want to give credit to the Albanese government for the fact that in a very busy first 12 months, they've offered a lot of time to New Zealand and issues that interest us and we look forward to that continuing.