Jacinda Ardern and Julie Bishop in Auckland. (Photo supplied via @JulieBishopMP)
9 February 2018
Claire Trevett – Deputy political editor, NZ Herald
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have met face to face for the first time and appear to have put any residual tension over the Barnaby Joyce citizenship saga behind them.
Bishop arrived in New Zealand on Friday afternoon and had a dinner with Foreign Minister Winston Peters, which included time with Ardern.
Bishop tweeted a photo of herself with Ardern arm in arm at 11 pm, saying there was “much to discuss” between herself and Ardern and thanking Peters for “a memorable evening.”
View @JulieBishopMP tweet.
Ardern had not revealed plans to meet Bishop, likely due to the sensitivity of the meeting.
It is the first time they have met. In the lead up to the election Bishop had said she would have trouble working with a Labour Goverment after it was discovered MP Chris Hipkins had asked written parliamentary questions which helped prompt New Zealand officials look into the citizenship status of Australia’s deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
It followed a conversation Hipkins had with Australia’s Labor Party staffer Marcus Ganley, who had previously worked for the former New Zealand Labour Government.
Ardern had downplayed the issue, saying Hipkins had been wrong to intervene but claiming he had said he did not Joyce was the subject of the inquiry. Bishop has previously said she accepted Ardern’s admonishment of Hipkins.
Bishop is here partly as an introductory visit in the lead up to the annual trans Tasman leaders meeting in Australia next month.
[Read the NZ Herald article.