Australian Prime Minister’s Office
Jacinda Ardern and Anthony Albanese smile and take a selfie Thursday night.
Jacinda Ardern landed in Sydney to meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese over dinner at Kirribilli House.
The informal setting, at the Australian Prime Minister’s official residence in Sydney, allows for “free and frank” discussion of issues affecting the two countries, with Ardern the first foreign leader to be hosted by his Labor counterpart since his election victory in may.
The leaders are expected to discuss global issues, including China and the climate crisis, as well as the rights of New Zealanders living above the divide.
Ardern and Albanese will be joined by New Zealand High Commissioner and former Labor figure Dame Annette King.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would raise issues such as Australia’s 501 deportation policy with the country’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese.
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Albanese intended to take Ardern for a walk in the park of the residence.
A fireworks display was also held as part of Sydney’s Bright Lights Festival.
Ardern was seated in an economy class seat on a Qantas flight, landing in Sydney early Thursday evening. The Australian media had marked his arrival.
After meeting Albanese and taking pictures, fish was on the dinner menu.
Starter was fennel soup with hot smoked salmon and toasted sourdough bread, with crispy skinned mackerel as the main course, served with zucchini noodles, tomatoes, asparagus, oyster mushrooms and jam of chilli.
Dessert was a mini vanilla panna cotta, with chocolate almond cake and raspberries.
The leaders also had gifts for each other. Ardern donated Albanian albums by Aldous Harding, The Clean, Reb Fountain and AK79, as well as two Flying Nun t-shirts. The gift was a collaborative effort between her and Grant Robertson.
Albanese returned the favor with albums from Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powder Finger, as well as two Midnight Oil t-shirts.
Charles Finny, a former trade negotiator, said he was unsure whether the two centre-left leaders would get along well.
But Australia was New Zealand’s most important diplomatic and economic partner, he said.
“It’s great that the two prime ministers are meeting, it’s a good sign because Albanese is new to the job,” Finny said.
“I’m really positive about it and it’s going to be really interesting to see what the outcome is.”
Ardern will appear on Today Show and Sunrise in Australia early Friday morning.
The two leaders will give a press conference at midday on Friday at the offices of the Commonwealth Parliament.