Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Key to meet Australian PM on flying visit

Prime Minister John Key will make a flying visit to Canberra on Wednesday to meet Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Key will see Mr Abbott again at the Apec leaders' summit in Bali next week, and at the East Asia Summit in Brunei directly afterwards.

Mr Key will be the first foreign leader to visit Mr Abbott in Australia, although Mr Abbott is visiting Indonesia at present.

For several decades New Zealand prime ministers have tried to be the first leader to visit a new Australian prime minister.

Mr Key and Mr Abbott will meet for an hour late Wednesday afternoon, and have dinner together before Mr Key flies back that night.

Tensions between Australia and Indonesia over the Coalition Government's policy on boat people will be top of the agenda for Mr Abbott in Jakarta.

Mr Abbott campaigned on turning the boats back.

Mr Key confirmed he would discuss the issue with Mr Abbott to see whether the agreement he made with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take 150 refugees from Australia still stood.

There would be no change in New Zealand's annual quota of 750 refugees under a commitment to the United Nations refugee programme.

Mr Key will also discuss progress on the Trans Pacific Partnership talks.

Leaders of the 12 participating countries will gather on the sidelines of the Apec Summit in a meeting chaired by US President Barack Obama.

Mr Key will fly with the Royal New Zealand Air Force for both trips.

- NZ Herald

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