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

John Key heading to Australia to meet Malcolm Turnbull

John Key will discuss a wide range of issues with Malcolm Turnbull. Photo / Getty Images
John Key will discuss a wide range of issues with Malcolm Turnbull. Photo / Getty Images

Prime Minister John Key is heading to Australia later this week for annual talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, including the issue of New Zealanders living in Australia.

The talks will be held in Sydney on Friday and both leaders will then address a luncheon of business leaders from both sides of the Tasman.

Mr Key said the discussion would span a range of issues, including opportunities for further collaboration on trade, regional and security issues.

"We will also continue to discuss the situation of New Zealanders living in Australia and the ongoing management of deportations from Australia."

Under a law change in 2014, non-Australian citizens automatically lost their right to remain in the country if they have been sentenced to 12 months or more prisons, either in a single sentence or cumulative sentences.

Many are being held in detention centres in Australia awaiting an appeal to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Mr Key will also discuss the situation of New Zealanders arriving in Australia since 2001 who have an indefinite temporary status with no pathway to citizenship and no access to welfare, disability insurance or student loans.

Speaking at his post cabinet press conference, Mr Key said he and Mr Turnbull would also discuss the joint New Zealand Australia training mission in Camp Taji near Baghdad.

New Zealand has 106 Defence Force deployed in Iraq and a further 20 support staff in the region.

And while the issue of the next Secretary General of the United Nations was not on the formal agenda, the issue of Helen Clark's candidacy for the job could well be discussed with Mr Turnbull, Mr Key said.

The former Prime Minister has not formally declared her candidacy but is sounding out her chances.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is known to be sounding out support for a run.

"In reality," Mr Key said "I think she'd do an outstanding job.

"I think if she decided to put her name forward, then I'm going to go and lobby every leader that I have a relationship with around the world to try and support her and that would, of course, include Australia."

- NZ Herald

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