Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Key invites Gillard over to stay at his bach

Prime Minister John Key and Julia Gillard. Photo / Greg Bowker
Prime Minister John Key and Julia Gillard. Photo / Greg Bowker

While John Key was among the first to congratulate Kevin Rudd on his successful leadership coup, it is Mr Rudd's deposed rival, Julia Gillard, that the Prime Minister has personally invited to come and stay at his Omaha beach house.

Yesterday, Mr Key said he spoke to Mr Rudd last Thursday night following his victory over Ms Gillard in the leadership vote that reinstalled him as Australian Prime Minister.

The changeover came just weeks ahead of an election Mr Rudd's Labor Party is widely expected to lose.

"I wished him the best and indicated that I thought the bilateral relationship was in great heart and I looked forward to working with him over the months ahead," Mr Key said.

Mr Rudd had responded by saying he was looking forward to his new job, he had a lot of work to do, and he thought the Labor Party was now competitive in Australia.

Mr Key said he had spoken with Ms Gillard on Sunday.

"I reiterated I thought she had done sterling work in terms of building a relationship with New Zealand and I'd enjoyed working with her, that we'd built up a personal relationship with her and [her partner] Tim and invited them to come to New Zealand if they wanted to in a private capacity in the future."

Mr Key has enjoyed a close working relationship with Ms Gillard since she became Australian Prime Minister three years ago, despite coming from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

The pair are understood to keep in touch via text message and have en-joyed wagers on transtasman sports fixtures.

Mr Key and his wife, Bronagh, hit it off with Ms Gillard and Tim Mathieson when they hosted them in Queenstown earlier this year.

- NZ Herald

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