After it was confirmed late last night that Malcolm Turnbull would be the new Prime Minister of Australia, John Key said something he could only have hoped was true.
"I am confident our close and critical relationship with Australia will continue unchecked with the change of Prime Minister."
READ MORE: Malcolm Turnbull topples Tony Abbott
By the end of Turnbull's first press conference as leader, Key could be genuinely confident. New Zealand had a leader whose style should be emulated, Turnbull was saying.
"My firm belief is that to be a successful leader ... you have to be able to bring people with you by respecting their intelligence in the manner you explain things," Turnbull said.
"We've got some great leaders in Australia at state level but let me just point to one internationally, John Key, for example.
"John Key has been able to achieve very significant economic reforms in New Zealand by doing just that, by taking on and explaining complex issues and then making the case for them. And I, that is certainly something that I believe we should do and Julie and I are very keen to do that again."
Key in return said this morning that he looked forward to working with Turnbull and advancing the two countries already close ties.
The shout-outs are what you might call a good start to a political relationship that hasn't yet begun.
Finance Minister Bill English has built up quite fan club in Australia as well. He speaks often to business leaders and New Zealand has been singled out for attention by Treasurer Joe Hockey.
But if it is true that business have been organising for the leadership coup, it has been to see Hockey go. They want a team more like Key and English.
The pundits say Hockey is set be replaced by Scott Morrison, the social welfare minister who is seen as one of the cabinet's best communicators. He also has personal connections with New Zealand.
He worked in Wellington in the 1990s as head of the Office of Tourism and Sport that tendered advice to Murray McCully, who was then Minister of Tourism and Sport.
The other crucial ministers in bilateral relations are Foreign Affairs and Julie Bishop will continue in that role, working closely with McCully, and Trade and Andrew Robb seems likely to stay on there as well.
With New Zealand and Australia running a joint Defence training mission in Iraq for soldiers fighting ISIS, with the Trans Pacific Partnership talks at a make or break stage, and on a myriad of complex bilateral, regional and international issues, collaboration is crucial.
Changing an administration can be very disruptive to bilateral relations.
We know this from experience; since Helen Clark became Prime Minister in 1999 to now with John Key Australia has had John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd again, Tony Abbott and now Malcolm Turnbull.
It can take months for a new leader to find his or her feet and for new ministers to get on top of their portfolios, let alone worry about their overseas counterparts.
Stability, if not continuity is crucial.
Fortunately for New Zealand, it appears there will at least be stability.
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