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COVID-19, Pacific to top Aust-NZ agenda

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A pathway to opening up to the Pacific and a shared view on Samoa could come from the Australia-New Zealand Leaders Meeting in Queenstown this weekend.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will join his NZ counterpart Jacinda Ardern on Sunday, ahead of formal talks on Monday.

On the agenda are a plethora of bilateral, regional and international topics, all of which will be flavoured by the pandemic.

The two leaders speak often, chatting over the phone and texting on a near-daily basis.

But an in-person meeting is significant in the COVID-19 era, showing the two nations’ impressive response to the virus compared with other countries.

Re-engaging with the Pacific has been nominated by Ms Ardern as the issue she would most like to progress.

“New Zealand is looking outward to map out our plan and strategy for reconnection. Our borders are quite closely linked. So I’d like to have a conversation around what does our region’s reconnection with the world look…

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