PM Malcolm Turnbull pays respect in first NZ visit

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lays wreath at Auckland War Memorial Museum today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lays wreath at Auckland War Memorial Museum today. Photo / Doug Sherring NZ Herald

THE newly sworn-in Australian Prime Minister was officially welcomed into New Zealand for the first time.

Malcolm Turnbull and his wife, Lucy, were met by his New Zealand counterpart John Key and his wife Bronagh on the immaculate lawns of Government House in Auckland this morning.

The meeting came after a wreath laying ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The New Zealand Defence Force's Maori cultural group gave a traditional Maori greeting while a New Zealand Navy guard of honour played both countries' national anthems.

The two prime ministers are to going to have bilateral talks this morning before holding a press conference about 11.45am.

Hot on the agenda is expected to be a controversial Australian law change last December which means non-Australians who have incurred a prison sentence of a year or more can be deported.

The law is retrospective and cumulative, and since its passage, immigration officials have been actively dredging through old records and rounding up Kiwis, sometimes in dawn raids.

More than 200 New Zealanders are currently held in seven detention centres.This includes New Zealanders who were brought to Australia by their parents and have lived there their whole lives.

The law has drawn widespread criticism from this side of the ditch, particularly from the Labour and Green parties.

- Herald on Sunday

Topics:  john key malcolm turnbull new zealand war memorial

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