Trans-Tasman Travel Discussed at National Cabinet, Says New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern

May 4, 2020 Updated: May 5, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined Australia’s national cabinet meeting on May 5 to discuss New Zealand’s experience with the CCP virus pandemic and a potential “travel bubble” between the two countries.

The travel bubble would allow unrestricted travel between Australia and New Zealand once it was safe.

Ardern told reporters in Wellington that Australians and New Zealanders travel “across the ditch” (the Tasman Sea) more than they travel anywhere else. New Zealand is Australia’s second-largest tourism market after China.

Ardern said Australia and New Zealand have the same goals regarding the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.

“Neither of us want cases of COVID coming between our countries,” she said. “So I think regardless of our future path, we’ll be looking for ways to do it safely. That will be top of mind.”

Ardern noted that more than 18,500 Australian companies trade with New Zealand as part of the reasons to reopen travel.

She said the trans-Tasman travel zone was on the table but could not comment further as the national cabinet meeting was still underway at the time, and a statement would be released at its conclusion.

Ardern noted that the discussions were only possible because of the “world-leading results from both sides of the Tasman [Sea] to get the virus under control.”

“And I do think that we should both be proud of the efforts that have been made and the ANZAC bond between us,” she said.

Ardern told reporters that the last New Zealand prime minister to join Australia’s national cabinet—established in times of crisis—was Peter Fraser who attended various war cabinet meetings during World War II.

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