4 Jul 2016

PM offers advice to Australian opposite number

8:32 pm on 4 July 2016

Prime Minister John Key has offered the leader of Australia's Liberal Party advice on forming a minority government.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shake hands at the joint press conference in Sydney.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shake hands at the joint press conference in Sydney. Photo: AFP

The final result from Australia's general election on Saturday will not be known until later in the week, after both the ruling coalition and the Labor Party fell short of the number of seats needed to govern outright.

Australia's Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull is confident he will be able to secure enough seats for a majority in Parliament by the end of the week.

Mr Key said he talked to Mr Turnbull yesterday and offered support on structuring confidence and supply agreements with other parties which he said is common-practice in New Zealand under MMP.

"So my basic message was we've very effectively worked minority governments, the previous government (Labour-led) was a nine year government under a minority government, so it's quite possible and in the end you've just got to get on and do it," Mr Key said.

Mr Key was asked if Mr Turnbull felt there had been a backlash against the major parties by voters leading to more support for independents - such as Pauline Hanson of the far-right anti-immigration One Nation party who will return to Parliament.

"Not really," Mr Key responded.

"As I've been saying for some time now every country has a party that wants to advocate for those kinds of issues, you've had it in the UK with Nigel Farage for a long period of time, you've got it in Australia with Pauline Hanson, you've certainly got it in France and you've got it in New Zealand with Winston Peters."

However, Mr Key did support one of the controversial politician's policies.

Ms Hanson wants to make it much easier for New Zealanders living in Australia to become citizens and to gain access to government services.

She said it was "unreasonable and discriminatory" that many New Zealanders who work, pay taxes and raise families in Australia could not access social services when times were tough - leaving New Zealanders stuck "between a rock and a hard place".

Mr Key said that policy has got merit.

"Any Australian politician that wants to advocate for better rights for New Zealanders in Australia is to be welcomed," Mr Key said.