9 Sep 2013

Key expects Australian relations to stay strong

8:07 am on 9 September 2013

Prime Minister John Key says the relationship between New Zealand and Australia will not change with a new government across the Tasman.

Tony Abbott's Liberal-National Coalition won this weekend's election and takes a majority of more than 30 seats in the 150 seat Parliament.

Mr Key says he talked to Mr Abbott on Sunday and they discussed getting together to meet before next month's APEC meeting in Bali.

He says at some stage New Zealand government ministers will also want to sit down formally and talk to the new Australian administration.

Mr Key does not believe conditions will change for New Zealanders in Australia as a result of the election.

There have long been complaints that many New Zealanders live, work and pay tax in Australia for years, or even decades, but do not get rights of citizenship.

Mr Key says he does not expect that to change, despite Mr Abbott's wife being from New Zealand.

He says extending the rights of New Zealanders in Australia would cost the Government there a lot of money and the new administration is focused on getting its accounts back into surplus.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says if Labour and the Greens come to power after the 2014 election she does not see a problem working with a conservative government across the Tasman.

Mr Abbott has pledged to abolish the carbon tax and shut down the $10 billion dollar Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Ms Turei says she hopes the Australian Green Party will hold the balance of power in Australia's senate and will be able to act as a brake on any radical reversal of sensible policies.

Exporters are not expecting any relief following the Coalition's victory. They are already being hurt by Australia's slowing economy and analysts say the Coalition's claim the country is now open for business will not halt that trend in the short term.

Westpac Bank chief economist Dominick Stephens says slowing activity in Australia is likely to have more of an impact for New Zealand, through lower exports and fewer people heading across the Tasman in search of work.

The economies of New Zealand and Australia are already closely integrated and commentators expect that process will continue under the new administration.