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In his first overseas engagement as Foreign Affairs Minister, Gerry Brownlee will today travel to Australia.

Mr Brownlee will meet his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop in Sydney tomorrow.

“Given the close intersect of trans-Tasman values and interests both globally and regionally, I am deliberately meeting my Australian counterpart as early as possible in my tenure as Foreign Affairs Minister,” Mr Brownlee says.

“It speaks to the value New Zealand places on its relationship with our most important bilateral partner.”

In their first formal bilateral meeting, the two Ministers will discuss global, regional and bilateral issues.

A particular item for discussion between the two Ministers in the trans-Tasman agenda is Australia’s policy changes that will see New Zealanders paying higher fees in the Australian tertiary education system.  

“Our relationship with our trans-Tasman neighbour is both close and important so I’m keen to have a discussion about the bigger picture and how we can communicate sooner on these issues going forward,” Mr Brownlee says.

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