Christchurch, New Zealand (AFP) – The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand are meeting on Sunday for the first time as both countries have had to close their borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is estimated that tensions with China and the reopening of the border will be the main topics of the meeting between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Morrison arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand, on Sunday. The Ardern was greeted with the traditional Maori nose-to-nose gesture, known as hongi.
Morrison is the first major international leader to visit New Zealand since the two countries closed their borders in order to stop the spread of the virus. Neighboring countries created a common bubble last month, but the outbreak in Melbourne prompted New Zealand to suspend the deal with Victoria state.
Morrison’s visit comes amid torrential floods in the Canterbury region of New Zealand after heavy rains. Video footage showed that a helicopter was saving a farmer from the rough waters of a river, while other rivers overflowed and threatened thousands of homes.
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