Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong (left) met with New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta (right) for the biannual Foreign Minister Consultations in Canberra and exchanged ideas on how to elevate the First Nations and Māori voice in international policy

Australia has ‘much to learn’ from Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand as Foreign Minister Penny Wong calls for the nation to be more like the Kiwis

  • Minister Penny Wong met with her New Zealand counterpart in Canberra 
  • The pair discussed improving First Nations and Māori voices in foreign policy 
  • Ms Wong’s comments come after Jacinda Ardern apologised to a Māori tribe 
  • Ms Ardern apologised over ‘horrific and needless war’ by past governments

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has said Australia has ‘much to learn’ from New Zealand and urged our nation to work towards embedding Indigenous perspectives into international policy in a similar way to the Kiwis. 

Senator Wong met with New Zealand’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta for the  biannual Foreign Minister Consultations in Canberra on Friday, following the first talks between the pair earlier this year in Wellington.

The ministers addressed citizenship and voting rights for New Zealanders in Australia, climate change, security in the Asia-Pacific region and exchanged ideas to improve First Nations and Māori voices in foreign policy. 

Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong (left) met with New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta (right) for the biannual Foreign Minister Consultations in Canberra and exchanged ideas on how to elevate the First Nations and Māori voice in international policy

Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong (left) met with New Zealand’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta (right) for the biannual Foreign Minister Consultations in Canberra and exchanged ideas on how to elevate the First Nations and Māori voice in international policy

In an Instagram post on Saturday, Ms Wong said Australia had ‘much to learn’ when it comes to the way Indigenous voices from Aotearoa – the Māori name for New Zealand – are embraced.

‘I value Nanaia Mahuta’s friendship and wisdom, and welcome our Foreign Ministers Consultations,’ Ms Wong wrote. 

‘New Zealand is family to Australia and an indispensable partner. We have much to learn from Aotearoa New Zealand as we work to embed First Nations perspectives into our foreign policy.’

The ministers exchanged perspectives on elevating First Nations and Māori voices in foreign policy and agreed it was an area of substantial national significance for both countries. 

They agreed to continue to work together to encourage Indigenous collaboration across the Tasman and regionally. 

Both countries will focus on encouraging the Indigenous voice through the Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement and Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement.

In a similar post on Saturday, Minister Nanaia Mahuta described the discussions as ‘productive’ and said the two countries had forged a close relationship from shared values. 

‘A warm and productive series of discussions… we shared perspectives about Pacific resilience, the Indo-Pacific, indigenous cooperation, climate change and opportunities for stronger collaboration,’ Ms Mahuta wrote. 

‘2023 will be an opportunity to acknowledge 40 years of Closer Economic Relations, 50 years of Trans-Tasman travel and 80 years since opening a diplomatic post – a close relationship forged from shared values.’ 

Senator Wong said Australia had 'much to learn' from New Zealand (Pictured, Ms Wong and Ms Mahuta at a smoke ceremony)

Senator Wong said Australia had ‘much to learn’ from New Zealand (Pictured, Ms Wong and Ms Mahuta at a smoke ceremony) 

The honourable Ms Mahuta described the discussions as 'productive' as the two countries share a close relationship forged by shared values

The honourable Ms Mahuta described the discussions as ‘productive’ as the two countries share a close relationship forged by shared values 

Ms Wong’s comment comes after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered an apology to the Ngati Maniapoto tribe for ‘horrific and needless acts of war’ by past governments.

The ‘long overdue’ Crown apology on Sunday addressed the Māori tribe for  warmongering and almost two centuries of breaches to New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi.

Ms Ardern travelled to the King Country settlement of Te Kuiti to issue the apology, the first she has delivered personally as part of reconciliation and treaty settlement efforts.

After 30 years of negotiations with the Ngati Maniapoto tribe, the government agreed to $NZ165 million ($A155 million) of financial and commercial redress, and the return 36 sites of cultural significance to Māori.

‘This is a momentous occasion for both Maniapoto and the Crown and marks the beginning of a renewed relationship,’ Ms Ardern said. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right) delivered a Crown apology to Maniapoto at Tokanganui-a-noho marae in Te Kuiti, which completed the final milestone in their historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right) delivered a Crown apology to Maniapoto at Tokanganui-a-noho marae in Te Kuiti, which completed the final milestone in their historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process

Ms Ardern read the formal apology in English and Maori at the ceremony attended by 3,000 people.  

‘The Crown profoundly regrets its horrific and needless acts of war and raupatu (land confiscation) which have caused you and your hapu (tribe) inter-generational suffering,’ Ms Ardern said.

‘Instead of respecting your mana whakahaere (authority), the Crown killed and injured your people, and pillaged your land and property.’

Historic wrongdoing dates back to the mid 19th century, when the New Zealand colonial government fought with and alongside Maori over land. 

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