Jacinda Ardern congratulates incoming Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

The Prime Minister has congratulated Australia’s Anthony Albanese following last night’s election.

- POOL - Photo by Mark Mitchell.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smiling during the post-Cabinet press conference with Energy Minister Megan Woods and Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Parliament, Wellington. 14 March, 2022.  NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell

Jacinda Ardern says she hopes to soon formally meet with incoming Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese. Photo: POOL/ NZME

The Australian Labor Party has won the election, seizing power from the Liberal/National Coalition.

In his victory speech, Albanese said he wanted to bring Australians together “to seek our common purpose and promote unity and optimism not fear and division”.

Jacinda Ardern has congratulated him and acknowledged the outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Ardern said she spoke with Albanese this morning and looks forward to formally meeting him soon.

In a statement, Ardern said they have met before and she has no doubt they will have “a strong working relationship that will serve both countries well”.

“Australia is our most important partner, our only official ally and single economic market relationship, and I believe our countries will work even more closely together in these tumultuous times.

“I hope to meet Prime Minister Albanese in the near future, and look forward to working with him on a range of issues including supporting New Zealanders living in Australia, making trans-Tasman business even easier, deepening our partnership with our close friends in the Pacific, and advancing our interests on the world stage.”

Ardern said the relationship between Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand is at its best when the two countries work together, acknowledge mutual interests, shared values and the uniqueness of their perspectives.

Ardern said the two countries need “to stand united as allies and whānau, recognising the strength in our diversity”.

Opposition leader Christopher Luxon has also congratulated Albanese saying it is vital that New Zealand and Australia continue to work to strengthen their relationship.

“I have met Anthony Albanese several times and I always found him to be friendly, open and engaged. He will make a good partner for New Zealand and we look forward to working with him in the future,” Luxon said in a statement.

ACT foreign affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden also congratulated Albanese and said the government should strengthen ties with Australia.

But New Zealand political pollster Stephen Mills told Sunday Morning that he did not expect Australia’s Labor Party to reverse the policy of deporting criminals to New Zealand.

Mills has been working on Australia’s Labor Party campaign and said it would unusual to see the policy reversed.

Mills said he doubts Labor would have implemented the policy if they had been in power but it is probably too hard to change it now.

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