New Zealand meets Australia

Prime Minister John Key met the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Sydney yesterday and today. The Prime Ministers of both countries meet once a year.

There are 600,000 New Zealanders living in Australia. Most of them work and pay taxes in Australia but they cannot claim an unemployment benefit or a disability pension. However, Tony Abbott agreed that young New Zealanders who have lived more than 10 years in Australia could get a student loan to study at university. This is a sensible decision because most of those young people will stay in Australia. Australia will benefit from more educated people.

Another problem is a ‘Buy Australia’ advertising campaign. The two big supermarkets say they will stop using New Zealand produce for their home brand canned and frozen food. They say Australians want to support their own country. Tony Abbott said this is a commercial matter and he cannot interfere. However, New Zealand and Australia have a trade agreement called CER – Closer Economic Relations. It is not clear how strong this agreement really is.

John Key took 50 business leaders with him and many cabinet ministers. New Zealand companies are hoping to do more business in Australia. The population of Australia is about 23 million whereas our population is only 4.5 million.


  • a benefit (n) – a pension; benefit (v) – gain something good
  • disability – physical or intellectual disability; a disabled adult may not be able to work, a disabled child needs support for special education and health care.
  • produce (n) – fruit and vegetables
  • cabinet ministers – National Party ministers for Trade, Finance etc


1. Is ‘Buy Australia’ a commercial or a political matter?
2. New Zealanders do not need a visa to visit, stay or work in Australia. Australians do not need a visa to visit, stay or work here. Why do you think both countries agree to this?
3. If New Zealanders are working in Australia and paying tax, should they be able to get the same benefits as Australians? (About 60,000 Australians live here.)

One Comments

  1. answer:

    1.’Buy Australia’ is a commercial matter.

    2.Because the both countries will get more economical benefit from these people.

    3.Most of work and pay taxes in Australia who can not claim an unemployment benefit or a disability pension, they should not be able to get the same benefits as Australians.

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