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Thursday, June 17

Australian Prime Minister to visit New Zealand

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will visit New Zealand on 29 June, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

"I am pleased to be able to welcome Prime Minister Rudd to New Zealand.  His visit illustrates the strength of the Australia-New Zealand relationship, and continues a long-standing tradition of regular contact between the Prime Ministers of our two countries," says Mr Key.

"The New Zealand Government will use the opportunity to continue to push with Australia for further progress on a Single Economic Market.  The benefits for both countries of a Single Economic Market include enhanced productivity, reduced costs of doing business and greater opportunities for innovation.

"We would like to see firms on both sides of the Tasman able to do business as easily in Christchurch as they can in Sydney," says Mr Key.

"Included in the programme is a speech by Prime Minister Rudd late morning to Members of the House of Representatives in the debating chamber - the first foreign leader to do so. This will be a highlight of the visit and again underscores the special and unique relationship that exists between the two countries."

Other highlights of the day-long programme will include an official welcome at Parliament, bilateral talks between the two Prime Ministers and an official luncheon.