Prime Minister John Key today congratulated new Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her elevation to the top role and acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
"I spoke to Julia Gillard early this afternoon by phone and offered my congratulations, and indicated that I looked forward to meeting her soon," says Mr Key.
"Our relationship with Australia is a critical one and our most important with any country, and I look forward to working with Julia Gillard to advance that relationship.
"I would like to acknowledge the constructive relationship I have had with Kevin Rudd since I became Prime Minister.
"He has always been a gracious host when I have visited Australia, and our discussions have always been ones I have enjoyed.
"I am confident that the very close relationship between the two countries will remain strong.
"I am sure work will continue on progressing the Single Economic Market between both countries, and other joint initiatives like more seamless border controls."