Ardern scores one win in 501 talks with Albanese

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If you thought Australia’s previously frosty relationship with New Zealand thawed when new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took over the top job, today it has well and truly begun to melt.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was certainly saving the best for last on her four-day trip to Australia this week.

She had tempered expectations all week for her formal meeting with the Australian Prime Minister, especially as the pair had just sat down last month.

However, today marks an important 180 from the Australian Government and an important victory for the Prime Minister.

Albanese has pledged to put a plan in place by ANZAC Day next year, to ease the path to citizenship for New Zealanders in Australia.

It was one of Jacinda Ardern’s big goals ahead of today’s game.

She also wanted changes that would see fewer New Zealanders deported to Aotearoa, despite living most of their lives in Australia.

The 501 policy is going nowhere, but Albanese today said Australia would take a ‘common sense’ approach to situations where a person had ‘no connection to New Zealand’.

Anthony Albanese has also signaled that he wants to extend the franchise to Kiwis who have lived in Australia for a year.

You have to remember that this policy was a point of contention for a long time, with former prime ministers like Sir John Key voicing their concerns, with very little change.

For the first time in years, things seem to be starting to move in the right direction.

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