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'Good bloke' English welcomed as NZ leader

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/12/2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has congratulated incoming New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English describing him as a "friend" of Australia.

Mr Turnbull called Mr English after he was endorsed by the NZ Nationals caucus on Monday to succeed John Key, who announced his retirement last week after eight years as PM.

"He is a friend of Australia, well-known in Australia," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

"I know he will continue the very successful, very collaborative relationship that we have between Australia and New Zealand."

Mr English took to Twitter to thank Mr Turnbull for the call: "Look forward to meeting in person soon".

Treasurer Scott Morrison described Mr English as a "very good bloke" who would build on the work of his predecessor.

"I know Bill quite well, he will be an outstanding prime minister very much in the John Key vein," he told 2GB radio.

"He's a very good bloke and he will have a great relationship with Australia."

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