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Turnbull, the great admirer of NZ economy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/02/2017 Jennifer Rajca

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull will seek to learn more about New Zealand's economic secrets when he sits down with his cross-Tasman counterpart.

The prime ministers will meet in the resort town of Queenstown on Friday for their first official engagement since Bill English assumed the reins in December.

This year's fleeting 23-hour annual catch-up will have an economic focus, with discussion on further ways the countries can make it easier to do business across the Tasman.

Talks will also canvas more integration in the areas of science and innovation, as well as the broader economic challenges facing the region.

Mr Turnbull had nothing but praise for the work of and Mr English and his predecessor John Key in growing their economy ahead of the trip.

But he did acknowledge it helps in having one level of government and a smaller economy.

"I have always admired New Zealand," he said.

"You know, I don't think Australians pay enough attention to the success of New Zealand.

"I've been a great fan of John Key and Bill English and the government that they have led."

However he has no plans to follow their lead in broadening the GST and extending it to 15 per cent.

"New Zealand has a different tax system to us in many respects and you can't just take one piece of it and compare it to ours," he said.

The election of Donald Trump and the US's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact are expected to hang over the pair's sit-down.

As the depositary of the now effectively doomed agreement, New Zealand has - like Australia - expressed hope of keeping the deal alive even without America.

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