Australia’s deportation of criminals back to New Zealand will be raised when Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Melbourne.
She has also promised to talk about child poverty and climate change, which is increasingly affecting smaller Pacific nations.
The two leaders will meet on Friday for the first time since the Christchurch massacre, in which an Australian far-right terrorist killed 51 people at mosques in March.
“Last time I saw Jacinda was under the most difficult of circumstances when we were in Christchurch for the memorial service, which was a heart-wrenching exercise,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Thursday.
Ms Ardern told a 2000-strong crowd in Melbourne on Thursday night she wanted to make a difference long after she finished as prime minister.
“Child poverty and climate change those are the two areas where I’d love to ensure what we do lasts,” Ms Ardern said at Melbourne Town Hall.
She was asked what it would take to get meaningful global action on climate change.
“I think a visit to the Pacific Islands might do it. I think we actually just do need to humanise this,” she said.
“If you visit Kiribati or Tuvalu, it is real. This is not a hypothetical. The changes they’re seeing in their natural environment is happening now.”
But Australia has so far refused to back down on the policy of deporting people to New Zealand, even if they moved to Australia as toddlers and grew up Australian.
Ms Ardern has said the policy is having a “corrosive” impact on the relationship between the two countries.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said New Zealand was the only country where a citizen could get a visa to stay in Australia on arrival.
“But we have been very clear, if you come as a New Zealand citizen, a Brit, wherever you come from, your country of origin is where you go back to if you have committed a crime,” Mr Dutton told Nine’s Today Show.
“Where people are sexually offending against children for example, we have had a big push to try and deport those paedophiles.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has no plans to change the policy either.
“We think that the balance is essentially right but it’s legitimate if there are issues for Jacinda Ardern to raise those with Scott Morrison. We don’t want to see this to be a partisan debate,” he told Today.