Leader of the official opposition in New Zealand, Judith Collins MP, and Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee, Simon O’Connor MP, have spoken of their joint support for exploring reciprocal migration and free trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Speaking via live video-conference, both senior MPs discussed the future of CANZUK and its benefits for New Zealand with event hosts Conservative Friends of the Commonwealth.
When asked about CANZUK as a bloc of like-minded nations, Collins responded:
“I see no reason why we shouldn’t explore that, I think there’s a very real reason to do so…when we look at CANZUK, it’s not only about trade but also about movement of people and a right to work.
“I think that it’s important that we think more about people who think more like us when it comes to human rights, rule of law, all those things that are part and parcel of our particular democracies.”
Addressing O’Connor, moderator Sunil Sharma asked whether he would be working to advance CANZUK within New Zealand:
“The leader, Judith, has asked me to work with our other parties and MPs in parliament. CANZUK is not just simply about trade, although that is important. It’s about building our relationships and we see that as an opportunity as a centre-right political party…it’s a really great opportunity.”
Collins and O’Connor also agreed that certain elements of a CANZUK trade deal, especially agricultural exports, would need to be discussed and examined, but the overall concept of closer ties between the four nations should be explored moving forward.
The full segment regarding CANZUK can be viewed via the above video.
CANZUK International will continue to work with MPs across New Zealand and ensure that reciprocal migration and trade with Canada, Australia and the UK is a priority initiative for New Zealand’s foreign policy.