Turnbull, English's plan to tackle 'The Donald'

Prime Minister Bill English and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met in Queenstown today as mates, allies, and political Anzacs.

They remembered the fallen, and discussed the here and now including a challenge they face together: how to deal with 'The Donald'.

"The only approach is to be frank and forthright, I'm too old to be any different. I suspect Bill's too old to change too ", Mr Turnbull says.

The leaders also touched on the issue of fake news.

President Donald Trump put on a bizarre performance in front of US media today, taking a dig at the TPP as well as 'fake news'.

Mr Turnbull took a dig at Mr Trump's approach to the media, quoting UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill:

"Politicians complaining about the newspapers is like a sailor complaining about the sea.

"There's not much point, it's the media we live with and we thank you all in the media for your kind attention," Mr Turnbull said.

Mr English chipped in too: "We just say you're wrong Paddy [Gower], we don't call it fake news".

Mr Trump's performance also included gloating about his destruction of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, what he called "the job killing disaster". 

 Lucy Turnbull Malcolm Turnbull Bill English Mary English Arrowtown War Memorial
From left: Lucy Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill English and Mary English at the Arrowtown War Memorial (Patrick Gower/Newshub.)

The Trump administration is believed to have made a big ask of Australia behind the scenes - more troops for Iraq, meaning New Zealand will likely be hit up too for 'Troops for Trump'.

"We'll assess all requests on their merits as we always do," Mr Turnbull said; Mr English echoing: "I simply couldn't pre-judge that".

And the Christchurch fire invoked the Anzac spirit, with Mr Turnbull offering support to help against the Port Hills blaze.

He also paid tribute to Steve Askin, the former SAS member who died when his helicopter crashed fighting the Port Hills fires.

"Obviously we are very very sad, as you are, from the death of the helicopter pilot who had served in Afghanistan. He was doing what he was doing in Afghanistan: selflessly serving, courageously serving his country," Mr Turnbull said.

"Both of our countries know the cruelty of nature, the cruelty of fire," he went on to say, adding that New Zealand and Australia were "the closest of family".

"The Anzac tradition of mateship, solidarity, selflessness are part of our DNA."

They also talked trade, sciene and innovation as part of the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders' talks, which included discussions on bilateral and international issues.

"The annual meeting is an opportunity for a wide-ranging discussion and is a reflection of the closeness of trans-Tasman ties," Mr English said.

"The trans-Tasman trade and economic relationship provides an excellent model for deeper economic integration and we continue to build on that foundation as we engage with other partners."

Newshub.

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