Bill Shorten dines with Jacinda Ardern

  • 09/12/2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten. Photo credit: Twitter

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten is in New Zealand to meet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and is willing to listen to issues faced by Kiwis living in Australia.

The pair are dining at Auckland's SkyCity Hotel on Saturday night.

"Great to catch up with New Zealand Prime Minister @jacindaardern for a steak," Mr Shorten tweeted.

Mr Shorten says there are some anomalies in the way in which Australian law treats New Zealanders, especially long-time residents of Australia and visa holders after 2001.

He says developments in higher education costs in Australia penalised New Zealand permanent residents.

"I want to hear Jacinda's views but I think there is at the end of the day real merit in reviewing the way in which New Zealand permanent residents in Australia are getting penalised in terms of higher education costs," he said at a media stand-up before the dinner.

Earlier this year Australia blindsided New Zealand with a plan to charge New Zealand citizens living there full university fees when they had been treated the same as domestic students.

New Zealand's ongoing offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus Island - rejected by the Turnbull government but supported by the federal opposition - was expected to be a conversation topic.

Mr Shorten is leader of the Australian Labor Party, while Ms Ardern took over the leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party just before this year's general election and managed to put together a Government with NZ First and the Greens.