Jacinda Ardern hits back at Australia's 'false claims' and threats

  • 15/08/2017

New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern has hit back at Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who accused Labour of "undermining" the Australian government.

Her comments follow revelations Labour MP Chris Hipkins put two Parliamentary questions to Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne about the citizenship of children born in Australia to a New Zealand father.

This lead to three Australian politicians standing down when it was revealed they held dual citizenship, which is prohibited in Australia's parliament.

"The New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has revealed Bill Shorten sought to use the New Zealand Parliament to undermine the Australian government," Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"This puts at risk the relationship between the Australian Government and the New Zealand Government."

Ms Bishop was also asked whether she would trust a future NZ Labour government.

"I would find it very difficult to build trust with members of a political party that had been used by the Australian Labor Party to seek to undermine the Australian government."

But Ms Ardern has hit back at Ms Bishop's accusations.

"It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party," she says.

"I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I knew absolutely nothing about the Barnaby Joyce case until it broke in the media yesterday afternoon.

"I also note that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has confirmed that the Australian media inquiries were the instigator of this issue and that he has described connections of the New Zealand Labour Party to this issue as 'utter nonsense.'"

"I have also contacted the Australian High Commission to register my disappointment and will be meeting with the High Commissioner later today."