Decision 17: Aussie politicians take potshots at Ardern's win, paper labels Labour 'losers'

  • 20/10/2017

The Turnbull government's attempts to clear the air with New Zealand's incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may have hit a snag with some Australian MPs making clumsy comments in the wake of her win.

A month after the election, NZ First leader Winston Peters announced on Thursday he was forming a coalition Government with Labour, ending nine years of National rule.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have both offered their congratulations to the 37-year-old Labour leader and say they look forward to working with her.

But there might be some initial awkwardness in Australian-New Zealand relations.

In August, Ms Bishop accused the New Zealand Opposition of conspiring to undermine her government and suggested she could find it hard to trust the Labour Party should it win the election. Ms Bishop said Australia's Labor opposition had used its New Zealand counterparts to raise questions about Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's Kiwi citizenship in the New Zealand parliament.

Then Employment Minister Michaelia Cash on Thursday night suggested the new NZ government may be destined to fail.

"History shows that unfortunately the last time the Labour, Greens and independents formed Government it didn't end well," Senator Cash told 2GB radio, before praising the previous government led by John Key and Bill English.

And NSW Premier, NSW Liberal Party leader Gladys Berejiklian, on Thursday night tweeted to say Kiwis should "come over to NSW" if they want to live somewhere with "great infrastructure, a growing economy and jobs".

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the Turnbull government must take immediate action to rebuild relations with the incoming New Zealand Government.

"It is now incumbent on the Foreign Minister to undo the damage caused by her irresponsible remarks during the election campaign," she said.

It was Ms Wong's chief of staff who sparked the NZ Labour questioning.

Mr Turnbull spoke to Ms Ardern on the phone overnight and the pair reaffirmed the strength of Australia and NZ ties.

But the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper The Australian was not so congratulatory, referring to Labour as "losers".

Ms Ardern has signalled a trip across the ditch is on the cards as soon as possible.

She says both Mr Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten offered their congratulations, showing New Zealand and Australia still have a strong relationship.

Ms Bishop tweeted a number of times overnight to condemn "rubbish" reporting on her comments. She retweeted Mr Turnbull's message of congratulations to Ms Ardern.

NZN / Newshub.