Key and Turnbull share common ground

Malcolm Turnbull and John Key (AAP)
Malcolm Turnbull and John Key (AAP)

New Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a big fan of John Key, and our Prime Minister wasted no time in sending the love back across the Tasman, making a congratulatory phone call and tweeting a picture.

And Mr Turnbull's ambitious "I want to be like Key" comments no doubt turbo-charged the bromance too, with Mr Key calling the praise "very flattering".

But Labour leader Andrew Little was less impressed.

"If that's Malcolm Turnbull's ambitions then I pity Australia," he says.

Mr Key and Mr Turnbull have lots of similarities, with both of them making their fortunes in investment banking.

"I knew him a little bit, he was at Goldman Sachs and I was at Merrill Lynch," says Mr Key.

And like Mr Key, the Australian Prime Minister has strong economic credentials, which he'll need with Australia's current economic state. And as a major trading partner, New Zealand has skin in that game.

Mr Turnbull is progressive on social issues and cautious about the war against the Islamic State and that's important given the Anzac force in Iraq.

He is also a centrist.

"If you consider me to be from the moderate camp, that's where you would find Malcolm Turnbull," says Mr Key.

Forging a bond with Australia hasn't been easy, because it keeps breaking its Prime Ministers - the Aussie boss has changed six times to two Kiwi chiefs.

"The only country we can see in the Pacific with so much change is Vanuatu," says Mr Key.

Straight to the top of the Kiwi wishlist now is Australia giving more information about the Kiwi criminals it has started shipping back to New Zealand in big numbers, and Mr Key knows what Australia needs to do so things like this get done.

"They'll be looking for a period of stability I would have thought," he says.

So Mr Key and Mr Turnbull have plenty of similarities that will help a personal relationship.

But more importantly, Mr Turnbull represents a chance at stability and that will really help New Zealand.

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