PM strengthens trade relations with China

By Tema Hemi

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Chinese President Xi Jinping today to discuss the future of our countries trading relationship with China. Huawei, trade, cyber security, regional defence and security are just some of the delicate issues they will discuss.

The stakes are high for New Zealand as the state of its relationship with a key trading partner hangs in the balance. The cash that's transacted between our two countries, in trade, more than $30 billion a year.The free trade deal between New Zealand and China was signed in Beijing in 2008, more than 10 years later talks to upgrade the deal are well underway, with a seventh round of negotiations being arranged at the moment.

Director of Tuia Group in Wellington Guy Royal says, "China are the biggest revolution any economy has seen probably ever. They've lifted incredible amounts of people out of poverty out of China. It’s a chance for us to build a relationship with a global super power. We've always been told we have to deal with the west and America and the UK. We have DNA whakapapa links to these people."

The government declined telecommunications giant Huawei for Spark's 5G broadband roll out until it can prove it's not planning to spy on us.

Royal also says, "Given where we are at now with China with an opportunity to do a revised first trade agreement being the first to have done it the first time, having a second go around it. I think there’s probably a lot more thinking around how we can do that better now particularly for the indigenous Māori component of it. 16 billion dollars’ worth of exports each year to China primarily still meat, dairy, trees. And so a big component of that for the Māori economy is still those key main areas. (Flash) In particularly in the fishing industry now Sealord and others have been up working into the Chinese market."

The formal opening of the China New Zealand Year of Tourism was on Saturday at Te Papa and was opened by the Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis and China's Minister of Culture Luo Shugang, it’s designed to strengthen economic ties through tourism.