“The ACT Party sends its congratulation to new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and hopes Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta will use this opportunity to reset New Zealand’s ANZAC relationship,” says ACT’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The world is changing and New Zealand needs to stick with our traditional allies and ensure that our defence capabilities are significantly improved.

“We’ve already been left out of AUKUS and the technology cooperation included in that deal.

“With a new Australian Government we need to see this as an opportunity to strengthen our ties with Australia and show a united front.

“China now has a foothold in the Pacific. Labour agrees that the world is changing but it doesn’t know what to do and it’s too busy wasting money on poorly targeted spending.

“ACT says we should follow the NATO target and methodology. It would see $7.5 billion in extra capital expenditure over the next four years on Defence.

“ACT has committed two per cent of GDP for Defence expenditure, focusing heavily on capital investment so that we have the capability to defend ourselves and send a message to our allies and to those less friendly that we are here to stand up for liberal democracy.

“The target of two per cent of GDP is what all of our traditional allies, including Australia, are committed to and would demonstrate the seriousness with which we take our defence obligations.

“This is the kind of valuable spending that government should be doing, protecting our country and aligning us with our allies.

“It’s time for Jacinda and Nanaia to take our relationship with Australia far more seriously and following the Australian election is the perfect time to start.”