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Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson is confident that New Zealand can get a good deal for exporters from EU trade talks.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson could not say when the deal would be finalised.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on her way to Europe to try to get a free-trade deal over the line.

The sticking points are greater access to the European market for our dairy, lamb and beef producers.

Grant Robertson told Morning Report it was a complex deal, but good progress was being made.

He said it was was very helpful that the prime minister was in Europe talking to other countries’ leaders and working through issues.

“We’re very optimistic that there will be a good outcome for New Zealand.”

Robertson said while meat and dairy were important, there were other products like wine and fruits too.

“We’ve got to make sure we get a deal that gives New Zealand the best possible outcome.

“These are deals that are done in a context. We’ve had the UK deal, others are negotiating with the EU at the same time. So, we’re committed to this, we’re at the table, but we’re going to get a good deal for New Zealand.

“I’m confident that New Zealand exporters are going to benefit significantly from the deal that we’re working on. I’m confident this will be a good deal.”

He could not say when the deal would be finalised and over the line.

While Ardern is in Europe she will also attend a Nato leaders’ summit – the first New Zealand leader to do so.

Robertson said New Zealand and some other countries were invited to the Nato summit because of their support for Ukraine.

“It’s an opportunity for the prime minister to go and meet with those leaders and to discuss overall security arrangements.

“But for New Zealand, our driving force is our independent foreign policy. We deal with all countries around the world, we do it on the basis of our values and those values will be the ones that the prime minister will be articulating at the meeting, I’m sure.”

In the US, millions of women have lost the constitutional right to abortion, after the 50-year-old Roe v Wade decision protecting the right to an abortion was overturned.

Ardern called the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade “incredibly upsetting”.

Robertson said Labour had changed the legislation while in government.

As for the Opposition, he said: “I’m not certain what the National Party’s position is, although I’m pretty confident I know what Christopher Luxon’s is and it is the one he originally stated, which he opposes abortion, he sees it as akin to murder, and I think New Zealanders will judge him on whether he’s being up front with them or not.”

Yesterday, Luxon, who describes himself as “pro-life”, said abortion laws in Aotearoa would not be changed under a future National government.

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