Rodrigo Duterte to Jacinda Ardern: 'You don't have atomic bombs?'

New Government policies aim to improve water quality

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has met notorious Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, with Iran, fish and nuclear bombs among the topics of conversation during a curious opening.

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern listens to the discussion during the 12th East Asia Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 14, 2017.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Philippines Commission on Higher Education on the Comparative Analysis of New Zealand and the Philippines' Bachelor's Degrees.

CHED chairwoman Patricia Licuanan and David Strachan, New Zealand ambassador to the Philippines, signed the agreement.

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During the Makati event, the Prime Minister announced her plan to appoint two Filipinos as honorary consuls based in Cebu and Davao, as part of a plan to increase New Zealand's commercial interests outside Manila.

Ardern also praised Romeo Udanga, a Filipino-born politician who ran under Ardern's Labour party and had sought a seat in Parliament.

He said he had visited New Zealand twice and was impressed - although he described what seemed to be a run-in with a customs officer.

Ardern and Peters have said the issue of the imminent ban on offshore foreign speculators buying houses and farms in New Zealand had not been raised with them by any countries.

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Mr Duterte said: "Auckland treats its citizens well". "I was there", Duterte said.

Ardern spends her last day in Manila today speaking to a meeting of New Zealand businesses operating in Manila.

Li had also been keen to hear from the new Prime Minister that the overall approach to relations with China would be broadly the same.

"Canada is a Pacific country, as you well know, and being able to engage on broader issues of security, of development, of human rights, of economic opportunity - broader than just the APEC group - is very much in line with how Canada wants to and should engage constructively with the region and, indeed, with the world". "But I think we have a strong foundation economically", she said.

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