Australia Accuses New Zealand of ‘Conspiracy’ to Bring Down Its Government

Australia now has another reason to hate their closest rival, New Zealand.

New Zealand’s opposition Labour Party is part of a “conspiracy” to bring down the Australian government — at least according to Australia’s governing Liberal National coalition.

The diplomatic clash caps off a bizarre 48 hours in Canberra after Australia’s deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was discovered to be a New Zealand citizen through his father.

Citizens of foreign countries are not allowed to sit in the Australian Parliament, according to the country’s Constitution, a rule which has already tripped up a number of politicians in recent months.

It’s a confusing situation which only got more complicated when it turned out a New Zealand Labour politician, Chris Hipkins, had asked about a situation very similar to Joyce’s in the New Zealand Parliament just a week before.

Speaking to a meeting of all government politicians on Tuesday morning, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull accused the Australia’s opposition Labor Party of “conspiring” with their New Zealand counterparts, local media said.

“We have learned this morning the Australian Labor Party has been conspiring with the NZ Labour Party to undermine the position of the deputy prime minister and the government of Australia,” he said.

Along with their close diplomatic relations, Australia and New Zealand have had a long-running friendly rivalry covering sport, food and even the occasional joke on “Flight of the Conchords.”

But the worse could be yet to come for Turnbull — his government only has a one seat majority and if Joyce is forced out of parliament it could undermine his hold on power.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ben Westcott