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Saturday, 15 April, 2000, 01:44 GMT 02:44 UK
New Zealand rejects union with Australia

The prime minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, has dismissed a suggestion that her country should become part of Australia.

The idea was put forward by a former leader of the Australian Liberal Party, John Hewson; he said the time had come to move beyond economic co-operation, and to consider establishing New Zealand as a sovereign state within a federal republic of Australia.

Mrs Clark's response was: "Dream on." She said harmonisation of the two countries' economies would continue, but that was where the process began and ended.

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