Ardern, Duterte talk travel before private meeting

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Mr Duterte asked Ardern: "You don't have atomic bombs?"

During her stay in Manila, the newly elected 37-year-old leader witnessed the signing of a bilateral agreement between New Zealand and Philippines, which capped her one-on-one meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte: the Memorandum of Cooperation on Comparative Analysis of New Zealand and the Philippines Bachelor's Degree.

"My companion brought some fish that she bought at the wharf there and everybody was warned not to bring anything, nearly like do not bring anything that is alive, including you".

There appeared to be some confusion when Ardern mentioned a new deal with Philippines Airlines to fly non-stop between Manila and Auckland, with Duterte instead talking about Iran.

He then lapsed into a story about his companion not being allowed to take live fish somewhere - it wasn't clear where.

Nonstop flights from Manila to Auckland will begin on December 6, the Filipino flag carrier said in August. "No doubt about it".

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"I see it as a real positive that my first personal visit outside New Zealand is to Southeast Asia", Ardern said in an event at the New World Hotel in Makati on Tuesday, November 14.

"The only thing that is lacking is you do not have atom bombs".

Mr Duterte, infamous for ordering police to kill drug suspects, also asked about wheter police in New Zealand were armed, to which Ardern explained that they were not.

"We consider ourselves a very peaceful nation and of course advocate for those principles and values".

The MOU is a platform for New Zealand's geothermal industry to engage the Philippines in accelerating and promoting geothermal development through exchange of experiences, information, and technical assistance.

Earlier in the day, Ardern had confirmed she would push Duterte on the issue of human rights in the Philippines.

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