Ardern off to see All Blacks, UN, Trump

By AAP Newswire

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has teed up a first formal meeting with United States president Donald Trump as part of an 11-day overseas trip.

Ms Ardern will leave Wellington and her party's political turmoil behind on Wednesday as she embarks on a visit to Japan and the USA.

While in New York, the next-gen leader will be feted at the United Nations.

She has accepted an offer to give the keynote speech at the UN Secretary General's Climate Action Summit, will meet with the organisation's secretary general Antonio Guterres and will continue to spruik her flagship international effort; the Christchurch Call.

It remains to be seen whether she will be given a warm reception by Mr Trump.

The pair sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Ms Ardern is a left-of-centre internationalist best known for her unifying response to the Christchurch terrorist attack in March whereas Mr Trump is an American exceptionalist, social conservative and populist.

In leadership style, they're also streets apart.

Ms Ardern likes to spare her rivals direct criticism, whereas Mr Trump thrives on the political contest.

Nevertheless, Ms Ardern said the meeting, to focus on economic issues, would take place in the right spirit.

"Our relationship is strong. I've met president Trump on a number of occasions and had several phone calls with him ... I think my relationship (with Mr Trump) is absolutely fine," she said.

"The US is a key security partner for New Zealand, and an important trading partner.

"I'm looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries."

Ms Ardern's trip overlaps with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison's visit to the United States.

Ms Ardern said she also wanted to make progress on the Christchurch Call, a multilateral treaty asking countries and major companies to eliminate terrorist and extremist content on the internet, while at the UN.

Before reaching the global summit, she will take part in an official summit with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo and watch the country's famed All Blacks begin their Rugby World Cup defence in Yokohama.

Deputy prime minister and NZ First leader Winston Peters will be acting prime minister for the duration of the trip, which releases pressure on Ms Ardern over a fraught domestic political challenge.

Ms Ardern had been dragged into Labour's mishandling of sexual assault allegations directed at a party staffer, who has since resigned along with party president Nigel Howarth.

Mr Peters, missing from parliament for the past three weeks after a mystery health procedure, returned to Wellington to attack journalists over their reporting of the Labour scandal.

"You and your colleagues have told a whole lot of people a whole lot of fake news," he told journalists.

"I've got bad news for you all. I'm back and I've never been fitter."