Ardern to raise 'corrosive' NZ-AUS relationship issue with Morrison

Jacinda Ardern walks to plant a tree of remembrance with people connected to the Christchurch terror attacks

Jacinda Ardern walks to plant a tree of remembrance with people connected to the Christchurch terror attacks

Ms Ardern addressed the Australia and New Zealand School of Government at the Melbourne Town Hall on the subject of good government.

It's a simple line, bordering on simplistic, but one that Jacinda Ardern was determined to ram home on the first day of her trans-Tasman visit.

New Zealand has had a joint training mission in Iraq with Australia since 2015, part of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve.

Aside from her "corrosive" comments, Ardern has spent much of the trip talking up New Zealand's relationship with Australia.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern will raise the deportation of Kiwis from Australia on character grounds when she meets Scott Morrison on Friday, saying the issue was having a "corrosive" effect on relations between the neighbouring countries.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has arrived in Australia to discuss family violence and mental health, but is cashing in for her country with some sideline business meetings.

But it has also become a chance to sell New Zealand as a place for innovation and investment. As New Zealand's economy is slowly recuperating from a sluggish 2018, when annual GDP growth fell to 2.8% from 3.6% just two years prior, maintaining strong support from Australian investors is critical.

She also spoke about the second tranche of reforms to the Overseas Investment Act, assuring the crowd that the introduction of a national interest test for foreign investors would merely put New Zealand in line with Australia and other like-minded partners.

But it's the second wave of changes to New Zealand's Overseas Investment Act that's got Australian businesses anxious.

Australian media have been reporting there are jitters about the New Zealand Reserve Bank's increasingly staunch approach to the major Australian banks and insurers.

That sentiment was further amplified in a piece on the front of The Australian's business section on the day of Ardern's arrival in Melbourne, about a visit to Australia by RBNZ governor Adrian Orr - labelled as "the most feared person in finance".

Ms Ardern met with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in Melbourne on Thursday to canvass social issues, after attending a business lunch.

New Zealand has a long-standing offer to take 150 refugees, first issued by former-Prime Minister John Key and repeatedly rebuffed by the Australians.

During the address she reflected on the importance of building consensus in politics.

"The Australian banks, they do quite well out of the New Zealand market".

While the pair had met before, on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum in Singapore previous year, that was Morrison's first official visit to New Zealand.

Mr Morrison has since moved initiatives at the G20 as part of the "Christchurch call" to send a message that social media and internet platforms "can't be weaponised by terrorists". "It's going to take country-by-country action. and it's going to take civil society to keep pushing for it".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny Morrison gave Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a cuddly rabbit for her daughter.

Having spoken about flagging business confidence within New Zealand as "the elephant in the room", the Prime Minister can ill-afford another pachyderm slouching across the ditch towards Wellington.

Last week, Australia's foreign minister Marise Payne told reporters in New Zealand that Australia had no intention of reviewing its policy.

Trouble with Australian bank ANZ hit headlines recently.