3 Feb 2017

PM unfazed by upcoming Trump call

3:55 pm on 3 February 2017

The Prime Minister Bill English is not worried or nervous about his upcoming phone call with United States President Donald Trump.

Bill English State of the Nation

Bill English State of the Nation Photo: RNZ

Mr Trump reportedly harangued Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, calling a refugee deal between the two countries the "worst ever" and accused Australia of wanting to export "the next Boston bombers".

Despite this, Bill English said he was not nervous about talking to Mr Trump and he looked forward it.

"We're yet to see when that [phone call] might happen, but no reason to believe it won't be a civil and maybe direct conversation."

New Zealand would not be changing its approach to the US just because they have a president who tweets about things it does not like about another world leader, Mr English said.

"We have a way of doing things, which is to communicate with our friends and allies on a pretty open basis."

He would raise recent issues that New Zealand did not agree with.

"There's a long history of differences of view between the US and New Zealand going right back to Vietnam so I don't see why that should make much difference to the phone call," Mr English said

The Prime Minister's office received a letter from the US administration saying it recognised the strength of the relationship between the two countries, and looked forward to working with New Zealand.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs