US Govt explains travel ban for Kiwis

New Zealanders' access to the United States will remain the same unless they've recently been to any of the seven majority Muslim countries named in Donald Trump's executive order

The new US president last week signed an executive order suspending entry to the US for nationals from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days.

A statement from the US government sought to clarify what effect Mr Trump's order will have for New Zealanders.

"Dual nationals of Yemen, Libya, and Somalia and a visa waiver program country (such as New Zealand) may continue to travel under the VWP unless they have travelled to any of the seven countries on or after March 2011, in which case they must first apply for a US visa," it said.

Prime Minister Bill English says it's a welcome clarification.

"It has been frustrating but that's a frustration shared by pretty much every country in the world," he said.

"I don't think this policy has been rolled out in a way that suited anybody."

Kiwi travellers won't have problems if the US officials follow the US government policy, he says.

"We don't see any reason why someone who is a New Zealander with dual citizenship for those seven countries would have any problems.

"I've reassured, particularly the Muslim community here, that we don't agree with the policy, we wouldn't implement it, and we don't want the some of the same debate around it to create division in New Zealand."

NZ keen to keep strong ties to US - English

Mr English  says he'll tell Mr Trump he disagrees with his immigration policy, but says his priority is to maintain a strong relationship with the US.

Mr English has been criticised for not being stronger in his opposition to Mr Trump's temporary ban.

The pair are expected to have their first phone call since Mr Trump's inauguration in the coming days.

It's not known exactly when it might take place, with Mr English describing the scheduling process as "unpredictable".

He says the powerful US economy and its importance to security and stability across the Asia-Pacific will be raised.

"I'd imagine we'd be discussing those issues and views on policies that affect New Zealanders," he said.

On whether he'd criticise Mr Trump's controversial ban and decision to suspend the US refugee programme for 120 days, as well as an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, Mr English said he would represent his view as he's already publicly stated it.

"And that is that we disagree with the policy, but in the long run we need a positive relationship with the US," he said.

"[Mr Trump] makes his policy. I wouldn't expect him to be commenting on New Zealand policy in any detail so that's all just part of the discussion."

Mr English said there had been a long history of Kiwis disagreeing with US policy but as a small country it was important to have a strong relationship with America.

It's not known if Mr English will raise the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the phone call, but it's believed the topic did not come up when Mr Trump spoke to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Details of the half-hour call remain sketchy but Mr Turnbull has revealed terrorism and border protection topped the agenda.

NZN / Newshub.