Bill English: NZ will work with Trump

  • 16/01/2017
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English
Bill English (Getty)

Four days out from Donald Trump's inauguration as US President, Bill English says he'll work with whatever the billionaire's administration produces.

The prime minister is not expecting to meet with Mr Trump any time soon, believing New Zealand to be "relatively low" in his priorities.

"It will take a lot of time for the administration to settle down," Mr English told reporters in London on Sunday.

"You could spend a lot of time trying to understand what's happening there this week, but in another six weeks it could look different."

While Mr English is yet to determine what he would speak to Mr Trump about in that first meeting he said the Trans-Pacific Partnership needed to be re-thought.

Mr Trump has previously revealed pulling the US out of the 12-nation agreement, which requires US ratification to come into force, will be one of his first acts as president.

Free trade agreements have been the focus of Mr English's first overseas trip as Prime Minister.

He met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London over the weekend to discuss agreements with a post-Brexit United Kingdom.

That followed meetings with European Union leaders in Brussels last week where it was revealed negotiations on an agreement between New Zealand and the EU would begin this year.

An agreement could be in place within three to five years, the parties hope.

Mr English, who is accompanied by his wife Mary, took time away from high-level talks to visit World War I battlefields in Belgium and to lay a wreath at the New Zealand War Memorial in London's Hyde Park.

The prime minister will end his European after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday.

Mr English is set to confirm Germany's support for the European Union free trade agreement as well as discuss migration and security issues across Europe.

NZN