Bill English, Donald Trump set for first phone call
Trade and climate change will be among the subjects of Prime Minister Bill English and US President Donald Trump's first call on Monday.
A spokeswoman from the Prime Minister's office has confirmed White House staff are looking to set up the phone call on Monday - Waitangi Day.
Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett says Mr English will want to talk trade after the collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
"Obviously trade is strong and we want to continue trying to keep that door open in what the next stage in that conversation might be.
"I'm the minister of climate change so that's foremost on my mind. Nearly 200 countries signed up to a treaty that says we will reduce emissions and I think it's important America still looks at what part they play in that and that is certainly their call as to how they do it.
"They matter in the world and matter to our atmosphere here so I'm hoping those are conversations we can continue," she says.
But regardless of what comes out of it, Ms Bennett hoped today's conversation would leave it open for further talks in future.
"I think that's a really good start."
Mr English, who is a former long-serving finance minister, has said he's not nervous about the call even though Mr Trump's call to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was controversial.
Associated Press reports Mr Trump was scheduled to speak with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday (NZ time).
He has calls lined up with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Mr English on Monday (NZ time).
It's the second weekend Mr Trump will spend in conversations with world leaders.
Mr English has a busy schedule of events on Monday for the Waitangi Day public holiday. Waitangi Day commemorates the first signing of New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, in 1840.
Last year Mr English went on board the USS Sampson to personally thank the crew for helping with the recovery from the magnitude 7.8 quake in Kaikoura.
The Sampson was the first US Navy ship to visit New Zealand in 30 years. It was here for the Royal New Zealand Navy's 75th anniversary and diverted to Kaikoura.
NZN / Newshub.