How New Zealand Government is preparing for state-sponsored cyber attacks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government is preparing as best as it can for possible cyber attacks from foreign governments.

Speaking during a trip to Beijing to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, Ardern told Newshub Parliament is taking extra steps to bolster cyber security.

The powerful parliamentary privileges committee is reviewing the weaknesses in Parliament's IT systems on the orders of Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard.

"He's given assurance that he's working on ensuring all practical steps are taken to make sure we have the security required around those systems, because of course, that is incredibly important," Ardern said.

The Prime Minister added that, while parliaments around the world have been hacked, New Zealand's has been spared so far.

"There is no evidence that New Zealand's Parliament has been the subject of a state-sponsored attack."

Ardern said issues with telecommunications provider Huawei were discussed during bilateral talks in China.

The company's plans to build a 5G network in New Zealandwere put on ice due to cyber security concerns, which soured the Chinese government's relationship with New Zealand.

She didn't want so share details of the talks, but was adamant they were productive.

"I did proactively raise the issue of Huawei and the process that New Zealand has around our legislation and what makes that unique. I did raise issues around cyber security."

She said there is no mistrust between the two countries, but there had been some differences.

"The differences between us certainly should not, and will not, define the relationship. Our relationship is too long, too great in history and has a layer of depth to it."