John Key to meet UK PM Theresa May

John Key to meet UK PM Theresa May

John Key will have a one-on-one meeting with new British Prime Minister Theresa May at the United Nations.

Tuesday's meeting in New York has been arranged at the last minute but will give Mr Key critical face-time with Ms May to discuss New Zealand's trade relationship with the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

But of immediate importance is Helen Clark's bid for UN Secretary-General, with Britain holding a powerful Security Council veto over candidates, meaning its support is crucial.

While it is not likely to use it against Ms Clark, the United Kingdom could use the veto to stop her competitors from getting further, when the vetoes are first allowed in the competition in two weeks' time.