Jacinda Ardern is prepared for a request from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for military help in the fight against Islamic State.
- Jacinda Ardern to talk tough at East Asia Summit
- Jacinda Ardern to tell Philippine President there have been too many killings
Australia has already provided navy, air force and army support, and New Zealand could be asked for similar. Ms Ardern will meet with Mr Duterte overnight at the East Asia Summit and plans to raise concerns about the killings in his war on drugs.
The president rules with an iron fist. Some 60,000 police and military have the country on shutdown, while the East Asia Summit is being hosted.
But it's the 'war on drugs' where Mr Duterte's real power can be seen. There have been almost 4000 executions on official record by police, with many thousand more killings unexplained.
Donald Trump met with the Philippines leader on Saturday (local time), but did not ask him about his country's human rights abuses. Instead, the US President praised Mr Duterte and joined him in attacking journalists, whom he referred to as "spies".
But Ms Ardern says there have been too many killings and she will tell President Duterte that when she meets him tonight.
"That level of death related to drug policy is not what New Zealand would expect to see as a national member in the international community," she told media. "We'll raise the human rights issue."
Just last week, the president just detailed how he stabbed someone to death as a teenager, because they looked at him the wrong way.
Mr Duterte could have a major request for New Zealand - military help in fighting the Islamic States, which has strongholds in the Philipines.
Australia has sent trainers, navy patrols and soldiers for training. By comparison, New Zealand has given $42,000 to the Red Cross for the humanitarian crisis in Mindanao, where terrorists took over a city.
Ms Ardern seems open to such requests.
"Any request like that that is made I take away with me."