Russia the main topic at Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel's 'fun' meeting

The Prime Minister has joined Germany in blaming Russia for its part in the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Then she doubled down, confirming Russia is also responsible for state-sponsored hacking in New Zealand.

The comments come after a flying visit to Berlin where Jacinda Ardern hit it off with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It's rare for a bilateral meeting to be described as "fun", but that's how the German Chancellor characterised hers with Jacinda Ardern as they canvassed everything from Russia to flightless birds.

It's serious business welcoming new leaders to the German Chancellery, but in contrast to all the military properness all it took was a screeching motorcade to get these leaders chuckling.

Fun was a recurring theme of the Prime Minister's visit with the German Chancellor.

"It was fun," Ms Merkel said. "You can be proud of your PM, if you want to write this down for the NZ press this will be the headline I trust for tomorrow's papers.

The love-in may have had something to do with a soft toy of a kiwi Ms Ardern presented to Ms Merkel.

The toy Kiwi came with a high-level briefing about a real kiwi, Whauwhau, that Angela Merkel bonded with on a trip to NZ.

"I learned that Kiwi Whauwhau is in excellent health and is able to live a wonderful life and enjoy life in general which is something I was very pleased to hear," Ms Merkel said.

"We'll be sharing a photo of Whauwhau the kiwi in the coming weeks so you'll have evidence of how happy your kiwi is," Ms Ardern said.

Flightless birds segued into talk of war and diplomacy.

"We did discuss Russia," Ms Merkel said.

Russia is Syria's main backer. In 2013 it brokered a deal with the US promising all Syria's chemical weapons would be destroyed.

The US and UK now say Russia is to blame for every civilian death by chemical attack in Syria.

"Russia as an ally of Assad has a shared responsibility, no doubt about that," Ms Merkel said.

The Prime Minister agrees Russia needs to take responsibility but lays the ultimate blame on the regime that launched the attack.

"Any country that helped facilitate any country who has influence needs to play their role in making sure the regime responsible is held to account," Ms Ardern said.

So Russia has a lot to answer for, and add to the list espionage - hacking attacks targeted at New Zealand. Detected over the 12 months to last June were 122 hacks with links to foreign spies.

"We have attributed cyber-attacks to Russia in the past and its highly likely that a number of the issues that we've seen could be attributed in that way in the future," Ms Ardern said.

Ms Merkel's nickname is 'mutti' meaning 'mummy' - she's into her fourth term leading a coalition government in the birth place of MMP.

She shared some coalition insights with the PM and 'mutti' to be.

"Every day you have to see to it that the problems that loom large on that very day are solved," Ms Merkel said.

Perhaps fitting then, that Ms Ardern's day ended with a catch-up with Winston Peters.