Donald Trump and Jacinda Ardern are 'great mates' - Willie Jackson

Labour MP Willie Jackson has called Jacinda Ardern and US President Donald Trump "great mates".

The Prime Minister met the US President earlier this week in New York, where they discussed free trade, tourism, New Zealand's gun buyback and one of Trump's favourite subjects - golf. 

"President Trump views New Zealand very warmly, views the relationship very warmly and holds New Zealand in very high regard," Ardern said after the meeting.

"He was interested in everything from tourism to what occurred in Christchurch. We even had a conversation around our gun buyback and the process we had gone through there."

Jackson rated Ardern's trip a "10 out of 10". 

Judith Collins and Willie Jackson on The AM Show.
Judith Collins and Willie Jackson on The AM Show. Photo credit: The AM Show

"What a magnificent performance," he told The AM Show on Friday.

"It was probably the best visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister for the last 20 years," he said.

Trump - a businessman and reality TV star whose presidency has been marred by accusations of demagoguery and fascism - could hardly be further from Ardern politically. She leads a centre-left party and was once elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

But that didn't stop them getting along just fine, according to Jackson.

"They're great mates."

Trump called the head-to-head with Ardern a "wonderful meeting" on his favourite social media platform Twitter.

National MP Judith Collins, appearing on The AM Show with Jackson, called Ardern a wuss for being reluctant to bring up climate change with Trump, who has in the past claimed what many scientists believe is the biggest threat to life on Earth is actually a Chinese hoax. 

" I think that Jacinda Ardern has - let's be real here - she has charisma, she has a big smile, she has a nice personality, but I don't believe there's a lot else there," said Collins.

Massey University senior lecturer and PR expert Chris Galloway rated Ardern's performance in New York as "eight to nine" out of 10, saying her appearance on Colbert was the highlight from a marketing perspective.

"I'm cynical enough to think New Zealand will get more out of Stephen Colbert's visit than it will from 25 minutes with Donald Trump," he told The AM Show.