Jacinda Ardern pleased Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accepts 'difficult situation' in citizenship dispute

Trans-Tasman relations sunk to their lowest after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern let loose on her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, accusing him of acting in bad faith by cancelling the citizenship of a woman accused of terrorism. 

But overnight the two leaders have talked and simmered down from fury to frustration. Ardern is pleased that Morrison has acknowledged the "difficult situation". 

Australia and New Zealand are supposed to be best mates, and when family stabs you in the back, it hurts that much more, as illustrated by Ardern during a press conference in Wellington on Tuesday. 

"Their decision was wrong," Ardern said, referring to Australia's decision to revoke the woman's citizenship, leaving New Zealand to pick up the pieces thanks to her dual citizenship. 

"I think New Zealand frankly is tired of having Australia export its problems," Ardern said. "They did not act in good faith."

But all's fair in love and war, and on Wednesday there was a ceasefire between Australia and New Zealand, after a patch-up catch-up on Tuesday night. 

 "We had what I would describe as a constructive conversation," Ardern said. "Keeping in mind, we've discussed this issue many times before."

She added, "It is a complex situation. We are working through those issues in the spirit of the relationship we have. I don't want to raise expectations on the outcome."

The woman, Suhayra Aden, held dual citizenship for both Australia and New Zealand. Ardern was made aware of the dual citizenship problem soon after she became Prime Minister and raised it directly with her Australian counterpart, asking him to work with us. 

The Aussies then cancelled Aden's citizenship behind our backs. 

"Rather than just taking an arbitrary view on all of those cases we should have looked at them individually and say, 'who is responsible for whom?'" Ardern said. 

Behind closed doors she unleashed. 

"You can imagine that at the time when I was advised by the Prime Minister that citizenship had revoked I shared a very similar sentiment to what you heard yesterday," Ardern said. "I've said nothing publicly that I've not said privately."

The Australians are pretty unapologetic when it comes to their foreign policy.

"Australia's interest here is that we do not want to see terrorists, who fought with terrorism organisations, enjoying privileges of citizenship which I think they forfeit the second they engage as an enemy of our country, and I think Australians would agree with that," Morrison told media on Tuesday. 

That will be hard to unwind. But Morrison has agreed to at least discuss it again. 

"We are working through those issues in the spirit of the relationship we have so I don't want to raise expectations on the outcome but at least there is recognition that this is a difficult situation," Ardern said. 

The de-escalation in tensions we've seen overnight is a significant step forward. Getting the Aussies back to the table even discussing the issue is a win. 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, because this is still Australia we're talking about and though we're family - they're not exactly known to buckle on their border.