Jacinda Ardern says children of NZ-born suspected Islamic State terrorist better off in Turkey than Syria, but should go to Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's still trying to get Australia to take responsibility for a New Zealand citizen suspected of being an Islamic State terrorist recently captured in Turkey.

Suhayra Aden, arrested by Turkish authorities near the border with Syria, was originally a dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia - but Australia renounced the 26-year-old's citizenship, leaving her New Zealand's problem.

The sticking point between the two nations is that she hasn't lived in New Zealand since she was a young child, having spent her formative years in Australia before leaving for Syria when she was about 19. 

Aden has two young children, which Ardern told Newshub Nation have always been the priority. 

"The first thing that we made sure is that the welfare needs of the children were being met where they are now, and so we're being assured of that," the Prime Minister said.

"We don't want this to be long, drawn-out and protracted, but we do want to try and get the right solution."

In her view, that's Australia taking her back. 

"Even if it were straightforward and there wasn't a citizenship debate, just a simple repatriation wouldn't happen quickly. There are things that you need to just make sure are in order. 

"But if we are thinking about the wellbeing of the kids, then surely we'd think about making sure that this person was repatriated to the place they had family, and that place is Australia."

Ardern said wherever they're being kept in Turkey at present would no doubt be "far better" than where they were.

"But, of course, the baseline is pretty bad. I mean, you know, whilst we don't have full information, everyone has seen what the situation in Syria has been for some time, and what those camps - it's been for some time."

RNZ reported last week Turkey was planning to deport Aden, with documents suggesting New Zealand would be her destination. 

Ardern had previously described Australia's move to strip Aden's citizenship as "not the right thing to do". International law prevents New Zealand from following suit, as that would leave Aden stateless.