Australian journalist accused of pushing an agenda with controversial New Zealand-China relationship story

A New Zealander interviewed for a controversial story about New Zealand's relationship with China says he felt the Australian journalist behind it was trying to push an agenda.

60 Minutes Australia has released a trailer for the story which examines New Zealand's ties to China. 

The promo has been ridiculed online for being overly dramatic, but Newshub understands the timing of it is no accident.

It looks and sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster, but the dramatic trailer is promoting a new current affairs story that alleges New Zealand has ditched Australia for our largest trade partner, China.

It even gave Aotearoa a new name - 'New Xi-Land' - a play on Chinese President Xi Jinping's name.

The New Zealand Government has faced some criticism recently over its stance on China.

Channel 9 says the story is about New Zealand not joining its Five Eyes spy partners - including Australia - in condemning China's human rights violations.

But Jacinda Ardern isn't impressed.

"Obviously, I would completely disagree with the way that they're framing New Zealand and our relationship with Australia."

The story also features Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett who says he felt Tom Steinfort, the journalist behind the story, wanted to push the agenda New Zealand had sold our soul to China in exchange for trade.

"The questioning that I confronted on the day of the interview was really to try and set me up. I just hope I was successful in maintaining my values."

It also featured an interview with NZME talk show host Mike Hosking.

Media commentator Richard Harman says the trailer is unexpected from the long-running current affair show.

"Well it's a little bit of a beat-up - it's obviously designed for a commercial audience," he said.

Channel 9 told Newshub that Steinfort is an impartial journalist, who sought a wide range of opinions.

They encourage Kiwis to watch the story on Sunday and come to their own conclusions.

That's the day Australian PM Scott Morrison arrives in New Zealand - with contentious topics, like 501 deportees on the table it was always going to be tricky, this story could make it even more awkward.