Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reacted to Donald Trump's latest bid for the US Presidency by saying she's noticed a "positive change" in the United States' engagement in the Pacific since he left office in 2020.
The 45th US President, who lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, launched his re-election campaign on Wednesday. He told supporters the US was a "great nation" two years ago, and "soon we will be a great nation again".
Ardern was asked overnight what she thought of Trump's announcement.
"My job is to reflect on the political environment and how it impacts on New Zealand. My reflection would be that since we've had President Biden in the role, you see the re-engagement in our region, you see the bilateral relationship changing.
"That's been positive for New Zealand and I believe it's been positive for the region. So that would be my reflection. I've seen a positive change since there's been a change in president."
While Ardern and Trump's first terms in office overlapped, the pair only had a small number of one-on-one engagements and the New Zealand Prime Minister never went to the White House while Trump was in residence.
Ardern criticised a number of comments Trump made in office, including that there was a "big surge" in COVID-19 cases in New Zealand at a time when Aotearoa only recorded nine new ones.
"Obviously it's patently wrong," Ardern said of Trump's comments. "We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to COVID and our workers are focused on keeping it that way."
National leader Christopher Luxon was also asked if he had any comment on Trump's re-election bid.
"I don't get involved in other countries' politics," he said. "I will ultimately work with whichever President the Americans deliver. It is important for New Zealand I can work with anyone."