Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern jets off to Southeast Asia, racking up the air miles for summit season

The Prime Minister has taken off for a jam-packed trip to Southeast Asia.

Leaders from around the globe are being pulled to the region for summit season as tensions rise.

The trip adds to a long list of overseas travel the Prime Minister has done in 2022.

President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping and Ardern are all heading to Southeast Asia at the same time.

"Regional tensions have undoubtedly increased," Ardern said

Tensions have risen as three major leaders' meetings are happening in the space of a week.

First is the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, Biden will be there but Ardern isn't after another sit-down.

"President Biden and I had the opportunity to meet at length earlier in the year. I expect we will catch up in the margins but the focus for us on this occasion will be meeting those who may be newer to those forums," Ardern said.

Biden will then head to Bali to attend the G20 meeting of the 20 most powerful nations in the world.

At the meeting, Biden and Jinping will meet face-to-face.

New Zealand wasn't invited to the G20 meeting so the Prime Minister will head to Vietnam for a trade mission.

"It's an area of considerable opportunity. We've seen for instance a 43 per cent increase in our trade in Vietnam in just five years," Ardern said.

At the end of the week, the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) will be held in Thailand, where Newshub understands a mega meeting could be on the cards.

"We'll be confirming bilaterals closer to the time," Ardern said.

It hinges on the scheduling of the three-meeting bonanza with a very male-dominated lineup.

"I'm now the only woman at the East Asia Summit, so that weighs on my mind," Ardern said.

Also weighing on her mind is the stumbling state of international relationships, especially in a region threatened by North Korea's nukes and China's increasing aggression.

The Prime Minister wants New Zealand to be the peacemaker.

"Our job will be how do we drive consensus in these troubled times," Ardern said.

Troubled by war, protectionism and COVID-19, the world is opening up and the Prime Minister is wracking up the air miles.

This year she visited Singapore, Japan, the United States, Australia, Fiji, the EU, the UK, and Australia again then back to the UK again for the Queen's funeral.

Back to the US, Antarctica and now to South East Asia.

"We have a very clear message for the world right now - NZ is open for business, we're open for travel, we're open for tourism and trade. I see my job as leading the charge and really sharing that message," Ardern said.

Newshub Nation has added up all the days the Prime Minister was out of the country and added up to 62 days which is around eight weeks.

"I don't take any decision to travel overseas lightly. For me, I have to be able to demonstrate the value of it to New Zealand before I take that opportunity," Ardern said.

A major factor in the Prime Minister's decision not to go to the COP climate summit was how long she'd be away for.

"I would be gone for a continuous long period. I would not be chairing cabinets through those periods I am very mindful of the length of time I spend out of the country at any given time," she said.

The Prime Minister has spent more than two months this year out of the country, but it's not been without its benefits.

She's secured free trade deals with the UK and EU, won Kiwis in Australia citizenship rights and scored the hallowed White House visit.

And its wheels up yet again to continue the reconnection mission.