'China-NZ relations developing healthily with stability' says Chinese ministry amid worrying signals

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tonight pushed back against suggestions of a rift with New Zealand, saying China-New Zealand relations are "developing healthily with stability".

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The tourism industry is facing backlash amid a purported breakdown in New Zealand's relationship with China. Source: 1 NEWS

Fishing company Sanford has reported problems getting product cleared in our major export market and says it hasn't been told by the Chinese why.

And an article on a Chinese news site says Chinese travellers are growing wary of New Zealand and could avoid visiting. 

The National Party questioned the relationship with China after an Air New Zealand flight was turned back from Shanghai on Sunday, and a Chinese tourism event scheduled for next Wednesday at Te Papa was postponed.

It all comes after a block was put on New Zealand using Chinese telco Huawei to make a next-generation mobile network.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tonight responded to questions on trade and political relations between the two countries, and the reports Chinese nationals being warned not to come here.

"I don't know where you got the information that China warned Chinese citizens not to travel to New Zealand. We don't comment on media's or expert's remarks as you know. Additionally, it is here, not a Chinese state owned newspaper can represent China," spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

"According to my understanding, China's consulates have issued three safety notices. I don't think these three safety notices can be viewed as the warnings that Chinese citizens shouldn't go to New Zealand. If that's the case, that would be something exaggerated. Or even have other intentions. 

"I will say that China-New Zealand relations are developing healthily with stability, which fits peoples' interests in both countries. China is willing to promote two countries relationship moving forward based on mutual respect and benefits," Geng Shuang said.

"I will tell you that China always pays attention to high-level and other levels communications with the New Zealand side. Both sides are keeping in touch with each other," the statement concluded.

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Mr Davis says the story is only an issue because Peter Goodfellow has ties to both National and Sanford, the company reportedly having issues getting their produce into China. Source: 1 NEWS

Earlier today Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said National is trying to "economically sabotage New Zealand," as the National Party president, Peter Goodfellow, is a director on the board of Sanford, who have complained of delays exporting salmon to China.

Mr Davis said the story is only an issue because Peter Goodfellow has ties to both National and Sanford.

"This is one company who is having a problem, it isn't a trend. In fact MPI says that there are no trends going on but we've also got to be upfront and say that the president of the National Party is in fact a director on the board there (Sanford) and that's the reason that's become an issue," Mr Davis told 1 NEWS.

"I think they're trying to economically sabotage New Zealand and undermine what's a very strong relationship with China," he said.