Despite the government's $10 million aid package to Samoa for Cyclone Gita relief, Jacinda Ardern has said she desires a shift away from a "donor, recipient relationship" with Pacific island nations.
The Prime Minister spoke to TVNZ 1's Breakfast from Samoa this morning, saying she thought New Zealand needed an increased focus on forming relationships with Pacific nations.
But she would not go so far as to say the previous National Government had neglected the region.
"We should be forming partnerships with our Pacific neighbours," Ms Ardern said.
"These are mature democracies, seasoned politicians, so that's one element of the shift, but equally, we are members of the pacific.
"One fifth of our population will either be Maori or Pacific in the future, we do need to make sure we're doing our bit in our region."
The Prime Minister was also questioned on New Zealand's migration ballot for Samoa - in which 1100 Samoans are allowed to migrate to Kiwi shores annually.
However, a key condition for this migration is the Samoan nationals must have an offer of a permanent job in New Zealand.
Ms Ardern addressed comments from the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, that such restrictions are unfair.
"For us it's about making sure that someone who comes to New Zealand to make a home does have a sustainable income, and is able to have a decent quality of life," Ms Ardern said.
Ms Ardern also touched on the $10 million assistance package announced yesterday for Samoa.
Three million of the funds will go directly towards relief to Cyclone Gita damage.
And $6.5 million of the package will contribute towards educating Samoan small businesses, offering technical support, mentoring and advice - particularly for women and young people.