Jacinda Ardern sent a personal message of thanks to Theresa May after resignation announcement

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she has sent a message of support to her British counterpart Theresa May after hearing of her resignation announcement.

May announced last night she will step down from her position lext month after bowing to relentless pressure from her party to quit over her failure to take Britain out of the European Union on schedule.

Ardern reached out to May shortly after.

"I’ve messaged Theresa May to personally thank her for her support on a number of issues of importance to New Zealand," she said.

"New Zealand has been and will remain a close friend and partner of the UK and there’s no question that will continue."

In her announcement, May said serving as the second female prime minister in Britain's history was "the honour of my life to hold".

Other world leaders have also spoken of May's resignation with US President Donald Trump applauding her.

"I feel badly for Theresa. I like her very much. She's a good woman. She worked very hard. She's very strong," Trump said.

"She decided to do something that some people were surprised at, some people weren't, for the good of her country. But I like her very much."

French President Emmanuel Macron wasn't so caring with his words, urging for "swift clarification" on Britain's exit in the aftermath of the resignation, stressing a need to "maintain the smooth functioning of the EU" with the European Commission ruling out any change to the Brexit policy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also focused more on Brexit than May, saying her country would keep working toward an "orderly" Brexit, adding that her government would "continue to make every effort to ensure that there is a good partnership with Great Britain".

May will step down as Conservative leader on June 7.

Theresa May and Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS