New Zealand will take Japan to the International Court of Justice over its Southern Ocean whaling programme if last minute diplomatic solutions are not found.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand will go to the Hague if diplomatic efforts are not successful in the next "week or two".

He made the comments alongside his Australian coutrepart Stephen Smith at a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forums Ministerial Contact Group today. Australia has already lodged legal proceedings against Japan.

"Our view is that we continually wanted a diplomatic solution," Mr McCully said.

Mr Smith told reporters that Australia had not had any success during bilateral talks and the International Whaling Commission.

"We will try and achieve our objections through the legal process," Mr Smith said.

He said Australia and New Zealand have a close working relationship and would continue to do so in the future.

Mr Smith said last week that he had spoken to his counterpart in Japan before the announcement and both of them agreed the case would not disturb the country's international relationship.

Federal Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett joined Mr Smith for the announcement and said Japan's so-called 'scientific' whaling programme must end.

"We want to see an end to whales being killed in the name of science in the Southern Ocean."