The centre-piece of the Pacific Islands Forum, the much-anticipated leaders' meeting, was overshadowed by Aussie outrage at comments made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday.
But Ardern believes her comments about the Australian Government's commitment to climate change have been misrepresented by Australian media and commentators.
Speaking to a media pack made up of both Aussie and Kiwi journalists on Wednesday, Ardern was asked about certain Pacific Island leaders challenging Australia to move away from using coal as an energy source.
Ardern was careful to sit on the fence, and said that issues around Australia's domestic policy "are issues for Australia".
She also said that New Zealand would do its bit when it comes to climate change, "and we have an expectation that everyone else will as well".
She said that "Australia had to answer to the Pacific" and "that was a matter for them".
But Australian media took that to mean Ardern was "challenging" Morrison's Government and one outlet went as far as saying Ardern had "blasted" the Aussie Government.
The coverage prompted Australian talkback host Alan Jones to criticise Ardern for apparently calling out Australia, and going so far as to suggest Morrison should "shove a sock down her throat."
But a spokeswoman for Ardern said the Prime Minister does not believe her comments have been accurately reflected.
"As she highlighted yesterday, she believes we all must hold ourselves to account domestically and internationally for our own climate action."
Ardern will hold a media stand up later tonight after the leaders' meeting is done.
But in the meantime, Foreign Minister Winston Peters waded into the debate in an apparent bid to play down any sense of New Zealand criticising Australia.
He told ABC that Pacific Island nations seeking Chinese investment need to remember that investment comes off the back of "coal-fired everything".
He said he was concerned at any perception that Morrison was "somehow acting incorrectly" when that was not the real picture.
National leader Simon Bridges also weighed in, tweeting: "Why fight one diplomatic fire when you can pour petrol on it and start another eh Winston?"
Ardern has been at the leaders' meeting since 10am New Zealand time and has not been able to talk to media.
It's likely much of the focus of the talks focused on Australia's climate change commitments after key Pacific leaders called out Morrison for his Government's climate change inaction.
The leaders' meeting was meant to be seven hours, but talks went well over time.
Although New Zealand is the second biggest country at the annual forum, leaders have not been as openly confrontational towards Ardern as they had been to Morrison.
In fact, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama praised Ardern on his way into the leaders' meeting this morning.
Asked what more New Zealand could do for Fiji, and the wider Pacific, when it came to climate change, Bainimarama said: "she has already done enough for us, just [by] speaking out".
Earlier in the week, Bainimarama appealed directly to Australia to do "everything possible" to move away from coal as an energy source.
"That transition should be just for your own people and just for us here in the Pacific, where we face an existential threat that you don't face and challenges we expect your governments and people to more fully appreciate."