Prime Minister John Key said New Zealand helping to train Iraqi troops was among the options the Government would consider when ruling on its contribution to the fight against Isis (Islamic State).

But the range of options went from New Zealanders physically fighting to New Zealanders doing nothing. Mr Key was commenting after Australia finalising an agreement with the Iraq Government for Australia special forces to support Iraqi military.

"Training is definitely a potential option that we might consider," he said.

It reiterated what US President Barack Obama had been saying - to aim to develop Iraq's national forces so it could defend itself against the Isis group.


Mr Key said the Government would decide on its contribution to Iraq in two to four weeks.

Mr Key said he had spoken to the Australian Prime Minister last Friday about Iraq after Tony Abbott had called to congratulate New Zealand on its election to the United Nations Security Council.

"He didn't actively encourage or discourage us," Mr Key said. "But I think it would go without saying that Australia, as our closest neighbour, would obviously welcome any involvement from [us]."

Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating has briefed new Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee about his meeting last week near Washington, billed as a meeting of the coalition against Isis.

Yesterday, Mr Key said General Keating had not known Mr Obama would attend until he arrived.