Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on a five-day charm offensive in the Pacific as Foreign Minister Winston Peters signals a ''reset'' and increased aid for the region to try to maintain influence.
Ardern is on her first so-called ''Pacific Mission'' travelling with other MPs, business and community delegates to Samoa, Niue, Tonga and Rarotonga.
It is a route that was also travelled by her predecessors, John Key and Bill English.
Ardern told reporters there was a whole range of issues facing the Pacific - including climate change, resource use and globalisation.
New Zealand and Australia's role was to "amplify the voice of our Pacific neighbours and do so in partnership with them", she said.
Ardern's trip will include a visit to her father Ross Ardern, who is nearing the end of his term as High Commissioner to Niue before returning to New Zealand.
She will also see some of the recovery underway in Samoa and Tonga after Cyclone Gita and is expected to make some aid announcements.
Peters, Green Party co-leader James Shaw and National's foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee are on the trip, as well as Pacific MPs.
Ardern is travelling soon after her return from Australia, where Peters set out plans to ''reset'' New Zealand's attention on the Pacific.
Peters told Q+A it was important Australia and New Zealand stepped up in the Pacific to ensure they remained the most influential countries in the region. In Australia he had alluded to China's increased presence in the Pacific, speaking about "strategic anxiety".
He said New Zealand had to do better than its current aid budget as Pacific leaders looked to other countries.
"These sorts of things won't stack up against countries with a big cheque book who are printing money and are prepared to assist the Pacific, not always in the Pacific's interests."
Australia is the largest aid donor in the Pacific and New Zealand is second. China, the European Union and the United States also provide aid. There has long been concern about China's so-called ''soft loans'' to some Pacific nations, driving up debt.
- Additional reporting NZ Newswire