New Zealand's relationship with Australia will remain strong regardless of who leads it, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
Asked today about the leadership battle unfolding in Canberra and the possibility that Peter Dutton could be Australia's prime minister shortly, Ardern said: "Our relationship with Australia is incredibly strong and it will remain strong regardless of who is in leadership at any given time."
She did not believe the current instability would have an impact on New Zealand's and Australia's shared interests and relationship.
"Regardless of who holds a ministerial warrant or who is in leadership, New Zealand advocacy on behalf of New Zealand remains the same," Ardern said.
Deepening the leadership crisis today, several senior ministers in Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Cabinet tendered their resignations, saying they didn't believe he had support of the Liberal Party any longer.
Former immigration minister Peter Dutton has launched a bid for the leadership, resigning his portfolios and moving to the back bench yesterday. He didn't have the numbers yesterday but believes he does now.
Australia's Parliament has been adjourned until September 10.
Turnbull fronted the media this afternoon saying if he received a letter signed by a majority, he would call a party room meeting tomorrow for the leadership challenge.
He also wants confirmation that Dutton is eligible to sit in Parliament following questions about Commonwealth funding for his wife's childcare centres.
Australian media are also reporting that Dutton's interim replacement as Home Affairs Minister, Treasurer Scott Morrison, is also challenging for the leadership as an alternative to Turnbull, leading to a Dutton-Morrison two-way battle.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters was in Canberra yesterday for regular talks with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop. Her position as Liberals deputy leader is also under threat as speculation rises that Greg Hunt may be Dutton's deputy should he prevail.
Peters told Radio NZ today he had made it clear that New Zealand looked forward to a more stable political situation in Australia.
Peters said the instability could have an impact on the wider Pacific region if it got out of hand.
"The Australian political system, regardless of which part of the divide or politics in Australia you're addressing, I think there's a growing understanding of the Australian people and indeed in Canberra that this needs to improve."
Peters said it was a situation of enormous uncertainty at present.