Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes off for a jam-packed week in New York tomorrow, and while a formal meeting with US President Donald Trump is not on the cards she said she would raise the issue of trade if she got a chance.

Ardern's week in New York along with about 140 other leaders in town for the UN General Assembly includes appearances on major US television shows, a meeting with actor Anne Hathaway, and her first speech as NZ leader at the United Nations.

Ardern will travel with her partner Clarke Gayford and baby Neve but her schedule will leave no time for sightseeing with them.

Ardern will not have a formal meeting with US President Donald Trump and did not know if she would get a chance to talk to him.

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She will also attend a dinner on Tuesday night hosted for all leaders in New York for the General Assembly.

"If an opportunity arises, I'll always make sure I use it in a purposeful way. I would use it to raise legitimate issues like trade. That would be top of my agenda. Issues that are in New Zealand's wider interest."

The US and China are in the midst of a tit-for-tat on tariffs, and New Zealand has not secured an exemption from tariffs the US placed on steel.

Ardern will speak at several major summits on peace, climate change and alongside former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a New York Times-hosted event on women in leadership.

Her media appearances include The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Today show, which are watched by about eight million people between them.

She will also be the first guest interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour for the Amanpour. news show.

Ardern's address to the General Assembly will be on Friday, NZ time.

Ardern said she would be focusing on issues that were important to New Zealand, such as global co-operation on climate change and on free trade as the tariff war between China and the US escalated.

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"It's a chance to advance New Zealand's interests on the world stage, reconnect with partners and for new alliances."

She had focused on getting face time with leaders such as those of the EU, given New Zealand's trade negotiations.

The lead-up to the trip has included Ardern announcing New Zealand will continue with its deployments of military trainers to Iraq and Afghanistan but would soon review the future of both.

She also announced New Zealand was increasing its refugee quota to 1500 a year in 2020, which she said would put New Zealand in a more credible position at the UN.

It coincides with the US further dropping its intake of refugees to about 31,000 over the next year.

Highlights of the PM's trip to the Big Apple:

(NZ times)

Monday:

Keynote speech at Social Good Summit, meet NZ business people.

Tuesday:
Appear on NBC's Today show, viewership of about 4.2 million.
Climate Week summit and keynote speaker at Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.
Attend reception hosted by US President Donald Trump.

Wednesday:
US President Donald Trump delivers speech at UN.
Ardern meets Anne Hathaway, a UN goodwill ambassador who advocates for paid parental leave
Interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN

Thursday:
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Speaker at French President Emmanuel Macron's Global Planet Summit and at a Bloomberg Business Forum.

Friday:
First meeting of Carbon Neutrality Conference, convened by New Zealand.