GCSB head Andrew Hampton has made it clear that he is not concerned about any damage in relations between New Zealand and China over his decisions involving Huawei.

"I am in the national security business. I am not in the foreign affairs business," he told reporters at Parliament after appearing before the Intelligence and Security Committee.

But he also dampened speculation that any clearance of Huawei 5G technology in Britain would necessarily have a similar effect in New Zealand.

Speaking about the UK Huawei evaluation centre, he said its work was useful in informing the GCSB decision-making "but their level of confidence in Huawei has been decreasing."


"That is of course a factor that we take into account, that we are aware of in our decision-making role."

He dismissed a report that said New Zealand's GCSB had subcontracted any of its testing or monitoring work to its British equivalent, the GCHQ.

He said he had come under no pressure, privately or publicly by Five Eyes partners on his 5G decision.

The preliminary decision in November worsened relations between China and New Zealand which have dominated news headlines for two weeks.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tried to lower the temperature by reading a positive statement on China at her press conference on Monday and Chinese ambassador Wu Xi made a statement the same day about the current problems and potential for improved relations.

The two women also had a lengthy discussion on Wednesday at an Air New Zealand function at Parliament.

Ardern downplayed problems and made reference to a comment by China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang who last week said: "A China-New Zealand relationship enjoying sound and steady development is in the interest of both countries and peoples.

"China stands ready to work with New Zealand on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit for new progress in bilateral relations."

Yesterday the same spokesman added to the commentary on the relationship: "New Zealand has long been occupying a leading position in developed countries as it set many records in bilateral co-operation.

"Under new circumstances, China-New Zealand relations are facing new opportunities for development.

"Following the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, the two sides need to enhance mutual trust and co-operation, rise above disturbances and work for the steady and sound growth of China-New Zealand relations."

Ardern has also announced that Economic Development Minister David Parker is set to attend the second Belt and Road conference in April at the invitation of Beijing.

Meanwhile, National Party leader Simon Bridges criticised an outburst by Foreign Minister Winston Peters against former National Prime Minister Jenny Shipley when it was thought she had written a piece in the People's Daily praising China.

Peters stood by his insults, despite it emerging that Shipley had not written an opinion piece but that the website had compiled an article based on an interview with her last year.

Bridges said it was the "same old, same old" from Peters – a person who vented his personal animosities publicly.

"He is the guy who got us into the problem with China."

Ardern had let him run amok. Ardern would not comment on Peters' attack on Shipley, who chairs the China Construction Bank NZ.

Questioned in the House by National's Todd McClay, Peters said his position on the Belt and Road, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative, was unchanged.

He was still awaiting a response from Foreign Minister Wang Yi on what it meant.