Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters' primary focus in going to Turkey was not to raise concerns about its president playing videos of the Christchurch shooting at rallies, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
Although the New Zealand Government's view is the video should not be shown, Ardern said Peters' main goal of the trip was to give assurances that New Zealand was not a country that allowed white supremacy to thrive.
And that was something Peters – who is also the Deputy Prime Minister – was successful in doing, Ardern said.
Peters last week travelled to an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the attacks on two Mosques in Christchurch on March 15.
He was invited by the Turks.
Before the meeting, Ardern said there was a view in Turkey that the attacks in Christchurch were representative of New Zealand's attitude towards the Muslim community.
"We were facing a situation where they [the OIC] viewed, potentially, that New Zealand was a place that allowed for white supremacy movements to thrive and threaten directly in the death of 50 members of our Muslim community and that somehow New Zealand could have implied to have given passive support to that," she told Newstalk ZB this morning.
"That was what the Deputy Prime Minister was having to go and confront directly – that was the primary focus and that was exactly what he needed to do."
She said that was "much bigger than a video".
After the meeting, Ardern said the rhetoric of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had changed.
"You'll see from the statement from the Turkish leader when he left, he gave a direct statement giving the assurance of New Zealanders' safety."
On Sunday, a statement from the Turkish Embassy in Wellington said there was no "hostile environment in Turkey against the citizens of New Zealand and Australia".
Not long after news of the shooting broke, Erdogan said, in what seemed to be a message aimed at New Zealanders and Westerners: "Your grandparents came, some of them returned in coffins. If you come as well like your grandfathers, be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers."
But speaking alongside the Prime Minister at post-cab last night, Peters said Erdogan's rhetoric around the terror attack, and New Zealand's involvement, had shifted.
Although Peters said the version of the video Erdogan has continued to play at rallies has changed, both he and the Prime Minister have made it clear the New Zealand Government does not want the video of the shooting in Christchurch to be played at all.
Meanwhile, Ardern said she had "no reason not to believe" Peters when he said he was in a state of "deep contemplation" at the OIC meeting last week.
Images and video taken OIC meeting showed Peters, who is 73, with his head slumped and eyes closed for extended periods of time.
He said he was in a "state of deep contemplation" at the time.
Some have claimed he was asleep.
Ardern said this morning: "I have worked alongside him for some time and I have never had the experience that people are accusing him of."
She said she had been in some "extraordinarily" long meetings with Peters and she has always found him "nothing but attentive and thoughtful".