The Christchurch mosque massacres were referred to several times during speeches to open New Zealand's embassy in Beijing today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, accompanied by partner Clarke Gayford, referred to a gathering of solidarity two weeks ago after the massacre.

"You gathered together as New Zealanders to acknowledge that we have not experienced that kind of violence in that kind of way on our shores before, that that did not change the values that we hold as a nation, that we are a country of multiple ethnicities, multiple religions and faiths, different creeds.

Part of He Pakiaka room at the embassy. Photo / Audrey Young
Part of He Pakiaka room at the embassy. Photo / Audrey Young

"Ultimately we are joined together by a set of values," she said.

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Those are values that no matter where we are in the world, we hold dear, that we are open, inclusive, that we welcome those who choose to come our shores."

The growing footprint of New Zealand in China was related to the growing importance of its relations with China. Tourism numbers could soon overtake the number of Australians who visited New Zealand, she said.

Student numbers were large and economic links were strong.

She thanked the 80 or so embassy staff for their work, saying a building was only as good as the people who worked in it and the opportunities they provided to strengthen ties with China.

Speaking to New Zealand reporters after the opening and before official welcome and meeting with Premier Li Kiqiang, Ardern said she would be setting out the process of the GCSB on Huawei's involvement in Spark's 5G plans.

"Certainly I'll set out the process and that it is something that sits entirely separate from us as politicians.

"It is an opportunity to talk about New Zealand's unique legislative framework. "

What New Zealand was going through was very different to other processes of Five Eyes partners (Australia, Canada Uk and the United States).

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Without committing to raising the issue of the detention of Juighur muslims, Ardern said human rights issues were routinely raised with China.

Ambassador Clare Fearnley invited Ardern to unveil a plaque.

Part of the new build includes a room, He Pakiaka, which is lined with Maori tukutuku panels and carvings (whakairo).

The room actually formed part of the old embassy from 1986 - inspired by former Race Relations Conciliator Hiwi Tauroa - and has been reassembled as a special meeting room in the new building.

An artist's impression of the new embassy in Beijing, before it was built. Photo / Supplied
An artist's impression of the new embassy in Beijing, before it was built. Photo / Supplied

It also comprises the ambassador's residence.

The architect from the embassy project was Dominick Mazur.

The new embassy was commissioned in 2014 by then Prime Minister John Key.
It has cost $50 million to build.

It holds staff from eight different agencies - immigration and tourism have their own offices not far from the compound.