United States President Donald Trump has taken to his favourite medium to call his face-to-face with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a "wonderful meeting".

Ardern and the US's 45th president met in New York this morning on the sidelines of the UN Climate Summit.

"President Trump views New Zealand very warmly, views the relationship very warmly and holds New Zealand in very high regard," Ardern told reporters afterwards.

Trump appears to agree, on Tuesday (NZ time) retweeting a Herald story about the meeting to his nearly 65 million followers.


"True. A wonderful meeting!" he said in the late-night message.

After the meeting, from which media were barred, Ardern – who has in past been described been described as the anti-Trump - said she and the president discussed trade, tourism, the Christchurch and that she had briefly raised the Climate Summit.

Trump is understood to have asked Ardern, unprompted, about the gun law reform that she pushed through in the aftermath of March 15, which banned most military-style semi-automatic firearms and led to a buyback process that so far has collected about 20,000 firearms and paid out $36.7 million.

He met with March 15 survivor Farid Ahmed at the White House and has talked about possible gun law reform in the US, which he has previously opposed.

Ardern said Trump showed an interest in what New Zealand had done.

"We were able to move quickly and with consensus, and that obviously stood out to the world... he listened with interest," she said.

"I certainly wouldn't want to predetermine that that means anything in particular for the US other than an interest in what we did."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting US President Donald Trump.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting US President Donald Trump.

A free trade deal was also discussed, and the Herald understands that senior trade officials are scheduled to visit Washington in next month for preliminary talks about a possible agreement.


Ardern said that Trump was enthusiastic about a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

"We already have a trade surplus [with the US]. The idea of continuing a conversation about New Zealand's trade relationship with the US was greeted warmly, and I expect there will be some ongoing conversations.

"These things do take time. The fact that there was that enthusiasm there to continue those conversations I think is really important."

Twitter users were quick to point out that Ardern had managed to secure a tweet about New Zealand with the 25-minute meeting, while former Prime Minister Sir John Key couldn't get one out of ex US president Barack Obama despite arranging a $500,000 visit in 2018.