Foreign Minister Winston Peters said he cannot forecast if New Zealand will face repercussions from China after we suspended our extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The suspension was announced yesterday following recent law changes were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said was not consistent with "New Zealand's principles".

When asked about repercussions, Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning: "The ball is in their court.

"There are 1.4 billion people in China who are desperate for our supplies... There is every reason for the regime to be mindful of that."


Peters said if there were to be repercussions from China then New Zealand would maintain its belief in the will of law for democracy.

"We have acted purely independently. In the last year there have been circumstances where we have gone first and the others [countries] have gone later on.

"This decision was made when Foreign Affairs was asked to look at every ramification that might arise from what's happening in Hong Kong."

Peters said what he would say to China was that "you have made a commitment, you've told us this, we believe you and we are going to go on believing you until you tell us, for example, you have no desire to keep the commitment you have made".

Yesterday, Peters announced the suspension.

Ardern said the new national security legislation in Hong Kong did not sit well with New Zealand's principles.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Ardern said those principles were "basic freedom of association and the right to take a political view".

When asked if New Zealand should expect repercussions from China, Ardern said the two countries have a "mature" relationship.


Peters yesterday said New Zealand could no longer trust that Hong Kong's criminal justice system was independent from China.

"China's passage of its new national security legislation has eroded rule-of-law principles, undermined the 'one country, two systems' framework that underpins Hong Kong's unique status, and gone against commitments China made to the international community," he said.

New Zealand's move follows similar moves by Five Eyes partners, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom against the former British colony which was handed back to China in 1997 on the basis it remains autonomous for 50 years – the one country, two systems principle.