A Chinese military base in Cambodia reportedly hosting a groundbreaking ceremony this week has ignited new concerns about Indo-Pacific security.
Overseas media reported the base under construction on the Gulf of Thailand was shrouded in secrecy.
The reports come as tensions rise over China's bid to expand its influence in the Pacific.
At a post-Cabinet press conference today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked about the base.
"For New Zealand, we often judge activity in the Asia-Pacific region based on the question of whether or not it provides peace and stability," Ardern said.
"We've been very opposed to the increasing militarisation of our region, the Pacific region. Because we do not believe it adds to the peace and stability in our backyard," she added.
"And that's the way we often approach these questions."
The Washington Post said the naval facility about 30km southeast of Sihanoukville would be for the exclusive use of China's military, but Phnom Penh and Beijing both denied that.
The military facility will reportedly be on the northern portion of Cambodia's Ream Naval Base.
New Australian PM Anthony Albanese was asked about the facility today and told reporters in Indonesia he was concerned about it.
"We are in regular contact with the Cambodian government and we have been consistently assured that no foreign military will be granted exclusive access at Ream," Albanese said.
According to AAP, the Australian PM said he'd been aware of Beijing's activity at Ream for some time and he encouraged China to be transparent about its intent.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Peeni Henare will leave for Singapore tomorrow to attend a regional defence and security forum called the Shangri-La Dialogue.
He is expected to meet with defence ministers from Australia, Singapore, Canada, and South Korea.