Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison have a big agenda to get through during their talks in Queenstown over Sunday and Monday, and China and regional security will loom large in many of them.
And they are likely to dismiss any suggestion that transtasman relations are at a low ebb, despite clear degrees of difference about how to treat a rising China, and how to treat Kiwis in Australia.
Morrison is due to arrive on Sunday afternoon from Canberra with his wife Jenny and a delegation - all of whom must have tested negative for Covid-19 under current entry conditions to New Zealand after the outbreak in Melbourne.
The international rugby game they had been due to watch together, Otago's Highlanders vs Melbourne's Rebels, has been moved to Sydney, disappointing the 10,000 who were attending and the Queenstown business and tourism sector.
Morrison will still be able to take in some of Queenstown's spectacular scenery. The programme includes a powhiri, a wreath laying, a business reception, informal talks, formal talks and a working lunch.
Covid-19 co-operation and ways of opening up to other countries in a co-ordinated way will be top of the agenda.
Morrison is due to attend the G7 in two weeks as a special guest of UK Prime Minister and host Boris Johnson, very much as a regional leader.
Developments in the Pacific will feature large on Ardern and Morrison's agenda, including vaccine assistance, the resistance of the previous Samoa Government to transfer power after elections, and the crisis in the Pacific Islands Forum in which five of its Micronesian members are threatening to leave over the appointment of the secretary general.
One of the issues at stake in Samoa is whether a Chinese-backed $100 million wharf development goes ahead. Fiame Naomi Mataafa, the leader of the winning party, has vowed to stop the development.
Defence and regional security will feature in the talks, with Ardern and Morrison looking to emphasise more of what they have in common rather than difference over whether the Five Eyes network (US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ) is the right diplomatic vehicle to condemn China.
Australia is likely to press New Zealand on its plans and commitments to step up its defence capability – Australia is New Zealand's only formal ally.
The pair are certain to discuss developments in the new Biden Administration in the United States, including developments in the Quad grouping that Australia is part of, with Japan, India and the US dedicated to countering any dominance of China in the region.
Kurt Campbell, Biden's key adviser for the Indo Pacific on the National Security Council, this week said a period that had been broadly defined as engagement with China had come to an end.
"The dominant paradigm is going to be competition."
He said the Quad would meet in person in a few months to focus on infrastructure projects and he said other countries would be welcome to work with the Quad.
"This is not a fancy club," he told an online seminar hosted by Stanford University.
Campbell is well known to New Zealand – he helped broker the final thaw between the US and New Zealand under the Obama Administration.
Morrison and Ardern are also like to discuss climate change and the COP26 summit scheduled for Glasgow later this year.
Morrison is the third Australian Prime Minister in the past 10 years to have been hosted by their New Zealand counterpart in Queenstown. John Key hosted Julia Gillard and Bill English hosted Malcolm Turnbull.