Donald Trump's right hand man and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit New Zealand next week.

Tillerson will meet Prime Minister Bill English and Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee in Wellington next Tuesday.

"New Zealand and the United States enjoy a long-standing friendship," said Brownlee.

"We share a deep interest in maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific region and we have worked closely together to counter terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States is our third-largest individual trading partner.


"We welcome Secretary Tillerson's visit as a chance to strengthen the close relationship between New Zealand and the United States, to discuss some of the world's most pressing issues, and to further promote our economic ties."

Tillerson is the first Secretary of State in modern history with no experience of public office.

He joined ExxonMobil in 1975 as a production engineer and became the company's chairman and chief executive in 2006.

In March, then Foreign Minister Murray McCully met Tillerson during counter-Isis talks in Washington DC.

McCully sat next to him during lunch in Washington, and said he was a "completely different personality" to his predecessor John Kerry.

Tillerson was "very professional but very personable", McCully said.

"You don't get to be the head of Exxon without being a hugely capable and intelligent person."

Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis will travel to Sydney on Monday to meet their Australian counterparts.


US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson's visit to New Zealand will "reaffirm our strong ties and discuss coordination on shared strategic interests".

There is a remote chance Tillerson's visit to New Zealand could precede a Presidential visit.