After an extraordinary bombshell 24 hours earlier, Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he is no longer a New Zealand citizen.

The National Party of Australia leader told Australia's Parliament he had received verbal confirmation before Question Time that his application to renounce his NZ citizenship had been accepted.

He is now awaiting documentation.

"We've received verbal communication from New Zealand before question time that that has now been accepted," the deputy prime minister said. "We're looking forward to the written advice turning up pronto."


Meanwhile, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has moved to quell a ruction with the Australian Government, telling Australia's High Commissioner the actions of MP Chris Hipkins were inappropriate and refusing to criticise Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for her comments on Labour, saying she did not wish to inflame the situation further.

Ardern called in High Commissioner Peter Woolcott after Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she could not trust a future Labour Government if it had colluded with Australia's Labor Party to try to undermine the Government by uncovering the fact Joyce was a New Zealand citizen.

Ardern said she told Woolcott her MP Chris Hipkins' actions in asking questions that related to the issue of citizenship by descent after a conversation with an Australian Labor Party staffer were inappropriate, but stopped short of apologising.

"My intent in making that call was to be absolutely clear that the NZ Labour Party's relationship with the Australian Government is incredibly important to us."

Ardern said she was open to talking to Bishop directly and had asked the High Commissioner to convey that invitation. She could not call herself because "I don't have her number."

"The relationship between the New Zealand Labour Party and the Australian Government is too important for politics to get in the way," she said.

"My hope in this is to have been absolutely clear and transparent with those involved around our level of knowledge, the level of involvement and to be clear again that regardless of whether or not we knew the basis on which those questions were being asked, they should never have been asked.

"Australian domestic politics is for them, not us."

She said the first she had known of Joyce's issue was when it appeared in the media this week. After Joyce referred to the New Zealand Labour Party in Parliament, she tried to find out what had happened.

"I learnt one of my members of Parliament had asked two questions which related to issues of citizenship. Hipkins should never have asked those questions. I've made that absolutely clear to him."

She said Hipkins had assured her he had not known the questions he was asked by an ALP staffer related to Joyce, but he should have known it was likely to relate to the controversy over cases dual citizenship in the Australian Parliament.

"We had no knowledge of Mr Joyce's situation. I conveyed all that to the High Commissioner."

She had also referred to Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne comments that the issue was investigated after queries from an Australian journalist, rather than Hipkins.

She did not know how Joyce had come to know of Hipkins questions.

Ardern said she was "disappointed" at Bishop's comments that she could not trust a future Labour Government.

"I'm disappointed she's expressed her view in that way because as I've made very, very clear, the actions of one of my MPs was a mistake. He's acknowledged that himself.
So I am disappointed, but I will not let that get in the way of our relationship."

However, she would not say if it was inappropriate for Bishop to make such comments when the New Zealand election was just six weeks away.

"I'm not going to escalate the situation. My resolve is to make sure we get our relationship back on track. I'm not going to let this issue get in the way of that."

Ardern said she had not spoken to Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten since he rang to congratulate her on becoming leader. She did not believe Hipkins' ALP contact was in Shorten's office.

Bishop today accused the Labor Party of compromising relations between Australia and New Zealand, saying it would be hard to develop a relationship with members of a party that had been "used by the Australian Labor Party to seek to undermine the Australian government".

She slammed Opposition leader Bill Shorten for "treachery" in a spirited press conference after revelations a Labor MP prompted a New Zealand Labour MP to probe Barnaby Joyce's citizenship status.

"Bill Shorten has sought to use a foreign political party to raise serious allegations in a foreign Parliament designed to undermine confidence in the Australian Government," Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra.

"Bill Shorten has serious questions to answer.

"This is highly unethical, at least.

"But, more importantly, puts at risk the relationship between the Australian Government and the New Zealand Government."

She called on Shorten to reveal the name of the MP who spoke to New Zealand Labour.

"We're used to the dodgy backroom deals from Bill Shorten when he was leader of the union movement - he's now brought that not only into Australian politics but now into the international politics."

- additional reporting