New Zealand eyes Aus deportations rethink

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern is hoping New Zealand will see less deportees after Labor's election win in Australia -AP

New Zealand is eyeing an improved relationship with Australia after the election of Anthony Albanese.

Jacinda Ardern says she will use soon-to-be-arranged talks with the new Labor PM to progress New Zealand's biggest issue with its most important relationship: deportations.

Labor's rise to power in Australia means the centre-left is in government on both sides of the Tasman.

The alignment is rare, occurring for just one year in the past 32 - in 2008, the first year of Kevin Rudd's government and the last of Helen Clark's.

Already Ms Ardern and Mr Albanese have chatted twice; once as the incoming PM went to give his victory speech, and again on Sunday.

In breakfast television and radio interviews on Monday, Ms Ardern said their focus was on international issues.

"The prime minister-elect is heading to a Quad meeting. I'm off to the United States," she said.

"We talked about the ability to meet sometime soon so that we can talk face-to-face about those issues."

The pair could meet formally as soon as next month, when the Pacific Islands Forum is expected to be held in Fiji.

When that meeting occurs, Australia's "501" deportations will be front and centre.

Each year, Australia deports hundreds of people to New Zealand using a power under section 501 in the Migration Act, which allows the immigration minister to do so on the basis of character, rather than criminal convictions.

New Zealand sees those deportees - who often don't have familial or community links in Aotearoa - as an abrogation of the trans-Tasman friendship.

Deportations have increased during the nine years of coalition government, and previous NZ appeals, both public and private, have failed to turn down the tap.

Two days out from election day, the Guardian reported Labor was likely to be less hard-nosed in office, though Mr Albanese told reporters on the campaign trail some deportations would continue.

"If people commit serious offences then action should be taken in Australia's national interests," he told reporters on the campaign trail in Sydney.

"Jacinda Ardern is someone who I've met with here in Australia and also in Wellington and in Auckland. I think she is an outstanding prime minister and I'm sure that we would have a very warm and cordial relationship."

Ms Ardern said both Australia and New Zealand deported individuals, but she took issue with "the way it's been applied where we've had individuals who had no connection to New Zealand".

"It's been a persistent issue in our relationship," she said.

"That was the part that you saw the prime minister-elect recognise.

"In those early talks I've had with with Anthony, certainly he knows those are the things I'm keen to discuss ... so look, let's see, let's have those discussions."

Asked what she took from the election results, Ms Ardern, a keen Australian politics observer, said it was influence of climate policy.

"That was one of the three platforms - gender, integrity and climate ... of the so called teal candidates," she said.

"You see in Brisbane as well as the Greens picking up seats in those areas that have been flood-stricken."