Canberra to work closely with new NZ PM

The treasurer has pledged to work closely with the new prime minister across the ditch.

New Zealand's education minister, Chris Hipkins, will become the country's next prime minister after Jacinda Ardern announced her shock resignation on Thursday.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it would be a huge year for the trans-Tasman neighbours as 2023 marked the 40th anniversary of an economic agreement that underpinned the relationship.

"Chris Hipkins is obviously someone of immense experience and intellect and depth and we are really looking forward to working with him," he said.

"We've got a big trans-Tasman agenda."

Dr Chalmers described the two nations as being like family.

"He is obviously a really worthy successor to prime minister Ardern. Our countries are incredibly close," he said.

"We're looking forward to engaging with him and with his colleagues once he's sworn in a little bit later in the year."

Mr Albanese congratulated the new NZ leader on Saturday when Mr Hipkins emerged as Labour's consensus candidate.

"A warm discussion this morning with incoming NZ Labour Leader Chris Hipkins. I congratulate him and look forward to working with him as prime minister," Mr Albanese tweeted.

Mr Hipkins told reporters on Saturday that he missed Mr Albanese's congratulatory call but quickly returned it.

"It's been great to be able to talk to him. I'm looking forward to catching up with him - I hope in-person, fairly soon," he said.

"That clearly is a very important relationship for New Zealand."