Australia

Ardern left holding the bunny in Melbourne

New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern thought it was "no gifts" when she met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, but then the pink bunny emerged.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been forced to admit a "gifting faux pas" after having nothing to offer in return for Australia's gift of a toy bunny for her baby.

The mother to one-year-old Neve was thrilled to accept the pink, floppy-eared toy on Friday in Melbourne where she met her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny.

Mrs Morrison handed over a bag containing the gift but the NZ premier offered nothing in return and was later quizzed by reporters.

"I have to admit that we usually get a heads-up on whether or not gifts are going to be exchanged," Ms Ardern said.

"I was all ready to roll and then was told 'no gift exchange'. And so they've gifted us something for Neve."

A clearly grateful Ms Ardern laughed as she added "I think they intended to sneak that one in there", before offering a sarcastic thanks to the reporter who raised the issue.

"You've just pointed out my gifting faux pas, thank you for that."

The NZ leader said she had an "incredibly useful" meeting with Mr Morrison and noted it was the first time she had met Mrs Morrison.

The Australian leader has previously sent Neve a miniature jersey in the colours of his beloved Cronulla Sharks NRL team.

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