Turnbull works on English bromance

Malcolm Turnbull has applauded the strength of the New Zealand economy ahead of his visit. (AAP)

Malcolm Turnbull has spent the day with Bill English in Queenstown even taking a moment to quiz the New Zealand prime minister about company tax cuts.

It's not every day one prime minister interviews another but such was the first proper introduction between Malcolm Turnbull and Bill English.

The pair had their inaugural, formal catch-up in the resort town of Queenstown on a sparkling Friday.

Given the public "bromance" between Mr English's predecessor, John Key, and Mr Turnbull the fleeting trip is about reaffirming the strong connection between their two sporting rival countries.

As such the pair began the day laying a wreath at the towering cenotaph at Arrowtown's war memorial, surrounded by the South Island's soaring peaks.

Mr Turnbull remarked that the Anzac spirit was alive and well, displayed by Australian and New Zealand firefighters alike as they put their lives on the line.

By way of example, he noted the contribution of one of NZ's finest soldiers who died fighting the Christchurch wildfires this week.

"We are truly a family, a trans-Tasman family," Mr Turnbull said.

Both prime ministers, with their finance teams, later spoke about strengthening economic ties and supporting science collaboration.

Mr Turnbull was all praise here too.

"I feel you do many things more efficiently and cost effectively than we do," he admitted.

He then took the opportunity to quiz his counterpart on his country's company tax rate, as his own government wrestles to pursue its own reductions.

"It is not my job to interview you but I might try," he said with a smirk.

Mr English wasn't so sure his own policy was working in attracting more Australian businesses across the ditch.

"That hasn't quite happened yet," he said.

Both expressed a desire to work together in their push for free trade on the back of the US' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

There were no further announcements on pathways to citizenship for Kiwis in Australia but Mr English appreciated the agreement struck last year.

It's estimated up to 70,000 New Zealanders who arrived between February 2001 and 2016 will be eligible from July 1.

Mr English also revealed a New Zealand offer to take 150 asylum seekers from Australia still stands despite Mr Turnbull's deal with the Obama administration.

Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos and Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges used the trip to sign a science and innovation treaty aimed at collaborating on research to tackle among other challenges, chronic disease.

The prime ministers and their wives wrapped up the day aboard a luxury yacht on the lake.

Asked what they will discuss over dinner, Mr English had an idea.

"We'll probably talk about how John Key could have done a better job of being the prime minister of New Zealand I suppose," he said.

"Politicians always talk about the other guy, don't they?"

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