New Zealand wants a more mature relationship with China that goes beyond trade ties and gives room for disagreement, particularly on issues of human rights, the Pacific nation's foreign minister said on Friday.

Nanaia Mahuta's comments come after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week that differences with its top trading partner were getting harder to reconcile, and the country's Parliament unanimously declared human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China's Xinjiang region, angering Beijing.

"It's important for us to ensure we are respectful, consistent and predictable in the way we convey issues we agree on, but also on issues we don't agree on. And it's part of our maturing relationship," Mahuta said in an interview.