President Michael D Higgins is due to arrive in New Zealand for a week-long State visit, following his last engagements in Australia.

The President and Sabina Higgins are scheduled to attend a State Ceremony of Welcome at Government House, Wellington, this afternoon to begin a week of engagements. 

He is expected to be the first Head of State to meet New Zealand's new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, after her inauguration.

Ms Arden was elected New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years following a ballot last week.

Mr Higgins' final engagements in Australia included a courtesy call on the Governor of Queensland, a visit to an IDA client and a reception for the Irish community in Brisbane.

Yesterday, President Higgins called for a mature discussion on the issue of migration, saying policies based on a "politics of fear" were damaging and destructive.

He was speaking in Queensland, Australia, where he spent the day meeting relatives of his ancestors who travelled there in the 1860s.