It could take some time before there's an agreement on an improved free trade deal with China.
Prime Minister John Key has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing overnight, and more meetings are planned to discuss dairy access.
Mr Key said it was a "really constructive" meeting.
He said President Jinping could understand the position New Zealand was coming from.
"There's very strong consumer demand in China for New Zealand products, they really value the safety and security of them."
President Jinping said he wouldn't be standing in the way of New Zealand getting better access.
Mr Key said trade ministers would be meeting in Peru in a few weeks' time which will give them the opportunity to "scope out how to go forward from here".
He said the meeting was "a little more forward leaning" than he thought it would be.