Positive words about the future have flowed after a meeting between Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and the American commander in charge of military operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
After Admiral Harry Harris Jr welcomed Mr Brownlee with an honours ceremony at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii on Friday (local time) they sat down and exchanged views on a wide range of security challenges, US Pacific Command spokesman Commander Dave Benham said.
Admiral Harris praised New Zealand's counter-ISIL efforts.
Both leaders emphasised the importance of "building partner capacity" in Iraq and Afghanistan and of New Zealand's participation in the September, 2016 Chief of Defense Conference.
They welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister John Key and US Vice-President Joe Biden that a US Navy ship will visit New Zealand as part of the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy in November, but didn't identify the vessel likely to come.
Admiral Harris thanked Mr Brownlee for the NZDF's contributions to the 26-nation RIMPAC exercise and noted HMNZS Te Kaha is visiting Hawaii as part of the largest maritime exercise in the world.
Admiral Harris, 59, is a tough talker. He was born in Japan, the son of a Japanese mother and an American father who was a chief petty officer in the American Navy, the New York Times reports.