John Kerry has talked climate change and reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in his official meeting with Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Kerry had a bilateral meeting with Mr Key at Premier House in Wellington on Sunday.
His motorcade then headed to Pukeahu War Memorial, but got held up when Mr Kerry decided, seemingly unplanned, to make a stop at a souvenir shop on Wakefield St.
John Kerry at the Pukehau War Memorial (Newshub/Isolbel Ewing)
Mr Kerry said the relationship between the two countries was as good as it's ever been, and congratulated New Zealand on its term on the UN Security Council.
He spoke of the explorer tradition inherent in both countries' societies, and our shared desire to protect the planet from the global threat of climate change.
He called his recent trip to Antarctica "awe-inspiring" and that when he heads to the COP climate change conference in Marrakesh, he will share what he learned, especially the work done by NZ scientists.
He wouldn't say he what he thought would happen to the US' action on climate change under the Trump administration, only that there usually is a "divide between campaigning and governing".
He said the TPP remains important, and the fact it may not be taken up isn't indicative of where the country may go.
"There's enough benefit in it for everyone. Trade is critical if it's fair and sensibly based, for growth and sustainability."