The All Whites have ticked a huge box in their quest to reach the World Cup in Qatar later this year by winning the Oceania Qualifying tournament at Doha.
Playing in Thursday's final, the New Zealanders were far too strong across the park for Solomon Islands, streaking to a resounding 5-0 victory.
They'll advance to an intercontinental playoff match against the fourth-placed team from North and Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf) - likely to be Costa Rica - in June, where victory will secure New Zealand's third-ever visit to the World Cup Finals.
Bill Tuiloma starred with a brace of goals in the one-sided contest - heading home twice from corner kicks - while Chris Wood, Joe Bell, and Matt Garbett also featured on the scoring sheet.
"It's a big sigh of relief," Hay said after the game. "We always believed in the process we have in place.
The group of players we have, I can't speak highy enough about them. The way they've approached things
"They try to make New Zealand proud everytime they go out on the football pitch.
"We came to do a job, we've done that, and now we can take a little bit of time to reflect on it then look ahead to Costa Rica."
The victory completes an impressive campaign for the Kiwis, beating Papua New Guinea 1-0, Fiji 4-0 and New Caledonia 7-1, before battling to a 1-0 semi-final win over Tahiti side and punctuated with Thursday's demolition of Solomon Islands.
On Thursday afternoon (NZ time), Costa Rica play USA, where anything less than a six-goal margin of victory will see them square off against the All Whites in a do-or-die match, with a spot in Qatar at stake.
They've won five of their last six qualifying games, including a draw against Mexico.
"They've got some world class players," Hay noted. "They've really started to hit their straps at the back end of their qualifying campaign
"It's going to be extremely tough, but the reality is we think we're in a good space."
The All Whites were much improved in front of goal against the Solomon Islanders, answering coach Danny Hay's call for the side to be more clinical with their opportunities.
Enjoying a 60 percent majority of possession, the All Whites created 16 shots - 12 of which were on target - while their opponents only managed two relatively non-threatening strikes on a quiet day for goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
The All Whites' win may have been even more emphatic, if not for two goals ruled out after the fact - one for a foul on the Solomon Islands goalkeeper and another for offside.
New Zealand cashed in a mountain of early pressure in the 23rd minute, when Tuiloma climbed to head home his first of the day.
Wood soon followed suit, using his head to convert a pinpoint cross from Tim Payne.
After taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, the All Whites continued to ramp up their intensity, with Joe Bell's corner kick four minutes into the second stanza deflecting off the Solomon Islands keeper and into goal.
In the 69th minute, Francis de Vries delivered the corner kick for Tuiloma to bounce a well-placed header into the back of the net, before Garbett slid a one-time shot to the bottom right of the goal in stoppage time to complete the NZ rout.
New Zealand 5 (Bill Tuiloma 23', 69', Chris Wood 39', Joe Bell 49', Matthew Garbett 91' Solomon Islands 0 H/T: 2-0