United State ambassador Scott Brown says the welcome mat is out to tourists as long as they are vetted carefully.
The New Hampshire native, in Auckland at a New England tourism event, said his boss President Donald Trump was keen on tourism.
''Of course he wants tourists. He wants tourists who have been fully vetted that aren't going to basically come in and blow up a mall - just like New Zealand.''
Tourist groups in the US have expressed concern about the message the Trump administration is sending international visitors after the previous administration put emphasis on attracting them with resources poured in to Brand USA.
Brown, a former US senator from Massachusetts, said his dog Gracie had to go through a rigorous series of checks to get into New Zealand
''You guys had an incredible vetting process for my dog." If a similar vetting process was applied for people who wanted to come in to the US "we'd be all set", he said.
Brown said he was working to streamline entry into the United States for businesspeople and investors from New Zealand who could qualify for E1 and E2 visas.
He was also aware of concerns about transit difficulties for New Zealanders through Los Angeles Airport who have to repeat security processes en route to London.
''I'm aware of it and Air New Zealand and other representatives are working through it with the transportation folks,'' he said.
Brown is from Rye, a small town near Portsmouth in the Granite State, and says he hopes more New Zealanders will go there where lobster sells for $10 a kg and, depending on the season, there's great fishing, para-sailing, mountain climbing and ice skating within easy reach.
''I'm hopeful that Air New Zealand and others will fly in to New York. That would be great. I get it but its tough to fly into Houston and New York and take another five- or six-hour flight.''
The diplomat, who plays the guitar and competes in triathlons, said the difference between the northeastern US and the west was stark.
''It's like night and day - Australia and New Zealand - they're different places really.''
He was regularly briefed by Air New Zealand about plans to fly to new US destinations but new services could also be started by partner airline United or rival American Airlines.
''It's good for the economy here and good for the economy there,'' Scott said.