Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has paid tribute to Hillary Clinton, who stepped down today as US Secretary of State.
Mr McCully said Mrs Clinton was a great friend and powerful advocate for the NZ/US relationship.
"After 30 fairly ordinary years in the relationship following the differences over US ship visits, the relationship has become a fundamentally different and stronger one."
"Secretary Clinton has, in her four years in office, overseen a period of significant transformation."
Mr McCully praised the role of US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Dr Kurt Campbell.
"Kurt Campbell has been the day-to-day manager of US relations with New Zealand and with our Pacific neighbours. He has brought huge energy and skill to this role, and has played an indispensable role in the many positive developments in the NZ/US relationship on Secretary Clinton's watch," said Mr McCully.
Mrs Clinton formally resigned from the role ending her four-year tenure that saw her shatter record for the number of countries visited.
Mr McCully also congratulated John Kerry on being sworn in as the new Secretary of State.
Secretary Kerry brings a wealth of experience to the role and has a strong appreciation for the Asia-Pacific region. I have no doubt we will work together to further strengthen NZ-US ties.