The All Blacks Sevens will face USA in tonight's London Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool D on day one at Twickenham.
New Zealand could only draw 14-all with Argentina in their final match, but were through as top qualifier by virtue of a superior points' differential.
There was high drama on day one, as Fiji sealed the World Series title, their third overall, and second on the bounce, but only after a 31-10 reverse to hosts England, while Paris Cup winners Samoa were thrice upended, by USA, Canada and South Africa.
Man of the moment Jarryd Hayne was used sparingly by Fiji coach Ben Ryan.
New Zealand never really fully extended themselves, casting aside Brazil 31-0 and Russia 33-10 after some early hiccups, before the scrappy stalemate with Argentina.
Rieko Ioane, after six tries in Paris, was again the star turn, scoring five tries on day one, while Gillies Kaka was in fine playmaking form, and scored a brace against Russia.
The younger Ioane's pace and finishing is a feature of this New Zealand side, as is Sonny Bill Williams's muscular defence.
Russia exerted early pressure on the Kiwis, and led 7-0 at one stage, but New Zealand tightened up and ultimately had too much pace.
There was little fluency against the physical Argentines, but Kaka's skills and guile set up Rieko Ioane for the first try, while Regan Ware, on his back, saw New Zealand draw level. That was enough for them.
New Zealand will face USA tonight at 10.42pm (NZT). The other Cup quarters see South Africa play Argentina, France versus Fiji, and England clash with Scotland.
Pool D, day one:
New Zealand 31 (Rieko Ioane 2, Tim Mikkelson 2, Pita Ahki tries; Augustine Pulu 3 con) Brazil 0 HT: 19-0
New Zealand 33 (Gillies Kaka 2, Rieko Ioane 2, Sonny Bill Williams tries; Kaka 3 con, Augustine Pulu con) Russia 10 (German Davydov, Stanislav Bondarev tries) HT: 14-5
New Zealand 14 (Rieko Ioane, Regan Ware tries; Gillies Kaka 2 con) Argentina 14 (Rodrigo Etchart, Franco Sabato tries; Rojas Alvarez 2 con) HT: 14-7 Argentina