New Zealand features prominently in a US article about how the usual pecking order in Washington has completely changed under President Donald Trump.

The New York Times Magazine feature says the New Zealand Embassy pulled off a coup by holding a glitzy inauguration event attended by many of Trump's close associates and future White House staff.

"In one night, New Zealand had upended Washington's elaborate diplomatic pecking order," the article said.

"Diplomats and social secretaries at other embassies were left wondering how the country had pulled in so many Trump VIPs."


The article revealed that New Zealand was initially under-prepared for a Trump presidency.

The embassy had done months of research on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her associates to work out who would hold positions of power if she won. One of the few things it knew about Trump was that he would pull New Zealand out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The article quotes a member of the NZ Embassy saying it was a "diplomatic and political embarrassment" that then-Prime Minister John Key had not managed to have a phone call with Trump two days after he was elected president.

In a bid to get closer to the US President, the embassy enlisted a lobbyist with ties to the new Administration to "throw the biggest party of Trump's inauguration".

The inauguration ball at the New Zealand Embassy's headquarters in Washington was attended by dozens of Trump campaign staff, high-ranking military officials, and celebrities like pro-Trump actor Jon Voight.

It was later revealed to have cost $81,000 - money which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said was well spent.

Speaking to the NY Times, NZ's ambassador the US Tim Groser said: "We had a party that rocked, frankly."

It has previously been reported that Groser praised Trump at the event, saying his election as president marked the end of political correctness and a new stage in NZ-US relations.


Key eventually got a call from Trump on November 16, eight days after the election.