The United States' top regional naval commander Admiral Harry Harris is in New Zealand for meetings and to unveil plans for the US memorial at the Pukeahu National War Park.

Admiral Harry Harris is head of the United States Pacific Command based in Hawaii and has been picked by US President Donald Trump to be the next Ambassador to Australia.

Harris arrived in a US Gulfstream to Wellington.

A spokesperson for the US Embassy said he was in New Zealand for "routine consultations" but would not say who he was expected to meet.


It is likely to include meetings with New Zealand Defence Force chiefs.

He will also unveil plans for the US Memorial at Pukeahu alongside US Ambassador Scott Brown.

The ceremony on Monday morning will include burying stones from Pearl Harbour at the site.

Brown said more than 150,000 American servicemen and women had come to New Zealand during World War II.

"They were asked to come and defend Aotearoa from invasion while most of the New Zealand military were in Europe."

He said it was in New Zealand that they prepared for battles in the South Pacific and recovered from injuries and illness. "New Zealand families welcomed them into their homes and even today I meet people who speak fondly of these US servicemen and women."

The memorial will be alongside those from Australia, Turkey, Belgium and the United Kingdom which are already in place.

The memorial is designed by architect Monica Ponce de Leon and a granite tablet will feature words from a 1943 Anzac Day radio address by then US Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, saluting the work of the Anzacs.


It is being made in Madison, Wisconsin and is expected to be in place in May.