China's new ambassador to New Zealand, Dr Wang Xiaolong, arrived in Wellington on Monday to begin his term.
In a statement published on the Chinese Embassy's website, Wang said the relationship between China and New Zealand was "flourishing like silver fern trees".
China and New Zealand will celebrate a half-century of formal diplomatic relations this December, and while Wang highlighted the many "firsts" the two countries have celebrated - in 2008, New Zealand became the first country to ink a free trade agreement with China - the relationship has soured recently.
Wang's predecessor Wu Xi's term as ambassador was marked with spats over Huawei's involvement in 5G network, concern over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and the clampdown on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
Over that time, New Zealand's stance on Chinese relations has drifted towards the more hawkish tone adopted by Five Eyes security partners, the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took the step last year of acknowledging that as China's role in the world grew, there would be issues on which the two countries "do not, cannot, and will not agree".
Wang has previously held roles in the economic department of China's foreign affairs department, and helped with China's participation in the Covax Covid-19 vaccination scheme, to which it pledged to donate more than 100 million doses of its domestically-made vaccine.
In his economic role, he spoke of the benefits of China's Belt and Road development initiative, a scheme that would connect economies throughout the world to China through investment in infrastructure throughout the Eurasian continent, Africa and the Pacific.
New Zealand had flagged interest in being part of the Belt and Road initiative, but interest has stalled, as questions have been raised internationally about the strings attached to some projects financed by the scheme.
China's Wellington embassy also looks after relations with realm nations, the Cook Islands and Niue.
"New Zealand and China have created many "firsts" in the bilateral exchanges and co-operation, and played an exemplary role in promoting mutually beneficial co-operation between countries different in social systems, stages of development, and size.
"In similar veins, the Cook Islands, Niue and China have become good friends and good partners in evolving relationships that feature affinity and mutual understanding, the spirit of navigating together (Turou Hawaiiki), mutual respect and common development," the statement read.
The statement drew attention to last year's centenary of the Chinese Community Party, where President Xi Jinping declared the party had achieved its goal of a "moderately prosperous society".
Wang's statement said the party was "now marching in confident strides" to the second centenary goal - which is meant to be achieved by the centenary of Communist Party rule in 1949 - of "building China into a prosperous, strong, democratic and culturally advanced modern socialist country".
Wang said China was committed to a "path of peaceful development and the strategy of mutually beneficial and win-win opening-up" while upholding "multilateralism and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind".
He was greeted at Wellington airport by Lisa White, Acting Chief of Protocol of Mfat.
The Chinese Embassy did not answer whether Wang had isolated in an MIQ facility ahead of his arrival. Former US Ambassador Scott Brown used diplomatic immunity rules to skip MIQ and isolate at home after returning from a trip in 2020.