A US Navy ship will visit New Zealand for the first time in five years.
The gas turbine-propelled destroyer is expected to berth in Wellington this month, the NZDF said.
Sailors will spend at least 14 days in isolation at sea before entering New Zealand. They will have to test negative for Covid-19 before disembarking.
The last US Navy ship to visit was gas turbine-propelled destroyer USS Sampson, shortly after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.
Sampson's arrival epitomised a thaw in bilateral relations after the decades-long impasse over nuclear-powered ship visits.
Sampson arrived with the Canadian frigate HMCS Vancouver and Australian frigate HMAS Darwin.
The upcoming ship visit was a positive sign for bilateral relations, political scientist Steve Hoadley said today.
The fact it had taken five years since the last visit was possibly because the US Navy took a back seat to some other uniformed services under the Donald Trump administration.
He said bilateral relations sprang a leak in the 1980s when Prime Minister David Lange and US Secretary of State George Shultz couldn't agree on nuclear-free policies.
"They hadn't had a ship visit for 32 years after the breakdown between Shultz and Lange. They had an altercation at Manila and Shultz finally ran out of patience."
Shultz told Lange at the 1986 Asean meeting in the Philippines: "We part company as friends, but we part company."
Associate Professor Hoadley, from the University of Auckland, said bilateral co-operation had continued in other arenas. He said there was some dispute whether the intelligence communities of both countries experienced any disruption.
US presidents from Bill Clinton on reviewed the relationship and progressively warmed to the idea of closer US-New Zealand relations, Hoadley added.
It was under Barack Obama's administration that USS Sampson visited.
"They decided that, particularly in competition with China, the US needed all the allies it could get, or partners," Hoadley said.
Although USS Sampson arrived shortly after the Kaikōura earthquake, the visit was believed to follow at least a year of planning.
Hoadley said the Trump administration directed more attention to its nuclear deterrent and the United States Space Force, founded in 2019.
The US Navy missed out in some ways under Trump, Hoadley said, so visits to distant countries like New Zealand were sometimes not advanced.
He said in virtually every respect today, the US-New Zealand bilateral relationship was strong.
Ship follows virtual superpower summit
The ship visit follows recent breakthroughs in the US-China relationship after months of escalating tensions between the world's two biggest economies.
China and the US agreed last week to encourage decarbonisation, green design and renewable energy, and to co-operate in reducing methane emissions.
The bilateral agreement appeared to surprise many other countries and was announced while the United Nations Climate Change Conference was on in Glasgow.
Hoadley said a virtual meeting of the US and Chinese presidents this week was a positive development for regional and international peace and stability.
He said the meeting showed Joe Biden could be a "friendly" competitor rather than vicious adversary, but also that the US would push back where it took exception to Beijing's policies.
Biden's virtual meeting with Xi Jinping followed the agreement on reducing emissions.
Hoadley said tensions did remain over issues such as the status and security of Taiwan.
But he said the US was encouraging Taiwan to invest in more missiles, submarines and defensive equipment to discourage aggression from China.
He said Xi was also increasingly concerned with domestic social and economic issues and the country's "common prosperity" policy aimed at reducing wealth disparities.
Hoadley said armed conflict with Taiwan or a wider military conflagration would jeopardise Beijing's ability to curb the power of Chinese billionaires and pursue egalitarian local policies.