US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she welcomes New Zealand's bid to gain a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Her comment to Radio New Zealand News comes after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully in Washington DC.
The meeting with Mrs Clinton followed discussions earlier in the week between Mr McCully and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.
At a media conference on Friday, Mr McCully told reporters he believes New Zealand dealt with difficulties well, and its bid for membership would bear any scrutiny.
"We think it is very important that smaller countries are able to achieve their opportunity to be represented on the council, and we're very proud of the way in which we've conducted ourselves as a member of the security council in the past."
He admitted to Radio New Zealand that he had made a strong pitch to burnish New Zealand's credentials to his American counterpart.
"We are engaged in a tough fight to become a member of the Security Council in 2015/16. We think it is very important that smaller countries are able to achieve their opportunity to be represented on the council."
As a permanent member the United States is required to avoid official endorsements, but Hillary Clinton's tone was encouraging.
"I certainly welcome New Zealand's candidacy for a non-permanent seat and am quite admiring of the campaign that has been run."
New Zealand has been a member of the UN Security Council three times: from 1954-55, in 1966 and from 1993-94.