US Secretary of the Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is in Wellington on Monday for meetings with senior ministers and defence officials.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says it's a good opportunity to discuss upcoming defence exercises and other engagement activities.
Dr Coleman, who last met Mr Mabus in Washington in October, said New Zealand's defence relationship with America is in good shape and more joint activities have been taking place in recent years.
Mr Mabus's programme includes a call on Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and meetings with senior defence officials. He previously visited New Zealand in 2010.