The Foreign Affairs Minister says China has resources New Zealand could use, as both countries undertake development projects in the Pacific.
In a speech on Friday in Beijing, Murray McCully asked for cooperation between the two countries and acknowledged China now has more diplomats in the Pacific than New Zealand and Australia combined.
Mr McCully says efforts to solve the Pacific's problems can be maximised if Wellington and Beijing work together more closely.
He says New Zealand has a deep knowledge and familiarity with Pacific issues, while China has much to offer in terms of its development experience and own resources, including a large chequebook.
The minister says it is New Zealand's ambition to be first in delivering a joint development project with China in the Pacific.