New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark on Wednesday congratulated Democrat Barack Obama on his victory in the US presidential election.
"The New Zealand government very much looks forward to working with the new Obama administration," Clark said in a statement.
"New Zealand and the United States have a long history of friendship and cooperation. We look forward to building on what is already a strong relationship with the United States," she added.
Stressing that Obama is going to take office at a critical juncture, Clark said: "There are many pressing challenges facing the international community, including the global financial crisis and global warming. We look forward to working closely with President-elect Obama and his team to address these challenges."
Clark also said: "I commend Senator McCain on a hard-fought campaign, and wish him well for the future. "
New Zealand's main opposition National party leader John Key said Obama's victory was historic.
Key said he would look forward to a strong working relationship with Obama's administration, should he be elected prime minister in the November 8 general elections.