South Korea's president spoke to hundreds of citizens resident in New Zealand on Monday during his official visit to the South Pacific nation.
In a meeting with 300 South Korean residents, Moon Jae-in said the countries' friendship was based on their shared values.
"A country that loves people and where people come first, a child can enjoy life without worries, a country where being different is not considered being wrong, that is the country we are trying to build and that is the image of New Zealand that our people love," he said, according to Yonhap news agency.
Moon paid tribute to New Zealand's help against North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War and earlier visited the National War Memorial to pay respects to those killed.
He also noted an increase in trade between the countries since 2015's free trade agreement.
Earlier in the day he was given a traditional Maori welcome at the official residence of Governor-General Patsy Reddy in Auckland and is due on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.