The US is trying to weaponize Pacific nations against China out of hegemonic self-interest. Rather than succumbing to American pressure and parroting their anti-China rhetoric, New Zealand should perhaps consider pursuing its own independent foreign policy.
The US and New Zealand's foreign policies are aligned on this matter. New Zealand is simply taking decisive steps to protect its values and the liberal order against the rising aggression of autocracies. Wellington is aware that it must take a hardline stance on security to become a relevant player in the Indo-Pacific, and is endeavouring to do so.
There is a 16% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.