Brendan McCullum says the team can hold their heads high after the Cricket World Cup despite a crushing defeat against Australia in last night's final in Melbourne.
A dominant bowling effort from Australia proved too much for the Black Caps as the home side scored a seven wicket victory at the MCG.
The Black Caps were unable to successfully defend their low score of 183, with the home side hitting the winning runs with 16 overs still to play. McCullum was dismissed for a duck in the first over.
The New Zealand captain said it was disappointing to finish second best but the Black Caps knew they had achieved a tremendous feat.
"We walk away with our heads held high," said McCullum.
He said the support for the team had been outstanding throughout the tournament.
"I guess we've shared this experience with the whole country and it would have been nice to have won it but I'm sure everyone will be proud of what we have been able to achieve, he said.
"We didn't lift the trophy but we have no regrets with the brand of cricket we've played."
He added: "I think we can be very proud of our achievements in this tournament. It's the greatest time of our lives and that's how we tried to play the game, with a free spirit and heart."
McCullum was bowled third ball by Mitchell Starc, but the opener said he had no misgivings about his typically aggressive approach.
"Hadds [Australia wicket-keeper Brad Haddin] asked me if I was going to have a crack," he said. "I said: 'Too right I am'.
"Starc was a bit too good for me today. He deserves the man of the tournament."
Australia captain Michael Clarke said New Zealand were worthy opponents.
"I think New Zealand deserve a lot of credit for the way they played throughout the tournament," he said.
Clarke, who has now retired from one day cricket, says the win was as close to a fairytale ending as anyone could get.
"I'm extremely proud and really happy with how the day panned out," he said.
Ross Taylor told Morning Report that when the team discusses the loss, it will be with optimism.
The next goal was winning the test and ODI series in England which starts in May.
"We haven't won over there for a while and hopefully we can create some history there as a test team," said Taylor.