First Ireland goals for Derrick Williams, Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson was enough to see the home side claim the win against a spirited Kiwi team, who had taken the lead through Callum McCowatt.
Mick McCarthy’s much-changed eleven created their first goal scoring opportunity of note in the 12th minute but after a neat turn from Alan Browne on the right of the penalty area, Derrick Williams could only stab his cross wide of the bottom right corner.
Sean Maguire went close midway through the half but after he raced onto Kevin Long’s excellent pass over the top of the defence, visiting goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic did well to smother his effort.
The All Whites punished their opponents as they took the lead against the run of play just shy of the half an hour mark through Callum McCowatt.
A quick, incisive move allowed Liberato Cacace to swing in a low cross from the left and McCowatt expertly slotted the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from close range.
Maguire looped a header wide of the far post moments later but the Irish would level terms on the stroke of half time as Williams powerfully nodded Robbie Brady’s out-swinging corner back inside the left post for his first-ever goal for his country.
And they would complete the turnaround at the beginning of the second half as Maguire also netted his first goal for the Republic with a superb finish.
Debutant Troy Parrott forced the defence into relinquishing possession just outside the box and after teeing up Maguire, the Preston North End forward drilled his shot into the top right corner.
They sealed the victory with 15 minutes remaining as another debutant Lee O’Connor picked out Callum Robinson with a sensational cross from the right flank and the Sheffield United striker headed home his first international goal from a few yards.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Kieran O’Hara (Mark Travers 65), Lee O’Connor, Kevin Long, Sean Maguire (James Collins 74, Alan Browne (Conor Hourihane 64), Robbie Brady, Troy Parrott (Callum Robinson 63), Jack Byrne (Alan Judge 63), Josh Cullen, Ciaran Clark, Derrick Williams (Callum O’Dowda 56).
NEW ZEALAND: Stefan Marinovic, Winston Reid (Bill Tuiloma ht), Liberato Cacace, Michael Boxall (Tommy Smith 74), Joe Bell, Chris Wood (Andrew De Jong 76), Sarpreet Singh, Callum McCowatt, Ryan Thomas (Michael McGlinchey 74), Storm Roux (Tim Payne 92), Elijah Just.
Referee: Robert Jenkins (Wales).