Dubai - Skipper Kane Williamson said he remained proud of his team despite New Zealand reaching three World Cup finals in white-ball cricket in the last six years and failing to win one.
The clash in Dubai was a rematch of the 2015 final of the 50-overs World Cup in Melbourne, which Australia won by seven wickets to deny a Black Caps side led by the inspirational Brendon McCullum.
Williamson's men were thrashed by eight wickets on Sunday, with the side having also suffered a heart-breaking loss to England on boundary countback in the tied 2019 50-over World Cup final.
"You sign up to play the game and you win and you lose and these are things that can happen on any day," Williamson said.
"If you look at the campaign as a whole, which we do, and the type of cricket that we have been able to play, I can say that we are very proud of our efforts throughout this period of time. You get to a final and anything can happen."
Williamson was keener to give the credit to New Zealand's trans-Tasman rivals Australia, who he thought were "very, very clinical" during their chase of a 173-run target.
The next T20 World Cup will be held in 11 months' time in Australia and he is already looking forward.
"The bigger picture is the important one, and it's trying to continue to improve as a group," said Williamson, who led his team to the inaugural World Test Championship title this year.
"I thought we came here with ... a mix, I suppose, of experience and younger players that, a lot of them, it's their first time in a World Cup and they played extremely well and are much better for the experiences they've had and there's a lot of growth here.
"But as a cricket team, you keep looking forward, as any sports team, or any team for that matter, you keep looking forward at the things that you can continue to improve on as a group and try to play better cricket day-to-day."