The Black Sticks booked their place in the knockout stages in the first game of the day, but a goalless draw ended Athens 2004 champions Germany's chances of a medal.
The Europeans needed to win by three goals to overtake New Zealand and then hope for a positive result in the final match of the day between Argentina and Australia.
However, they barely raised a challenge and when Celine Wilde missed an open goal from two yards early in the second half it looked like Germany, who were fourth at Beijing 2008, were not going to get lucky.
Germany thought they had finally scored when Julia Mueller hit in a high reverse-stick shot from a penalty corner but the ball had not travelled five yards out of the circle for her to be able to do that.
The Netherlands edged out Great Britain 2-1 at the Riverbank Arena, but with semi-final qualification already secured for both by then they were only playing for position.
Had the Host Nation beaten the Dutch they would have topped Group A and faced the second-placed side in the other group, but now they will take on Argentina, who claimed the last semi-final spot on offer in the late game as an unconvincing 0-0 draw put Australia out of contention.
The South Americans required only a point to win Group B and they achieved that but the Hockeyroos, who had to win to make the last four, made life difficult for them.
Earlier, China's 1-0 defeat to Japan ended their chance of making the semi-finals while South Africa stunned the USA with a 7-0 victory to lift themselves off the bottom of Group B.
Republic of Korea secured fourth spot in Group A with a 3-1 win over Belgium which means they will play off for seventh place on Wednesday.