England, in particular, have been criticised but Wales also have a black change jersey for the World Cup campaign - albeit it with red panels on each side - and New Zealander Gatland believes it should be viewed in a positive fashion.
England unveiled their new apparel at their training base on Monday and will wear it against Wales in Saturday's opening World Cup warm-up Test at Twickenham.
Gatland said: "A lot of people are making issues out of having a black kit, but we have had a black away kit in the past.
"In professional sport there are commercial implications in kits, and I see going to New Zealand with a black kit as a sign of respect to the All Blacks.
"We all know how important the black kit has been to New Zealand and how significant it has been in rugby and other sports.
"The black jersey is about respecting New Zealand as a nation and as a rugby country. That is the way we are looking at it."
Gatland will name his starting line-up for Twickenham on Thursday, with captain Matthew Rees the only confirmed non-starter as an ongoing neck problem continues to be treated.
Cardiff Blues flanker Sam Warburton, who led Wales against the Barbarians in June, will continue as skipper in Rees' absence.
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