US Vice President Joe Biden touches down in Auckland

US Vice President Joe Biden touches down in Auckland

US Vice President Joe Biden has safely made it to New Zealand, flying in aboard Air Force Two.

He's come here after a fleeting trip to Australia and will be in New Zealand for just 21 hours.

Mr Biden will meet Prime Minister John Key on Thursday for discussions that could include a possible visit by a US warship to New Zealand for the Navy's 75th birthday celebrations.

They'll be covering regional issues including the sensitive situation in the South China Sea, Iraq and New Zealand's role in countering Islamic State, the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement and the US elections.

The Government has given no indication it expects Mr Biden to announce a decision but there's media speculation that he will.

The US hasn't sent a warship to New Zealand since the anti-nuclear stand-off in the mid-1980s when the USS Buchanan was banned.

During his visit with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney on Tuesday, Mr Biden reinforced that the US was "here in the Pacific to stay" as a regional power.

Mr Biden, who is travelling with three of his granddaughters, will leave New Zealand after a lunch with Mr Key on Thursday.

He's the most senior US politician to visit New Zealand since President Bill Clinton attended APEC in Auckland in 1999.

Security is extremely tight for the short visit, with a no-fly zone in force over central Auckland.

Newshub. / NZN