Poll: Who's New Zealand's best friend?

Australia, perhaps realising its BFF the United States isn't the country it once was, now calls New Zealand its best friend.

The findings come from the latest Lowy Institute poll on Australian foreign affairs. The US topped the 'best friend' list last time the question was asked, prior to Donald Trump's rise to power, but is now tied for a distant second with the UK.

It got Newshub wondering - is the feeling mutual? It seems not. At the time of writing, a (non-scientific) poll taken by The AM Show found only a third of viewers consider Australia our best friend.

So if not our Anzac buddies across the Tasman, then who? Let's find out! Take the poll.

The AM Show Australian correspondent Jason Morrison says New Zealand and Australia have always been and will always be best friends, regardless of what any poll says.

"'Look how much Australians hate Donald Trump.' That's what the organisation behind this one's done. It's found a headline by saying, 'Look - we used to love America and now we don't - now we love someone else better.' BS," he told the show on Thursday.

"We are the greatest of allies. Given what's between us - a hell of a lot of sea - you go anywhere in the world where you find two nations that are as geographically separated as ours are that have been so continually mates, and have never really had anything other than ridiculous tensions like underarm bowls being rolled along the ground by Trevor Chappell in 1981, and we're still going on about it? Grow up. It's not a big problem."

Like a true best friend, Mr Morrison says Kiwis are free to crash at Australia's place anytime.

"See the Opera House behind me? You can come and sit on it and sleep on it, as far as I'm concerned. You're the best of friends, you're family."

Other findings in the Lowy Institute poll

  • Despite the United States' former spot as Australia's best friend, New Zealand has always ranked number one for how Australians "feel" towards other countries (in 2016 Canada came in first, because New Zealand wasn't included in the survey).
  • North Korea ranked last, well behind Russia, Myanmar and Israel.
  • Almost four-fifths of Australians don't like the direction in which the world is heading, but only half think Australia's also off-course.
  • While 60 percent of Australians say the election of Donald Trump as US President was bad for the two countries' relationship, 77 percent of them still think the US plays an important role in Australia's security arrangements.
  • Only 11 percent of Australians wanted Mr Trump over Hillary Clinton.
  • The US tied with the UK on 17 percent as Australia's best friend. Fourth was China on 8 percent, followed by Japan on 2 percent and Indonesia on 1 percent.
  • More Australians want immigration numbers to stay where they are or increase, than reduce.