Poll: 75pct of Kiwis want US Navy ship in NZ

Poll: 75pct of Kiwis want US Navy ship in NZ

The United States is on the brink of a deciding whether to send a Navy ship into New Zealand waters, ending the 33-year standoff over New Zealand's anti-nuclear law.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows Kiwis are overwhelmingly in favour of a ship coming here.

When asked if a US Navy ship should come to New Zealand, 75 percent said "yes" and just 20 percent said "no".

Poll: 75pct of Kiwis want US Navy ship in NZ

If this is broken down by voter preference, 89 percent of National voters want a ship to come, 65 percent of Labour voters, 65 percent of Greens and 73 percent of New Zealand First.

It's been more than 30 years since an American Navy ship came into a Kiwi harbour -- no nukes meant no visits.

But the US is now considering an invitation to the New Zealand Navy's 75th birthday. The Prime Minister wants them here.

"Personally I'd like to see a US ship here and I hope it comes," says John Key.

He says the poll results show there is widespread support of the US to be part of the celebration.

"If the relationship is not is in the best place it has been, it is in a really good place," says US Ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert. "So the fact that 75 percent of them would like to see a ship is a really good sign."

Poll: 75pct of Kiwis want US Navy ship in NZ

The poll shows the ANZUS row has clearly been forgiven, if not forgotten.

"Whether the US would send a ship ultimately isn't whether it is popular to New Zealand; it is a matter of whether they want to send a ship," says Mr Key.

"I think it would be great," says Mr Gilbert.

But the US government is leaving its decision right up until the last minute.

"The anniversary is in November, so they'll have to be reasonably soon," says Mr Key.

"Please remember I am not the one who makes this decision; this decision is made back in Washington," says Mr Gilbert.

This poll shows a huge majority of you want Uncle Sam to send a ship here. But the fact the United States is still holding out shows just what a big call it is.

Given the public opinion of Kiwis though, not sending a ship now would be a massive snub.