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Kiwis now Australia's best friends

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017 Karen Sweeney

Move over America, Australians now say Kiwis are their best friends in the whole world.

Despite some squabbles of late more than half of Australians polled this year said New Zealanders were Australia's best buddy.

Last year the two countries were tied with around a third of the vote each,

But while New Zealand upped its support by 20 percentage points love for the US halved, forcing the country back into second place where it now ties with the UK on just 17 per cent.

International policy think tank the Lowy Institute's polling director Alex Oliver says the "Trump effect" is responsible for the widening gulf as Australians gravitate toward New Zealand as a closer ally.

"It's a yarning gulf now - New Zealand has definitely taken our preference when it comes to friendship," she said.

"It's not just about warm and fuzzy feelings, it's about something a bit firmer than that. It's a firm friendship, more dimensional."

But it turns out Australians do have warm fuzzy feelings toward New Zealand too.

On the "feelings thermometer", which measures warmth on a scale of 0 to 100 the 1200 people polled gave New Zealand a ranking of 84.

"Every year New Zealand always comes out on top. It's always been that way," Ms Oliver said.

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