Prime Minister John Key is a monarchist who thinks Prince Charles would one day make a fine king.
In an interview on the BBC show Hardtalk, which aired yesterday, Mr Key said his position was not at odds with previous comments he had made that it was inevitable that New Zealand would one day become a republic.
"That's right, but not under my watch. I don't think New Zealand should be a republic, but my view is that probably one day it will happen."
He said he saw "no great benefit" in electing a head of state over the status quo of appointing the Governor-General as the Queen's representative.
When asked whether New Zealanders would support Prince Charles as their king one day, Mr Key said: "I see no reason why they wouldn't. Charles would make a fine king."
Historical links with Britain still mattered "a great deal".
"Those historical links, those cultural values and principles that underpin New Zealand society and British society, I think, are as relevant today as they were back in 1914 when we headed off to war to support Britain."
He said there would always be some who wanted New Zealand to be a republic, but most preferred the status quo.
"I was the Prime Minister who brought back knighthoods in New Zealand ... 85 per cent of the public support that.
"There is absolutely no push for New Zealand to become a republic."By Derek Cheng Email Derek