Forget the underarm bowling incident of 1981, forget the trans-Tasman rugby rivalry, Kiwis and Aussies are officially BFFs.

That's according to Australian participants in a newly released Lowy Institute poll, which saw Aussies rate their antipodean sibling as their global "best friend", toppling the United States from their previously held position.

The upset is evocative of 2015's viral "friendship ended" meme, where Pakistani man Asif Rasa Rana turfed his best-friend Mudasir, declaring their friendship ended and that his new best friend was Salman.

His poorly photoshopped declaration was all too applicable to the newly released poll result.

NZ Herald
NZ Herald

The Lowy Institute, a Sydney think tank, released its annual poll testing Australians' attitudes to international and domestic issues.

Key findings showed most Australians were worried about where the world was headed, but were more confident about their country's future, with about half saying they were satisfied with the state of the nation.

However the most striking finding for us Kiwis was New Zealand's ascension to "best friend" status, overtaking the United States as the preferred answer when Australians were asked who their "best friend" in the world was.

New Zealand comes first, with 53 per cent (up 21 points since 2014) nominating it as Australia's best friend, beating the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Indonesia.

Once named as Australian's closest buddy, the US now has to contend with sharing the lowly status of second-best friend with the United Kingdom.


The poll did not ask which country Australians would rather crack a cold one open with.

It's possible Donald Trump's infamous phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may have played a part.

It was reported in February Trump had abruptly ended the call halfway and described it as the "worst call by far" out of five that day, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump had reportedly boasted about his election win and objected to Turnbull pushing him to honour an agreement to take 1250 refugees from Nauru and Manus.

Turnbull recently got his own back however, in a leaked recording showing him mocking Trump during the Parliament House's Mid Winter Ball in Canberra earlier this month.

Mimicking Trump's voice, Turnbull can be heard mocking the President for his lack in popularity in the polls and his alleged connections to Russia.

Despite tensions the Lowy poll showed so far Trump's presidency had not affected Australians' support for the US alliance, which has rebounded six points since last year to 77 per cent, saying the alliance is "very" or "fairly" important for Australia's security.

Only 29 per cent said "Australia should distance itself from the United States under President Donald Trump", 16 points lower than in response to a corresponding question before the US elections in 2016.

However, President Trump remains unpopular. Six in ten Australians said Donald Trump caused them to have an unfavourable opinion of the United States.