Key Points:

More than 10 per cent of New Zealanders are concerned about the atom-smashing Hadron Collider in Switzerland creating a disastrous mini black-hole, according to a poll.

Created by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the huge machine began operating less than two weeks ago and got scientists excited after flinging protons around at nearly the speed of light.

It had to be shut down only 36 hours later due to a failed electrical transformer and has since been shut down for repairs again - this time for an estimated two months.

UMR Research asked New Zealanders in a nationwide poll how closely they had followed news stories about the Big Bang experiment the Collider was built to simulate.

Fifty three per cent said they had followed the story moderately to very closely and 27 per cent of those said they were moderately to very concerned it would create a mini black-hole leading to the end of the world.

The rest said they were not concerned about that happening.

UMR director Tim Grafton said the poll indicated thousands of New Zealanders were worried about the experiment, but if they ended up being right no one would know anyway.

The poll showed that stories such as the recent shooting of two police officers in Mangere and the Winston Peters and Owen Glenn privileges committee testimonies were more closely followed.

Overseas, critics of the Big Bang experiment have said it could create tiny black holes of intense gravity that could suck in the whole planet.

Leading scientists have labelled those concerns "nonsense".

The New Zealand poll involved 750 people aged 18 and over, and had a margin of error of 3.6 per cent.

- NZPA