WELLINGTON, Nov. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- American music, food and clothing styles may still dominate New Zealand culture, but a new poll has found New Zealanders feel increasingly negatively toward the United States.
According to a Phillips Fox poll published in the National Business Review on Friday, the number of New Zealanders who said they felt "positive" toward the United States had dropped 25 percentage points in two years, from 54 to 29 percent.
Political scientist Barry Gustafson was quoted as saying that he suspected New Zealand attitudes toward the United States had been cooling off since the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
This had been accelerated recently with the Iraq war and publicity about US millionaires buying up prime properties in New Zealand, and further reinforced by television and film portrayals of the United States as "a violent, racist, crime-ridden and sex-obsessed society," he said.
In fact no country -- other than Australia -- was regarded positively by a majority of New Zealanders, although Britain came close, with 50 percent, according to the poll.
This showed New Zealand was becoming "ethnocentric," Dr. Gustafson said.
The positive side of this was that it showed New Zealanders were happy with where they lived, he claimed.
University of Auckland political scientist Paul Buchanan, an American who has lived in New Zealand for seven years, said the findings on the United States were "alarming for a country-to-country friendship."
But he thought the public's feelings were more targeted at President Bush's regime than ordinary people. Enditem