Australia's planned nuclear submarine fleet won't be welcome in New Zealand, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The new submarines are the centrepiece of the new AUKUS security tie-up of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
NZ has been left out of the AUKUS alliance, despite being a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, along with AUKUS members and Canada.
The country has been staunchly nuclear-free for decades, earning the ire of treaty partner US by declining visits from its nuclear-powered ships.
"We weren't approached by nor would I expect us to be," Ms Ardern said.
"Prime Minister Morrison and indeed all partners are very well versed and understand our position on nuclear-powered vessels and also nuclear weapons.
"That of course means that they well understood our likely position on the establishment of nuclear-powered submarines and their use in the region."
Ms Ardern said by law, and by a consensus of NZ's major political parties, nuclear-powered vessels would not be welcome.
"Certainly they couldn't come into our internal waters," she said.
Ms Ardern declined to say whether it would be appropriate for Australia's new fleet to sail in the Pacific but welcomed interest from the US and the UK in the "contested region".
"I am pleased to see that the eye is being tuned to our region, from partners that we work closely with."
Some Kiwi experts believe the AUKUS formation shows an Australian acquiescence to US foreign policy.
"It highlights that much deeper level of Australian integration into US defence and security planning and thinking," Victoria University professor David Capie told The Guardian.
"New Zealand and Australia were in a different space to begin with and this has perhaps just made that look sharper again."
Ms Ardern said the new alliance "in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries".
NZ's opposition is less sure, with leader Judith Collins saying other aspects of the defence alliance would be worth involvement.
"New Zealand's strong nuclear-free stance shouldn't have been a barrier to us joining such a partnership. We could have been carved out of the nuclear aspect of the partnership," she said.
Australian Associated Press