The Herald reports:
US Vice-President Joe Biden will formally accept the invitation today when he meets Prime Minister John Key in Auckland.
He did not mention the rift of the past, nor the hugely symbolic gesture of the US Navy’s return.
“You nor we never bend. We never bow. We know who we are. We mean what we say. We say it in slightly different ways but it is the same.”
The US is one of 30 foreign navies invited to attend the 75th birthday celebrations of the NZ Navy.
It has been mulling the invitation for the past 18 months and the matter is understood to have gone right to the Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama.
If correct, this is very good news. The US is an important ally and friend and it would be a shame to not have them attend.
He mentioned the work the two nations did together in the Antarctic, in the Ross Sea and at the United Nations Security Council.
The US will be very pleased that we have announced a ship is being built that will be able to service Scott Base and McMurdo in Antarctica. We have been totally dependent on the US Navy to get supplies in by sea, so having a RNZN ship capable of getting to Antarctica makes it a more equal partnership down there.
There is probably no area the two countries work more closely together than in Antarctica.
UPDATE: It is confirmed.