Australia–New Zealand relations

Australia–New Zealand relations

The relationship between Australia and New Zealand is somewhat similar to that of other neighbouring countries with a shared British colonial heritage, such as Canada and the United States. Some have defined the relationship as less one of friendship than of brotherhood, beset by sibling rivalry.] In 2002, the United States filed an action with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against Japan's restrictions on apple imports; New Zealand and Australia both joined the case as third parties. [cite web|url= |title=WTO disputes with New Zealand a third party complainant - Japan - Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples (WT/DS245) |publisher=New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade |date=2007-07-19 |accessdate=2008-04-20] After the WTO Compliance Panel ruled in favour of the U.S. in 2003 and again in 2005, [cite web|url= |title=WTO ruling message for Australia |publisher=New Zealand Government |date=2005-06-24 |accessdate=2008-04-20] Japan opened its market to U.S. apples. [cite web|url= |title=Japan Ends Import Restrictions on Import of U.S. Apples |publisher=U.S. State Department |date=2005-09-01 |accessdate=2008-04-20] Further talks over Australia's import restrictions on apples from New Zealand failed, and New Zealand initiated WTO dispute resolution proceedings in 2007. [cite web |url= |title=NZ to take Australia to WTO over apple access |date=2007-08-20 |publisher=New Zealand Government press release |accessdate=2008-04-20] [cite news |url=|title=Prime Minister Kevin Rudd offends apple growers; Australia: Apple pie jokes not funny for growers|date=2008-03-05 | ("an independent news source for companies operating in the global fruit and vegetable sector around the world") Netherlands|accessdate=2008-03-26]

Political union

The 1901 Australian Constitution included provisions to allow New Zealand to join Australia as its seventh state, even after the government of New Zealand had already decided against such a move. [ [ Why New Zealand Did Not Become An Australian State ] ] Section 6 of the Preamble declares that:

" 'The States' shall mean such of the colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia, including the northern territory of South Australia, as for the time being are parts of the Commonwealth, and such colonies or territories as may be admitted into or established by the Commonwealth as States; and each of such parts of the Commonwealth shall be called 'a State'."

One of the reasons that New Zealand chose not to join Australia was due to perceptions that the indigenous Māori population would suffer as a result. [cite news |url= |title=Why New Zealand Did Not Become An Australian State |date=2005-04-27 |accessdate=2007-09-23] At the time of Federation, Australia had a strict White Australia policy and indigenous Australians were not granted citizenship and the vote as early as the Māori in New Zealand, who had full citizenship, and universal suffrage since 1893.

Māori people had voting rights in Australia since 1902 as a result of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, part of the effort to allay New Zealand's concerns about joining the Federation. [The 1891 draft of the Australian Constitution specified that "aboriginal native(s)" would not be counted as part of the population. It was argued that this "would have resulted in New Zealand's having one less seat in the House of Representatives than if Maori were counted in the New Zealand population." Irving (1999), pg 403.] Indigenous Australians did not have the vote until 1962. During the parliamentary debates over the Act, King O'Malley supported the inclusion of Māori, and the exclusion of Australian Aboriginals, in the franchise, arguing that "An aboriginal is not as intelligent as a Maori." [ [ Commonwealth Franchise Bill] , second reading. Australian House of Representatives Hansard. Retrieved on July 30, 2007.]

From time to time the idea of joining Australia has been mooted, but has been ridiculed by New Zealanders. When Australia's former Liberal party leader, John Hewson, raised the issue in 2000, New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark remarked that he could "dream on". [cite news |url= |title=New Zealand scoffs at statehood idea |publisher=BBC |date=2002-07-24 |accessdate=2006-06-27] A 2001 book by Australian academic Bob Catley, then at the University of Otago, titled "Waltzing with Matilda: should New Zealand join Australia?", was described by New Zealand political commentator Colin James as "a book for Australians". [cite news |first=Colin |last=James |url= |title=How not to waltz Matilda |publisher=Colin James |date=2001-07-24 |accessdate=2006-06-27]

Unlike Canadians and Americans, who share a land border, New Zealand and Australia are more than 1920 km (1200 miles) apart, comparable with the distance from England to Africa. Arguing against Australian statehood, New Zealand's Premier, Sir John Hall, remarked that there were "1200 reasons" not to join the federation.

Both countries have contributed to the sporadic discussion on a Pacific Union, although that proposal would include a much wider range of member-states than just Australia and New Zealand.

While there is no prospect of political union now, there is still a great deal of similarity between the two cultures, with the differences often only obvious to Australians and New Zealanders themselves. However, in 2006 there was a recommendation from an Australian federal parliamentary committee that a full union should occur or Australia and New Zealand should at least have a single currency and more common markets. [cite news|url= |title=Push for union with New Zealand |date=2006-12-05 |last=Dick |first=Tim |publisher=Sydney Morning Herald |accessdate=2008-03-20 |quote=Australia and New Zealand should work towards a full union, or at least have a single currency and more common markets, a federal parliamentary committee says] New Zealand Government submissions to that committee concerning harmonisation of legal systems however noted

Differences between the legal systems of Australia and New Zealand are not a problem in themselves. The existence of such differences is the inevitable product of well-functioning democratic decision-making processes in each country, which reflect the preferences of stakeholders, and their effective voice in the law-making process. [NZG, Submission No. 23, pp. 2, 6. to cite book|chapterurl = |chapter= Chapter 2 Basis and mechanisms for the harmonisation of legal systems |title=Harmonisation of legal systems Within Australia and between Australia and New Zealand |url=|author=House Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs |publisher=Australian House of Representatives |date=4 December 2006 |accessdate=2008-03-20]

Membership of international organizations

New Zealand and Australia are exclusive members of a collection of five countries who participate in the highly secretive ECHELON program. New Zealand has known listening posts at Waihopai and Tangimoana run by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) as part of the ECHELON spy network. Australia has a listening post at Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station at Geraldton, Western Australia run by staff from the American National Security Agency and the Australian Defence Signals Directorate. The ECHELON communications interception network includes the U.S., Britain and Canada as well as New Zealand and Australia and is known as the UKUSA Community.cite web|url=|title=On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) - Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System, (2001/2098(INI))|last=Schmid |first=Gerhard |date=2001-07-11 |format=pdf - 194 pages |publisher=European Parliament: Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System |accessdate=2008-04-24 see for example page 50: "In the case of the New Zealand station in Waihopai, the New Zealand Government has drawn up an official description of its tasks."] [cite web|url=|last=Hager|first=Nicky|authorlink=Nicky Hager |title=Exposing the Global Surveillance System based on his book "Secret Power"||accessdate=2008-04-14|date=c. 1996]

Other joint defence arrangements between New Zealand and Australia include the Five Power Defence Arrangements and ANZUS.


Australia and New Zealand are both prosperous western democracies, and constitutional monarchies (with the same monarch) situated in the Oceania region. Both countries are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, most of which are former British colonies.

New Zealand and Australia are characterised by political stability, relatively high incomes, egalitarian cultures, low levels of corruption, and a long tradition of representative democracy. Both cultures have high rates of home ownership [cite web|url= |title=Home ownership - protecting the Kiwi dream: Speech to Nelson Chamber of Commerce outlining the government's comprehensive action plan to improve the supply of affordable housing |last=Street |first=Maryan|work=Speeches by the Hon Maryan Street, Minister for Housing|publisher=New Zealand Government|date=2008-02-20|accessdate=2008-03-20 |quote=Home ownership rates have fallen from 74 per cent to 67 per cent between 1991 and 2006. ... Also note cite web |url= |title=Importance of government policies for home ownership rates: An international survey and analysis|format=pdf (34 pages)|last=Atterhög |first=Mikael |date=2005 |publisher=Section for Building and Real Estate Economics, Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm |accessdate=2008-03-20|quote=Only Australia and New Zealand have had a negative development of the home ownership rate during the selected period [1960-2003] but the change was below one percentage point. From Table 2: Australian rate in 2001 was 67.8% and NZ was 68%] and value leisure time, especially sports and other outdoor pursuitsFact|date=July 2007. Although originally dominated by an Anglo-Celtic culture, both countries have become increasingly multi-cultural in the latter decades of the 20th century.


Founding settlers

Most of the colonies that later became Australia were set up as convict settlements, whilst New Zealand was settled by free settlers. The European population of Australia from early times contained a large Irish Catholic minority, many of whom were hostile to the British overclass, in comparison to New Zealand which was largely settled by English and Scots loyal to the British Crown. This resulted in some significant differences in attitude to authority; New Zealand never had an equivalent to the Eureka StockadeFact|date=July 2007 revolt, and republicanism has been less of an issue than in Australia. In this respect, as well as in stereotypes (see below), the differences between New Zealand and Australia resemble those between Canada and the United States, respectively.

Indigenous relations

Since the beginning of European settlement, one of the major differences between Australia and New Zealand has been in the area of race relations. In part, this originated with the very different cultures of Māori and Indigenous Australians. When Europeans arrived, Australian Aboriginal culture was ancient and had been more or less unchanged for centuries, while Māori culture was relatively young. This was perhaps the reason why Indigenous Australians showed no interest in European goods and were thus reluctant to trade or otherwise co-operate with EuropeansFact|date=July 2007, while Māori enthusiastically adopted many European goods and ideas (including Christianity) [Sutherland, Ivan Lorin George, 1935. "The Maori Situation". Harry H. Tombs, Wellington.] . As a result, Māori were seen as intelligent and capable of civilisation, whereas Aborigines were widely seen as primitive and unable to learn. [ [ Australia - Aborigines And European Settlers ] ] One result of this is that Māori gained voting rights in Australia six decades before Indigenous Australians (and indeed before any other non-white group). As James Belich points out, it was not the case that white New Zealanders were less racist than white Australians, but rather that Māori were seen by both groups as superior to most other 'coloured' peoples. [James Belich, "Paradise Reforged".]

Another difference was in the nature of early settlement. The first European settlements in Australia were penal colonies, and the brutality of these inevitably impacted on the indigenous populationFact|date=July 2007. The country was claimed by Britain by 'right of discovery' and was officially 'terra nullius' (empty land) – a term which did not deny the existence of Aborigines but did deny their right to the land. In New Zealand, by contrast, some of the earliest settlers were missionaries who sought to convert Māori and protect them from less moral settlers [ [ Missionaries and the British Annexation of New Zealand « Beastrabban’s Weblog ] ] . By 1840, when the British Crown took possession of New Zealand, humanitarianism was a major force in BritainFact|date=July 2007. This led to the creation of the Treaty of Waitangi, which transferred sovereignty from Māori to the Crown but also recognised Māori rights to their land and other properties and gave them the rights of British citizens. Although the Treaty was more or less ignored for most of the next 150 years, it did provide an important precedent, and would enable Māori to gain reparations and cultural recognition in the late twentieth century.

In both countries, there was major conflict between the races for much of the nineteenth century. In Australia this mainly took the form of skirmishes and raids, and was not widely considered to be a 'war'. In New Zealand, by contrast, much of the conflict involved armies and actual battles, which Māori won often enough to be considered as serious opponents. The participation by some Māori groups on the British side of the wars gained them several concessions from the colonial government, the most important being the four Māori seats in parliament.Fact|date=July 2007 The wars also helped Māori unity and co-operation; the lack of a shared language made this difficult for Aborigines to achieve.Fact|date=July 2007 However both peoples became an under-class in the nineteenth century: suffering discrimination, losing much of their land, and going into population decline. Disease and alcohol abuse became problems for both.Fact|date=July 2007

Male Māori land owners in New Zealand were allowed to vote from 1852 and full suffrage was granted to all Māori, including women, from 1893. In contrast, the situation in Australia was quite different. In 1901, the Constitution of Australia granted Aborigines the right to vote in Federal elections if their state granted them that right, however in practice that right was often illegally withheld from them. Australian Aborigines did not obtain universal suffrage until 1962.

From those times, both groups established political movements aimed at regaining lost land, restoring culture and cultural pride, and educating the populace about their pastFact|date=July 2007. The Māori protest movement has been more successful than that of the Aborigines, mostly due to the Treaty of Waitangi. However, the Australian High Court decisions of Mabo and Wik have been important in Australia, ushering in the new doctrine of native title, and abolishing the old concept that Australia had been "terra nullius" (unoccupied land) at the time of European settlement.

Today there is a greater acceptance of the Māori culture in New Zealand than there is of the Aboriginal culture in Australia. The Māori language is taught in many schools in New Zealand whereas the teaching of any of the hundreds of Indigenous languages is quite rare in Australia. The haka, a traditional Māori dance, is performed by both Māori and non-Māori in the All Blacks. Whilst in earlier years a "kangaroo dance" was performed in reply by the Wallabies, it drew on no genuine part of Indigenous culture; in its place is often a rendition of "Waltzing Matilda", an iconic Australian song.

Views and stereotypes

Australian views of New Zealand

Australians tend to look upon New Zealand as quainter and more provincial than Australia [ [ Relationship between New Zealand and Australia: Encyclopedia II - Relationship between New Zealand and Australia - Views and Stereotypes ] ] ; New Zealand has only about a fifth of the population and is even further geographically isolated than Australia. Comparisons are drawn between the state of Tasmania and New Zealand due to their similar climates. Australians see themselves as largely the same as New Zealanders politically, culturally and philosophically.

Stereotypes focus on New Zealand as a pastoral land lacking in sophistication and without the modern cosmopolitan nature of contemporary AustraliaFact|date=July 2007. There is a large focus on the significant population of sheep in New Zealand.New Zealand is inferred as lacking in economic opportunities due to significant numbers of New Zealand immigrants living in Australia.

New Zealand citizens are also seen as being productive workers who are seeking greater opportunity within Australia. Those who live in Australia have a higher labour-force participation rate, this being 76.3 per cent, compared with Australian born who have a workforce participation rate of 68.2 per cent [ [ Australian Immigration Fact Sheet: New Zealanders in Australia] , 30 September 2007] .

New Zealand views of Australia

New Zealanders see Australia as larger, brasher and more obnoxious than their societyFact|date=July 2007. While conceding that Australia is bigger and wealthier, few New Zealanders view Australia as superiorFact|date=July 2007. New Zealanders point to the level of government and media corruption in their nearest neighbour (New Zealand outscores Australia in both the Corruption Perception Index and the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index) and how Australia has consistently lagged behind New Zealand in civil rights and social advancement.Fact|date=October 2008

New Zealanders regard Australians as loud and opinionated, but New Zealanders and Australians have defended one another in times of war, epitomised by the ANZAC tradition.

Like Australians, New Zealanders have a 'love-hate' relationship with the UK, although anti-British sentiment is not as strong, and republicanism is not as emotive an issue as it is in Australia.

Some of the banter between the two countries is typified by the response by the former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon when questioned about increased levels of emigration to Australia, that these migrants "raised the average IQ of both countries".



*cite book |first=Helen |last=Irving |year=1999|title=The Centenary Companion to Australian Federation|page= |id=ISBN 0521573149
*cite book
authorlink=Michael King
title=The Penguin History of New Zealand
publisher=Penguin Books
location=New Zealand

*cite book|last=Mein Smith|first=Philippa|title=A Concise History of New Zealand|publisher=Cambridge University Press|date=2005|location=Australia |isbn=0521542286


External links

* [ Why New Zealand Did Not Become An Australian State]

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