A federal parliamentary committee has recommended a union with New Zealand. This was initially mooted in the leadup to Federation, as a look at our Constitution makes clear. But it’s a fascinating idea to re-examine now. There really are so few differences between us, and so many advantages from a slightly larger scale, that both countries should look seriously at it.
The original proposal was for NZ to become one of the Australian states, and let’s face it – that would be the most appropriate form of full union. They’ve only got 4.1 million residents – less than the population of Sydney! (In fact, heck, we should be our own state as well. Screw the bush.) And the constitutional provisions are already there at our end. So, whaddaya say, NZ? Huh?
Just quietly, though, something tells me they won’t go for it. You know, proud national identity and all that. So the obvious model is a European Union-type model, with a single currency, foreign policy where possible (not with the US, obviously), free movement (which we have already, I think) and harmonisation of the laws.
But let’s imagine that we had a unified country – Australianz, perhaps? Although reflecting the importance of each nation, we should really call it “Australia”. Just look at the upside:
An awesome rugby team. Imagine the very best of the Wallabies and All Blacks combined! They’d be unbeatable. If you took the very best players in any position, it would look very much like – the All Blacks.
An awesome cricket team. Which we have already. But hey, the Black Caps could play in the Pura Cup. Although they wouldn’t win it.
Formal ownership of their best artists. We already take Russell Crowe, Sam Neill and Crowded House as our own. Why not formalise the arrangement? Plus we’d get Peter Jackson and Bic Runga thrown into the deal. The former would make Aussie nerds happy, and the latter is the hottest woman on the planet named after a ballpoint pen.
A majority of Aussies on the beach in Bondi. At the moment, there are more Poms and Kiwis than Aussies. If we joined with the Kiwis, we’d finally have our beach back.
The Maori precedent. The Kiwis have treated their Maori people with far more decency, and preserved far more of their culture, than we have with the Aborigines. I won’t go into huge detail on why this is – firstly, they were quite different societies, and secondly, the Kiwis were much nicer than us. Maybe some of their treatment of their indigenous people would rub off on us?
They’re more politically progressive than us. It’s not just the Maori issue. They’ve got a woman as Prime Minister, and a Governor-General of Indian origin. Their last G-G was a woman as well. Makes a nice change from the endless wall of white men that have always dominated Australian politics.
Antarctica would come as part of the bargain. Between our bit and their bit, we would pretty much have half of the place. And when global warming kicks in, we can live there. Or sell land to refugees from newly-underwater countries. This could make us very powerful.
More Kiwi accents. I ruckon Kiwis hev the bust eccents un the wehld. Seriously. Un fect, I want one.
A chance to call Footrot Flats our own. Well, it’s better than Ginger Meggs, anyway.
Decent skiing. Come on. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Our ski resorts are rubbish. Let’s just go to NZ to ski instead. They have actual mountains over there.
No more Peter FitzSimons Air New Zealand ads. This alone has got to make the change worthwhile, in my opinion. Actually, having Air New Zealand operating as flights out of Australia would be fantastic. They’re part of the superior Star Alliance, and finally Qantas would get some proper long-haul competition.
As you can see, it makes sense. So come on, New Zealand, what are you waiting for? What a wonderful chance for our eastern neighbours to get a chance to experience John Howard as Prime Minister.