Sunday, March 19, 2006

Our ANZAC cousins across the Tasman...

Kiwis. EnZedders. New Zealanders in other words. Australia and New Zealand seem to me to have a very similar relationship to that shared by the US and Canada. I strongly suspect that Canada and NZ spend more time thinking about the relationships than do their bigger neighbours.

That diminishes the argument unfairly however. OK, we are both part of 'the Anglosphere', but NZ is family as well as friend, who happens to live right next door. We have a great deal in common, shared values, and if it got down to it, our potential foes are the same. (In East Timor 1999, it was the Kiwis who took the next biggest weight after Oz, they put in a damn good effort, unfortunately with casualties). The shared ANZAC tradition in WW1 goes without saying, although our immediate interests diverged in the Pacific campaiign, particularly PNG in WW2 - NZ stuck more with the UK then, which is hard to understand, since NZ's position would be interesting if the Japanese had made it onto the Oz mainland.

Aussies sometimes refer to Kiwis as 'South Sea Poms', arising from a perception that things British have a heavy influence on New Zealand attitudes, and policy. Australia on the other hand arguably tends to be more independent in terms of policy and national attitude, if anything, leaning towards the US ways of thinking than the UK (well, around Sydney at least).

A lot of Kiwis live in Australia, east coast predominately (Bondi used to be well known for the number of Kiwis living there), mostly it would seem as economic immigrants. Good luck to them, if they can do better here, go for it. They don't cause the dramas many groups do lately (eg middle eastern enclaves) and they undoubtedly contribute more than they take. The numbers seem mostly to flow from NZ to Australia, but I doubt that is the whole story - there are many stories about Aussies buying retirement properties in NZ (ex NSW premier Bob Carr being an example).
I wouldn't mind checking out my NZ retirement option out either - at least I could pursue my hobbies - in NZ the gun laws are more reasonable than the unworkable ones we are lumbered with in Australia.

The subject of expats comes up reasonably often in NZ, most recently on '' and I found that from reading Murray's post on one of the best blogs I know of - which happens to be a NZ based blog - 'Silent Running'. Hat tip Murray.


Blogger Murray said...

A couple of minor details.

1. During WWII the Japanese had no intention of landing in Australia, their target was New Zeland. The nice long beachs on the Horowhenua coast more or less exactly where a US Marine Division was parked in fact. The Japanese had already printed the currency for the ocupation forces.

2. New Zeland did not choose to remain in North Africa, Churchill refused to release the NZDiv.

3. New Zeland did fight in the Pacific. A Div (3rd) was rasied but never made full strength and was stood down later in the war. We also had a lot of air units operating with Americans. The top Commnwealth Pacific Ace is Geoff Fiskin who at last check was still living in the Wairarapa. Our navy was also heavily involved and although small made substantial contibutions. Both crusiers - Achilles and Leander - being damaged in action in the Pacific. Two patrol boats - Kiwi & Moa - took out a Japanese sub - I1 - which was roughly three times their size.

4. This was over commitment on our part and severly stretched man power with 13.5% of the total population serving. The highest in the Western world.

Most New Zelanders go to Australia because of two reasons. Economic and political.

Many ex-pats who come back to visit are dismayed at how far the rot has gone in our nation.

I think it comes down to the misconception that to be "independant" we have to be rude and oiffensive to all our fomer allies and friends.

To actually say that our flag looking similar to the australian flag is in fact a good thing is treated like some form of treason.

Monday, March 20, 2006 9:58:00 pm  

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