Isn’t it time we at least synchronized the New Zealand budget with the Australian budget?
The Australian budget is always launched on the second Tuesday of May each year.
The New Zealand budget will be launched on the second Thursday of May this year.
The Australian economy is an export-focused mixed market economy, just like New Zealand’s. Except theirs is worth $AUD$1.69 trillion.
We can reasonably acknowledge that by a long way it’s our most important international political and economic relationship. They do all of our heavy lifting in defence and immigration already, such that we are allowed to go off and emote endlessly about regional human rights because of the hard choices that only Australia has to make.
We have an economy about two thirds the size of Queensland.
Australia provides a level of at least 20% of stuff we import.
The New Zealand economy is worth in total about NZ$199 billion.
We are a minor part of the Australian economy, and that’s how everyone else views us.
The Prime Minister now has to make a joke about how we are actually missing off the coast of Australia on any major map. That’s the minor irony of how we rate. And it’s only ironic to us. To the rest, we’re a half-eaten lambchop.
Sure, let’s talk about our feelings and our moral superiority and our special differences, but in budgetary terms Tasmania and Western Australia have as many cultural and economic differences from each other, as we do to Australia.
In all but name we are a state of Australia.
And that’s without mentioning interbreeding. Clutch your pearls girls; Maori are Australia’s largest Polynesian ethnicity. Just like New Zealand.
We are both shifting from a manufacturing to a services economy at about the same time.
In historical terms we shifted from a super-strong state to a deregulated one in slightly faster time than they did, but thirty years on it pretty much washes up.
Even granted that, in all but name we are a branch office of Australia. 90% of our banking – including that of our own government – is owned by Australian banks. Where their interest rates go, we go.
$2 of every $5 we have in New Zealand is owned by Australia already.
Because of that straight fact of ownership, we pay tankerfulls of cash to Australia:
Beyond our banking system, in which Australia truly owns our ass
(read: owns our mortgages), Australia is far and away our biggest “foreign” owner.
Go right ahead and talk about our freedom and our nationhood and our indomitable tiny “can do” “number 8 Wire attitude”, but in reality we are a state of Australia already in all but name.
You can in fact talk about cultural identity and special uniqueness and Maori and 100% Pure if you like.
Or, just follow the money.
In the upcoming Australian budget, Australia will pay for massive date fibre line for Papua New Guinea and the Solomons.
Call it aid, call it colonization, call it do the right thing, call it the First By A Nose At Trehtham. It’s just an honest reflection of reality.
No one’s selling out or remaining ‘nationhood’, ‘manhood’, ‘ANZAC spirit’, or the Treaty of Waitangi. We’re both Westminster Commonwealth democracies under the same monarchy. We’re both reflexive liberal states. We are the same in all but minor inflected upward terminal diphthongs.
At minimum, all I’m suggesting, is we stop feigning ignorance of our real position to Australia. The New Zealand government should pick up the phone and have a conversation with the Australian Treasurer every budget time, and synchronize their budgets for the same day.