DO you support a AUS/NZ union
Yes, in a manner that I shall describe
20.6% (7)
20.6% (7)
No, for reasons that I shall describe
14.7% (5)
14.7% (5)
Yes, but I don't know how
5.9% (2)
5.9% (2)
No. Why? Go to hell that's why
32.4% (11)
32.4% (11)
I'm foreign and know nothing of either nation
26.5% (9)
26.5% (9)
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Poll: Australian/New Zealand Federation/commonwealth/whatever

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Question for Kiwis and Aussies on the board, what would your thoughts be on a single governmental union between the Commonwealth of Australia and the land of the long white cloud. Would you be in favor of such a union and if so, what form would it take.

Personally, I think that due to the highly linked nature of our economies, histories, tourism, foreign policy and defence forces, a closer union is the way to go into the latter half of this century. My only issues are the exact formation that would occur.

Most likely this would take the form of a similar governmental structure to the one that we have now, with NZ making up perhaps two states of the new commonwealth. The only real concern with this is that many kiwis may see this as more of a subsumption than a union.

So, thoughts, ideas, models, objections?

And please, if you are not from either nation, feel free to participate, just please please please don't start on the sheep shagging and shrimp on the barbie jokes.

The kiwis wouldn't go for it and claim Australia is just trying to steal their... fuck, whatever's valuable in NZ these days... hobbits, probably.

Also the WA government would go spastic about adding another 2 "parasitic eastern states for them to support".

If New Zealand was to join the federation I think it would make more sense if it was a single state instead of two for a variety of reasons. Importantly "New Zealand" is listed in the constitution as an original state and because of this, if I remember correctly, it would be pretty easy for NZ to join the federation, whereas "North Island" and "South Island" aren't listed as original states so it would be more difficult. If NZ was an Australian state it would be the fourth largest in population which I think shows that it's not so big that it needs to be split up, and is a good justification for it to receive the same number of senators as the rest of the states, which is something the constitution would guarantee if they joined the federation as New Zealand but not as two separate states. If it joined as one state the current New Zealand parliament could continue operating as their state parliament and things could continue very similarly to how they are now and the transition would be a lot smoother.

Now as for whether or not New Zealand should be an Australian state, that's something I would really like to see but unfortunately something I don't think will happen. While I think it would strengthen both places and particularly benefit New Zealand's economy, I think too many New Zealanders would feel like they would have to sacrifice too much culturally for it to be worth it, even if they were guaranteed a lot of autonomy as a state. Meanwhile, the fact that New Zealanders can live and work in Australia without needing to apply for a visa and are granted a special status under a lot of Australian laws compared to all other nationalities means that New Zealand already has a lot of the benefits of being an Australian state without actually having to be one, so they have less of an incentive to want to join.

RhombusHatesYou:
Also the WA government would go spastic about adding another 2 "parasitic eastern states for them to support".

Perfect proposal: New Zealand joins and WA fucks off.

ten.to.ten:
If New Zealand was to join the federation I think it would make more sense if it was a single state instead of two for a variety of reasons. Importantly "New Zealand" is listed in the constitution as an original state and because of this, if I remember correctly, it would be pretty easy for NZ to join the federation, whereas "North Island" and "South Island" aren't listed as original states so it would be more difficult. If NZ was an Australian state it would be the fourth largest in population which I think shows that it's not so big that it needs to be split up, and is a good justification for it to receive the same number of senators as the rest of the states, which is something the constitution would guarantee if they joined the federation as New Zealand but not as two separate states. If it joined as one state the current New Zealand parliament could continue operating as their state parliament and things could continue very similarly to how they are now and the transition would be a lot smoother.

Now as for whether or not New Zealand should be an Australian state, that's something I would really like to see but unfortunately something I don't think will happen. While I think it would strengthen both places and particularly benefit New Zealand's economy, I think too many New Zealanders would feel like they would have to sacrifice too much culturally for it to be worth it, even if they were guaranteed a lot of autonomy as a state. Meanwhile, the fact that New Zealanders can live and work in Australia without needing to apply for a visa and are granted a special status under a lot of Australian laws compared to all other nationalities means that New Zealand already has a lot of the benefits of being an Australian state without actually having to be one, so they have less of an incentive to want to join.

That feeling of them being lost into Australia proper is why I wanted to give them two states, make them feel like they are a bigger part.

And It would be important to reassure them that they would not simply become a state of Australia, they would become a part of the new nation that comes about of this unification.

ten.to.ten:

RhombusHatesYou:
Also the WA government would go spastic about adding another 2 "parasitic eastern states for them to support".

Perfect proposal: New Zealand joins and WA fucks off.

That might be a dangerous prospect since, from what the last figures I saw, WA is the main source of economic growth for the whole of Australia.

From a New Zealander's point of view - no for these reasons:

1) There is really no need. Australia and New Zealand get along well enough and are close neighbours but I don't see much value in it. The cost of actually implementing this move would be substantial but what are the benefits? I am skeptical that there would be many.

My others aren't quite as serious:

2) It has been stated that a lot of us like having a distinct cultural identity but this could be retained regardless. What worries me is that New Zealand would become the new Tasmania in the eyes of the rest of Australia.

3) There is speculation that this could, in the long term, hurt the NZ economy. Australia's main economic power is in mineral deposits. Due to extreme weather and the increasingly drier interior resulting from climate change a lot of the country will be less and less habitable over the next century (think worse than what is happening in the US). NZ isn't pojected to be as badly hit by all this but our economy and way of life could suffer if we are saddled with Australia.

4) We like to beat Australia in Rugby on a year-by-year basis and they return the favour by never letting us beat them in Cricket or League. That might just disappear.

But really its point 1 that is the main issue. The administrative cost of doing this would not be cheap and, in my view, would not be recouped directly or indirectly from such a merger.

ElectroJosh:
That might be a dangerous prospect since, from what the last figures I saw, WA is the main source of economic growth for the whole of Australia.

Some things are worth the cost.

Of course I'm only kidding. I come from a pretty pain in the arse state myself so I'm not one to talk.

ten.to.ten:

Some things are worth the cost.

Of course I'm only kidding. I come from a pretty pain in the arse state myself so I'm not one to talk.

The funny thing is that I know some people from WA (good family friends actually) who have said this word for word:

"Australia is the greatest nation on earth. WA is the greatest state on earth. Perth is the greatest city on earth. And (area in Perth whose name I can't remember) is the best place to live on earth. We have the best schools, best culture, best way of life and best people."

They were dead serious and couldn't understand why most of the others in the room (Aussies, Kiwis, Yanks, Canuks and Pinoys) weren't agreeing whole-heartedly.

ElectroJosh:
The funny thing is that I know some people from WA (good family friends actually) who have said this word for word:

"Australia is the greatest nation on earth. WA is the greatest state on earth. Perth is the greatest city on earth. And (area in Perth whose name I can't remember) is the best place to live on earth. We have the best schools, best culture, best way of life and best people."

They were dead serious and couldn't understand why most of the others in the room (Aussies, Kiwis, Yanks, Canuks and Pinoys) weren't agreeing whole-heartedly.

That's hilarious. I really wish I could share their enthusiasm for where I live but I'm not that deluded.

but who would we cheer about beating in sport?

wombat_of_war:
but who would we cheer about beating in sport?

We'd have to start beating people at sport again, first.

I think one of the biggest problems would be dealing with the sense of disenfranchisement that might rise amongst the kiwis. Because while NZ could be a state, with just slightly less population that the biggest Australian states, I imagine most would see it as Australian's having ~20 mill votes, and NZ having ~4 mill. OF course, that shouldn't be an issue if everyone suddenly agreed to join together overnight, but that's impossible.

As for whether or not it will/should occur, I think it'll get to the point where we're so close in terms of politics and everything, that we may as well be the same country, and then we'll become so. Should it happen? I'm apathetic. We're close enough as it is, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I'd support that move. Mind you, I think it would be better if NZ had been a part of Australia from Federation, if it had been one group among many that got together to form this new Australia thing, rather than New Zealand becoming part of an existing Australia.

Likewise, we can't call the new nation "Australia", for the same reason. Australia and New Zealand is too long...Commonwealth of Oceania?

thaluikhain:
I'd support that move. Mind you, I think it would be better if NZ had been a part of Australia from Federation, if it had been one group among many that got together to form this new Australia thing, rather than New Zealand becoming part of an existing Australia.

Likewise, we can't call the new nation "Australia", for the same reason. Australia and New Zealand is too long...Commonwealth of Oceania?

Yeah, so far as I can see the real challenge is assuring everyone that they will not be consumed and lose their identity. Oceania could work.

thaluikhain:
Likewise, we can't call the new nation "Australia", for the same reason. Australia and New Zealand is too long...Commonwealth of Oceania?

How about Antipedia?

OT: I'm not from either of these countries, so ignore me as needed... But I could imagine a (very) slow merger similar to the EU, first (economic) cooperation, then militarily, financial, possibly a single currency, and sometime in the distant future possibly some form of federation...

the clockmaker:

thaluikhain:
I'd support that move. Mind you, I think it would be better if NZ had been a part of Australia from Federation, if it had been one group among many that got together to form this new Australia thing, rather than New Zealand becoming part of an existing Australia.

Likewise, we can't call the new nation "Australia", for the same reason. Australia and New Zealand is too long...Commonwealth of Oceania?

Yeah, so far as I can see the real challenge is assuring everyone that they will not be consumed and lose their identity. Oceania could work.

Flippantly, I'd say the way to do it would be to get PNG, Tonga and Fiji to become one nation, and that joins with NZ to become one nation, and that joins with Australia. So the nations joining bigger nations aren't as small.

Also we can get rid of the British Royal family and have the Tongan one instead.

Rather than joining with Australia, how about New Zealand becomes the fifth home nation of the United Kingdom? Geographical concerns aside, we share very similar cultures and legal systems. As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and New Zealand, NZ would get to access to the EU and Common Market, a permanent place on the UN Security Council, Nuclear Weapons... what's not to like?

JoJo:
Rather than joining with Australia, how about New Zealand becomes the fifth home nation of the United Kingdom? Geographical concerns aside, we share very similar cultures and legal systems. As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and New Zealand, NZ would get to access to the EU and Common Market, a permanent place on the UN Security Council, Nuclear Weapons... what's not to like?

Nuclear weapons are one. NZ won't let any nuclear armed ships into its ports...as the US does not say which ships are carrying nuclear weapons, this means US ships don't go there.

Interesting idea otherwise, but concerns about being swallowed up are even greater. Also, there's talk about Scotland leaving as it is.

Instead of joining the British, why doesn't New-Zealand join the netherlands. It was first discoverd by a dutch sailer and the name is dutch too. It'll have great advantages, you'll be able to legally smoke weed and ehm join us in our radio shows and even compare your experience of New-Zealand with people from "old" Zeeland. Just as with britain you can join the EU common market, but no nuclear weapons and no security council seat. Whats not to like! (You also dont have to join a country that constantly annoys the rest of Europe)

Hell now that I think of it if you guys are willing to share your weather well join you.

RhombusHatesYou:
The kiwis wouldn't go for it and claim Australia is just trying to steal their... fuck, whatever's valuable in NZ these days... hobbits, probably.

The way I understand, New Zealand has a pretty booming tourist trade right now, and no doubt a lot of property values have gone up. Plus in the making of the Lord of the Rings films they used a lot of local tradespeople to make their props. Walking sticks, rings, swords, armor...it can do a business wonders to be able to say "These walking sticks made by the man who made Gandalf's staff," or "these rings forged by the same man who forged the One Ring."

In other news, I understand very little about the intricacies of Australian and New Zealand politics, so I have nothing more to add to this thread. Toodles~

thaluikhain:
Also we can get rid of the British Royal family and have the Tongan one instead.

We'll have to get bigger stamps and coins in that case.

Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Tonga, Fiji etc should just join together to become an empire. The Oceanic Empire. Sounds cool doesn't it? Then we can finally conqueror the world!

Aussie502:
Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Tonga, Fiji etc should just join together to become an empire. The Oceanic Empire. Sounds cool doesn't it? Then we can finally conqueror the world!

Why would we want to conquer the world when we already have the best bits?

JoJo:
Rather than joining with Australia, how about New Zealand becomes the fifth home nation of the United Kingdom? Geographical concerns aside, we share very similar cultures and legal systems. As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and New Zealand, NZ would get to access to the EU and Common Market, a permanent place on the UN Security Council, Nuclear Weapons... what's not to like?

I don't think you can throw aside the whole geography issue here- New Zealand is new country in the south pacific- its national interests are going to vary too much compared to Britain, which is an old major European power. Culturally we're very similar for obvious reasons but politically it won't work because there's not enough shared national interest.

OT:
I don't really know how well a union between New Zealand and Australia would work out because due to different population sizes, Australia is clearly going to be the dominant partner. It would make more sense if New Zealand became a state within the Australian Federation, with perhaps more devolved powers than a typical Australian state. Still, not entirely sure why New Zealand would want to this- what's the point? New Zealand and Australia are very close already and as someone mentioned there's virtual free movement of workers (and goods?) between the two countries, so New Zealand already get's most of the benefits of being apart of Australia.

The base reality of any union of Aus & NZ & whatever other Pacific island states would be that Australia tells everyone what to do.

Needless to say, that's a big hurdle for anyone but Australians to get over.

RhombusHatesYou:

wombat_of_war:
but who would we cheer about beating in sport?

We'd have to start beating people at sport again, first.

RhombusHatesYou:
The kiwis wouldn't go for it and claim Australia is just trying to steal their... fuck, whatever's valuable in NZ these days... hobbits, probably.

thaluikhain:

Also we can get rid of the British Royal family and have the Tongan one instead.

Holy shit stop you guys are killing me, this is hilarious.

Aussie502:
Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Tonga, Fiji etc should just join together to become an empire. The Oceanic Empire. Sounds cool doesn't it? Then we can finally conqueror the world!

Hmmmm...then we could do away with the controversial Australia Day/Invasion Day, and celebrate the Tongan annexation of Minerva as "Fuck you, Libertarians Day".

I don't think it's a workable idea, mainly because of the rift between Australian and New Zealand politics. NZ tends to be quite a bit more progressive, particularly on issues that get stuck in Australian conservatives collective craws such as gay marriage. Australia's prime minister has said that she will prevent gay marriage from becoming law at just about any cost, that's going to clash if a new state suddenly pops up that's already had it for years.

I'm firmly opposed to an Australian-New Zealamd commonwealth/federation/whatever because nz's relatively liberal firearm laws compared to Australia and the UK's firearm laws would very likely end up the same as Australia's firearm laws with practically no semiautomatic firearms because our laws work just fine and i'm not going to share a single currency with those Australians who like making dirty amd rude sheep shagger jokes about New Zealanders because New Zealanders DON"T do unnatural acts with sheep on the farm and besides Australia is basically a nanny state from what i've read and i don't want New Zealand to end up as a nanny state.

Sniperexpert:
I'm firmly opposed to an Australian-New Zealamd commonwealth/federation/whatever because nz's relatively liberal firearm laws compared to Australia and the UK's firearm laws would very likely end up the same as Australia's firearm laws with practically no semiautomatic firearms because our laws work just fine and i'm not going to share a single currency with those Australians who like making dirty amd rude sheep shagger jokes about New Zealanders because New Zealanders DON"T do unnatural acts with sheep on the farm and besides Australia is basically a nanny state from what i've read and i don't want New Zealand to end up as a nanny state.

You know the main difference between Aus and NZ firearm laws? Aussies have to register every firearm and kiwis only have to register for the licence. 90 percent of the rest of it is still the same systems.

You don't want to share a currency because some blokes said some mean things? Come off it mate, the poms are supposed to be the whinging ones.

And Aus is not a nanny state, people complain about it, but most of it is in response to bullshit suggestions, not to actual laws.

That Hyena Bloke:
Australia's prime minister has said that she will prevent gay marriage from becoming law at just about any cost,

I'm sorry what? Are we talking about the same Julia Gilliard who changed the Labour Parties' position on Gay Marriage from "opposition" to "up to individual politicions" whilst the opposition leader reaffirmed the "opposition or you're out of the party" position? How is that "prevent gay marriage at just about any cost?"

Anyway back on topic:

I'm against it, mostly because the two nations have their differences in culture, and combined with the distance between Australia and New Zealand it doesn't really make sense to become one nation.

Plus it seems like New Zealand will lose out in just about every regard, since they'd go from calling the shots to having all of their federal-level decisions be passed by people who have no legal obligation to even step foot on New Zeland soil.

Hmmm...I daresay Australia could get Kiribati to join them easily enough, in that the government of Kiribati is worried that their entire landmass is going to disappear due to global warming and wants to find a nation to take their citizens when that happens.

Shaoken:

That Hyena Bloke:
Australia's prime minister has said that she will prevent gay marriage from becoming law at just about any cost,

I'm sorry what? Are we talking about the same Julia Gilliard who changed the Labour Parties' position on Gay Marriage from "opposition" to "up to individual politicions" whilst the opposition leader reaffirmed the "opposition or you're out of the party" position? How is that "prevent gay marriage at just about any cost?"

Gillard fought tooth and nail against the Labor Party changing its platform to include support for same-sex marriage and if it wasn't for her lobbying hard for the conscience vote opt-out clause in order to not look like a complete fool being overridden by her own party it probably wouldn't have gained the slight majority it did in the last Labor National Conference and marriage equality would have had a much better shot at passing last year.

Thanks to the conscience vote, almost half of Labor's MPs voted against their own party's platform, against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the party's membership. Canada and South Africa did it ages ago, the UK and New Zealand will almost certainly do it this year, close to 20% of US states have it and the US federal government will probably have to start recognising those marriages as valid later this year pending a court case. Australia will be the last Anglosphere country to recognise same-sex marriage, with the possible exception of Ireland which at least has a nationwide civil union system which Australia does not have.

It's only because of the Liberal Party being so brutally homophobic that Labor seems even remotely decent on gay rights. They're not, and Gillard played a huge part in ruining the chances of equality in Australia before 2020.

Now that you mention it, being bound by Australia's federal Marriage Act would be one of the reasons I would encourage New Zealand not to join the federation.

Yes, we shall join with our little buddies and form the great Australasian Empire. We would control 2 continents (Australia & Antarctica) and a bunch of islands. It won't stop there though. We will then "Assimilate" all the South Pacific Islands and then Annex PNG and Indonesia. Then, we will finally be relevant.

the clockmaker:

Sniperexpert:
I'm firmly opposed to an Australian-New Zealamd commonwealth/federation/whatever because nz's relatively liberal firearm laws compared to Australia and the UK's firearm laws would very likely end up the same as Australia's firearm laws with practically no semiautomatic firearms because our laws work just fine and i'm not going to share a single currency with those Australians who like making dirty amd rude sheep shagger jokes about New Zealanders because New Zealanders DON"T do unnatural acts with sheep on the farm and besides Australia is basically a nanny state from what i've read and i don't want New Zealand to end up as a nanny state.

You know the main difference between Aus and NZ firearm laws? Aussies have to register every firearm and kiwis only have to register for the licence. 90 percent of the rest of it is still the same systems.

You don't want to share a currency because some blokes said some mean things? Come off it mate, the poms are supposed to be the whinging ones.

And Aus is not a nanny state, people complain about it, but most of it is in response to bullshit suggestions, not to actual laws.

You really believe that? Australia is nothing less than a nanny state. Look at it's gun laws for one, and how crime increased when they were made, and how the government FORCED people to give them their weapons, like if they were preparing a purge of some sort. Don't even get me started on who you elected too.

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/australian-gun-ban-led-to-massive-crime-increase/

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/blogs/the-backpacker/australia-the-great-nanny-state-20110503-1e6hf.html

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