What can we learn from our trans-Tasman neighbours?
Australia and New Zealand are often considered close cousins. But why, despite being so close, do we know so little about each other? And now, in the wake of COVID-19, is it time to change that?
In this wise and illuminating essay, Laura Tingle looks at leadership, character and two nations in transition. In the past half-century, both countries have remade themselves amid shifting economic fortunes. New Zealand has been held up as a model for everything from privatisation to the conduct of politics to the response to COVID. Tingle considers how both countries have been governed, and the different way each has dealt with its colonial legacy. What could Australia learn from New Zealand? And New Zealand from Australia?
This is a perceptive, often amusing introduction to two countries alike in some ways, but quite different in others.
‘Jacinda Ardern is not the first reason we have had to look across the Tasman and wonder whether there is another way of doing things … New Zealand – perhaps the only place in the world that has suffered isolation and the tyranny of distance more than Australia – has repeatedly jumped out of its comfort zone and changed direction harder, faster and for longer than Australia has done in the past half-century.’ —Laura Tingle, The High Road