Merger has ap­peal

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

As the new year swings into ac­tion, many of us are won­der­ing how we are go­ing to man­age our fi­nances and sur­vive.

The re­ces­sion re­mains with us. The re­tail­ers have been stri­dently push­ing their wares, of­fer­ing huge bar­gains and dis­counts (ex­cept in such es­sen­tials as food, power and petrol) in an ef­fort to get us to open our purses and keep the tills ring­ing.

The rich re­main rich and get richer, the poor re­main poor and, sadly, of­ten be­come poorer. It’s the year of the Rugby World Cup ( are we likely to be al­lowed to for­get it?), and it’s elec­tion year.

It might, in fact, be a good year to head for Mars. Any tak­ers?

In the mid­dle of the fi­nan­cial turmoil which per­sists, de­spite our best ef­forts, some of our rep­re­sen­ta­tives still hold the il­lu­sion that New Zealand has the po­ten­tial to be a global in­flu­ence, whether it be in cli­mate change strate­gies or an­tinu­clear stance or what­ever. They seem to for­get that we are a tiny coun­try at the bot­tom of the world sur­rounded mainly by miles and miles of ocean – with the ex­cep­tion of the rel­a­tively short hop to Aus­tralia. On our own, we can do pre­cious lit­tle. And as for catch­ing up with Aus­tralia in terms of wealth or pay pack­ets, for­get it.

Per­haps we should be­come the sev­enth state of the Fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralia. It has been mooted be­fore. I heard on the ra­dio the other night that a ma­jor stum­bling block in ef­forts at the be­gin­ning of last cen­tury to achieve this goal was the fact that New Zealand had al­ready granted the vote to women and, more im­por­tantly, Maori. While some Aus­tralian states had no ob­jec­tion to this state of af­fairs, oth­ers would not coun­te­nance it, par­tic­u­larly where the Abo­rig­ine peo­ple were concerned. In­ter­est­ing, isn’t it?

What would be the ef­fects of such a merger, I won­der? Apart from the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits which would un­doubt­edly ac­crue as a re­sult of join­ing with our much wealth­ier neigh­bour, maybe our sports peo­ple would be able to per­form bet­ter on the world stage.

Would the Black Caps, for in­stance, do a bet­ter job in the green and gold of Aus­tralia? Would the com­bi­na­tion of the Sil­ver Ferns and their coun­ter­parts across the Tas­man re­sult in an in­vin­ci­ble net­ball team? Would Rob­bie Deans at last get his hands on the World Cup with a united rugby team? Who knows?

Also, the Aus­tralian ap­ple grow­ers would surely have no fur­ther need to fight to keep our ap­ples out of their ter­ri­tory – they would be Aus­tralian ap­ples! And as for the Aussie banks, well . . .

Per­son­ally, I don’t think I would like to be Aus­tralian, even though my New Zealand­born hus­band sports an Aus­tralian pass­port. The Aussies are a dif­fer­ent breed – apart from the Tas­ma­ni­ans, who are re­mark­ably like New Zealan­ders, both in tem­per­a­ment and in at­ti­tudes.

Nev­er­the­less, if that is the only way to save our coun­try fi­nan­cially, I would have to con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity. But per­haps New Zealand will sur­vive on its own till af­ter I am push­ing up daisies. Here’s hop­ing.

For our first meet­ing of the year, we are go­ing to be ad­dressed by Porirua’s new mayor, Nick Leggett. I’m sure you will all want to get his view on where our city is go­ing, so do come along – and bring a friend.

Date: next Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 8. Time: 1.30pm. Venue: The Porirua Club, Lodge Place. Porirua. Con­tact: Helen Grif­fith Phone: 236 0112.

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