8 rea­sons to be mates

The Press - - News-politics -

Trans-Tas­man travel The free­dom to live and work across the Tas­man is viewed as a long held right by Ki­wis but in re­al­ity it has re­mained in place largely at the dis­cre­tion of suc­ces­sive Aus­tralian gov­ern­ments. When the chips are down Aus­tralia has al­ready ex­tended an of­fer of help to fight the Christchurch fires. Australians were there for us dur­ing the city’s earth­quakes and helped carry Ki­wis home af­ter the Bali bomb­ings. CER The closer eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship agree­ment deal in force since 1983 is widely ac­knowl­edged as the gold stan­dard of free trade agree­ments. To­tal trade with Aus­tralia in goods and ser­vices has reached $24 bil­lion a year. We’ve both got a lot rid­ing on each other’s suc­cess Australians have $110 bil­lion in­vested in New Zealand, and 51 per cent of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment here comes from Aus­tralia. It is also New Zealand’s top in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. To­tal in­vest­ment in each oth­ers coun­tries is $169 bil­lion. Tourism There are 13000 flights across the Tas­man bear­ing 1.3 mil­lion Aus­tralian tourists to New Zealand each year - 43 per cent of our to­tal vis­i­tor mar­ket. In fact, five times more Australians visit New Zealand each year than Amer­i­cans. Australians are not stingy ei­ther. They spend $2.2 b while here. We’re fam­ily Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ki­wis have made Aus­tralia home - 2.4 per cent of Aus­tralia’s res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion was born in New Zealand, in fact. But it’s not all one way traf­fic - 1.7 per cent of New Zealand’s res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion is Aus­tralian. And while we are fierce ri­vals on the sports­field, more of­ten than not our shared val­ues and world out­look means we speak with one voice at in­ter­na­tional fo­rums. They’ve got our back The Australians have com­plained for years about New Zealand be­ing de­fence bludgers and no one can quib­ble that Aus­tralia shoul­ders the lions share of the bur­den for de­fence of the re­gion. A shared his­tory An­zac Day just wouldn’t be same with­out the cap­i­tal A. And the An­zac spirit car­ried on af­ter World War II: our sol­diers have worked along­side each other in the­atres from East Ti­mor to Iraq.

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