Comparisons between Australia and New Zealand are endless. The common bond is celebrated on 25 April each year, while the sharpest divisions are played out at the Bledisloe Cup. But there’s more in difference than in common that we often realise.
I go to Australia every year and each time I go I realise that we are two very different peoples, two very different countries. Someone once described Australia and New Zealand as sharing the same bed, but with different nightmares. Australia’s nightmare sometimes takes shape in a terrorist-supporting Indonesia, or a militarily powerful China. New Zealand’s nightmares are of quite a different order and might very well involve the All Blacks never winning against the Wallabies or, worse still, the Wallabies once more winning the Rugby World Cup.
But for all the talk of ‘rugby diplomacy’ in the lead up to next year’s world cup, there are greater matters of state at hand as well. In this blog for The Lowy Institute I reflect on some further important differences between these two trans-Tasman friends and rivals.