Author Topic: Australia and New Zealand  (Read 2275 times)

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General Jinjur

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Australia and New Zealand
« on: September 25, 2011, 02:54:36 AM »
I know they're different countries - but different how? All I've got is that NZ is smaller, cooler, and wetter than Australia. Other than that, I have no idea what the distinctions are, culturally, politically, and so on. Anyone care to fill me in?

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 04:33:41 AM »
The indigenous cultures of the two countries are vastly different but modern culture is very similar.  Largely egalitarian and pretty laid-back about virtually every issue (except possibly sporting results).

They have very similar political systems based on the Westminster System.  Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state for both countries.  Both countries have an elected Parliament with a leader (called the Prime Minister) selected by the other members of the Government.  The Prime Minister can change without another election - he or she still remains a member of the Government though unless he or she resigns.

The two countries have agreements which allow citizens to be able to live and work in either country (but a passport is required to travel between the two).  I'm not 100% sure, but I think New Zealanders are also entitled to government health care while in Australia (and vice versa).  I think they have to become permanent residents or citizens to get social security benefits though.

Climate-wise it's hard to compare.  Australia is a big country (almost as big as the USA) so the climate varies a lot depending on where you are.  In general it is warmer and drier than New Zealand as it is both closer to the equator and a lot bigger.  New Zealand is significantly more mountainous so that impacts on their weather.  In general though the north of New Zealand has similar weather to the south of Australia.

We're friendly rivals with a great affection for each other.  The Aussies are also the better cricketers (but we won't mention rugby).    ;)

StarDrifter

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 08:35:45 AM »
Aussie here! I know we've got a few New Zealanders on the board, must point them in the direction of this thread so they can offer a trans-Tasman view of how we differ.

We use different money- $NZD and $AUD are listed separately and (in general) the AUD has been stronger against the $USD for the better part of the decade.

Really, it's like comparing Canada to the States - same language, similar geography, similar cultures, a lot of similarities, but don't ever accuse one of being the other!

In my experience, Maori culture (Indigenous NZ population) is a lot stronger and more prevalent than the Australian Aborigines culture has been to modern Australia - when white settlers first arrived here in Aus they pretty much said 'Hey, go away, we want to use this land for a prison and to raise sheep and cattle.' and pretty much subjugated the Aborigines to white rule from day dot, whereas in NZ the Maoris were seen as more 'civilised' and there was (and still is, I think) a treaty signed between white settlers and the Maori's that meant their culture is a lot more preserved.

NZ is, obviously, physically much smaller and a little further south than Australia, it's a lot more mountainous and gets more snow, and is sitting on an earthquake-prone part of the planet. I can't actually recall an earthquake in Australia causing any major damage.

As far as international relations go, in a lot of ways the two countries are like siblings, who argue over a lot of things but really want the same outcome in the end. We're both part of the Commonwealth, both countries are nuts about sport (although NZ is more into the extreme stuff like Zorb and bungee jumping) and we both speak English, have right-hand drive cars and use the metric system.

And I seem to have just muddied the waters rather than making things clearer...
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General Jinjur

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 02:39:01 PM »
DH and I were discussing this earlier, and realized we both have about the same images of the countries in question. Namely, we envision Australia as hot, flat, and deserty, filled with cheerful tan people, and topped with an ever-present white-hot sun. NZ, on the other hand, we see as the Oceania equivalent of Oregon, with hardy outdoorsy people trooping over verdant hills while clad in waterproofs.

...At least somewhat accurate? Or way off?

katycoo

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 05:04:09 PM »
DH and I were discussing this earlier, and realized we both have about the same images of the countries in question. Namely, we envision Australia as hot, flat, and deserty, filled with cheerful tan people, and topped with an ever-present white-hot sun. NZ, on the other hand, we see as the Oceania equivalent of Oregon, with hardy outdoorsy people trooping over verdant hills while clad in waterproofs.

...At least somewhat accurate? Or way off?

Accurate in bits.  Australia has really tropical areas, really hot desert-y areas, cold mountain-y areas and areas where it snows.

NZ has less (no?) desert or tropics, but particularly the North Island is still very warm and temperate in summer.

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 07:24:02 PM »
DH and I were discussing this earlier, and realized we both have about the same images of the countries in question. Namely, we envision Australia as hot, flat, and deserty, filled with cheerful tan people, and topped with an ever-present white-hot sun. NZ, on the other hand, we see as the Oceania equivalent of Oregon, with hardy outdoorsy people trooping over verdant hills while clad in waterproofs.

...At least somewhat accurate? Or way off?

The parts where the majority of Australian's live are temperate.  Think California climate except in reverse (i.e. the north is warmer than the south).  The far north is tropical and the centre is desert.  Most of us that live in the temperate parts aren't that tanned these days.  We've had sun-smart messages since before we could walk.  Usually when you see people tanning it's either tourists or teenagers.  We do tend to have an outdoorsy life-style though.  We do have some mountains - just not many and not on my side of the country. 

The South Island of New Zealand is similar to Oregon (and is just as beautiful).  They also have glaciers which are spectacular. You'll definitely see plenty of people tramping (i.e. trooping over hills) in New Zealand but I don't know if that's a local thing or a tourist thing.

pharmagal

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 08:01:58 PM »
I'm a kiwi, living in Aussie (one of the millions)  - Rule of thumb - don't mention the rugby, the cricket or the NRL.  AFL is fine because I don't think anyone actually understands that, do they?

We have a big brother, little brother mentality - because we are the same but different, we pick at each other, we poke fun and make bad sheep jokes at each others expense.  But we also have each others backs - or at least historically we had, it has changed a little more now that we don't have the same isolation that we used to have. 

Size wise, NZ has about 5m people, Australia has about 32m (I may be well wrong)

The running joke is last one out of NZ to Australia, turn out the lights.  There are so many of us here now because of the lifestyle that their great economy has been able to afford us.  plus,  I think (and this is only my personal opinion so please don't flame me for it) because we made the decision to move over here, we work so much more  and will do almost anything because we want the opportunities that we wouldn't other wise have had.  Plus, as previously mentioned, I don't think we can claim any benefits for a certain amount of time either, so working and saving is an very very good idea.


katycoo

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 08:54:47 PM »
Size wise, NZ has about 5m people, Australia has about 32m (I may be well wrong)

More like 22m.

oz diva

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 10:30:43 PM »
I have many NZ friends. One has recently turned 50 and that means he can't apply for Permanent Residency of Australia, though of course NZ would be happy to give the same right to an Aussie going the other way. There aren't so many of them. His family does receive Medicare (medical benefits) but he wouldn't be able to claim unemployment benefits.

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lollylegs

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2011, 10:45:45 PM »
Aussie here! I know we've got a few New Zealanders on the board, must point them in the direction of this thread so they can offer a trans-Tasman view of how we differ.

We use different money- $NZD and $AUD are listed separately and (in general) the AUD has been stronger against the $USD for the better part of the decade.

Really, it's like comparing Canada to the States - same language, similar geography, similar cultures, a lot of similarities, but don't ever accuse one of being the other!

In my experience, Maori culture (Indigenous NZ population) is a lot stronger and more prevalent than the Australian Aborigines culture has been to modern Australia - when white settlers first arrived here in Aus they pretty much said 'Hey, go away, we want to use this land for a prison and to raise sheep and cattle.' and pretty much subjugated the Aborigines to white rule from day dot, whereas in NZ the Maoris were seen as more 'civilised' and there was (and still is, I think) a treaty signed between white settlers and the Maori's that meant their culture is a lot more preserved.

NZ is, obviously, physically much smaller and a little further south than Australia, it's a lot more mountainous and gets more snow, and is sitting on an earthquake-prone part of the planet. I can't actually recall an earthquake in Australia causing any major damage.

As far as international relations go, in a lot of ways the two countries are like siblings, who argue over a lot of things but really want the same outcome in the end. We're both part of the Commonwealth, both countries are nuts about sport (although NZ is more into the extreme stuff like Zorb and bungee jumping) and we both speak English, have right-hand drive cars and use the metric system.

And I seem to have just muddied the waters rather than making things clearer...

Without going too much into indigenous issues, my understanding is that there were violent wars when NZ was settled, but the indgenous people and white settlers quickly learned to live with each other (although I think there's still a bit of controversy over the treaty of Waitangi).  Australian and white settler relations weren't as violent but more ongoing and in many ways worse (again, won't get into it but Google Stolen Generation for an example).

I only mention this because I think it shapes our indigenous relations. IME, New Zealanders tend to be pretty proud of their Maori heritage, whereas we Aussies are a bit conflicted - there's guilt, there's anger from some people about the welfare they receive, there's attempts to make things right, etc.

Like someone else said, it's a lot like comparing America and Canada.  Pretty similar lifestyles, beliefs, etc, but differences as well. One that no one has mentioned yet is language - our slang terms tend to differ.

katycoo

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2011, 10:59:41 PM »
Without going too much into indigenous issues, my understanding is that there were violent wars when NZ was settled, but the indgenous people and white settlers quickly learned to live with each other (although I think there's still a bit of controversy over the treaty of Waitangi).  Australian and white settler relations weren't as violent but more ongoing and in many ways worse (again, won't get into it but Google Stolen Generation for an example).

I only mention this because I think it shapes our indigenous relations. IME, New Zealanders tend to be pretty proud of their Maori heritage, whereas we Aussies are a bit conflicted - there's guilt, there's anger from some people about the welfare they receive, there's attempts to make things right, etc.

I would suggest that Australians are a combination of ignorant and embarrassed about our indigenous heritage and the way that settlers treated the Aboriginies.
Our history books are often still very inaccurate.  Some abominal things happened in 1788 and the ensuing centuary.

The Stolen Generation is just the most recent atrocity.

We've changed and we're trying to make it right, as much as it can be made right.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 07:24:38 AM by kam0706 »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 04:17:34 AM »
NZ and Australia are what, three time zones apart?  Americans think of them being a quick boat ride away, but I think it's about the same as a coast-to-coast flight in the US.

NZ also has pretty much every biome, just because of the geography.  You can step off the Franz Josef Glacier and a hundred yards later you're walking through rainforest.  (Not exaggerating.)  There are some desert-like sections, too, as well as wet beaches and dry beaches and temperate forest and inland lakes and rivers and everything else.  I can't wait to go back there someday  ;D

As I understand it, New Zealand is one of the few places which has gone the "reparations to minorities" route.  The government paid the Maori reparations a few decades ago and that (plus lots of other factors) seems to make being Maori a difference instead of a detriment.

oz diva

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2011, 05:21:45 AM »
I think Sydney and Auckland are as far apart as London and Moscow. We are similar, there are so many kiwis living here, we can't help it.  ;D

Victoria

Iris

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2011, 06:30:42 AM »
I can't actually recall an earthquake in Australia causing any major damage.


OT but...Newcastle, 1989. In fairness it wasn't so much that the quake was huge, or even very big at all (5.5) but more that some old buildings weren't quake proof AT ALL and also a lot of shop awnings collapsed and trapped/killed people.

Oh and don't mention sheep if there is an Australian and a New Zealander in the same room. Ever.
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pharmagal

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Re: Australia and New Zealand
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 06:39:41 AM »
NZ and Australia are what, three time zones apart?  Americans think of them being a quick boat ride away, but I think it's about the same as a coast-to-coast flight in the US.

NZ also has pretty much every biome, just because of the geography.  You can step off the Franz Josef Glacier and a hundred yards later you're walking through rainforest.  (Not exaggerating.)  There are some desert-like sections, too, as well as wet beaches and dry beaches and temperate forest and inland lakes and rivers and everything else.  I can't wait to go back there someday  ;D

As I understand it, New Zealand is one of the few places which has gone the "reparations to minorities" route.  The government paid the Maori reparations a few decades ago and that (plus lots of other factors) seems to make being Maori a difference instead of a detriment.

Re the time Zones - NZ is usually 2 hours ahead of the Eastern States.   4 hours ahead of WA.  (5 at the moment due to WA not doing daylight savings. )

It's not a long flight from NZ to Australia, depending of course on where you're flying to, and from.  It's about 3 hours from Christchurch to Sydney.  (It's quicker to fly from Chch to Sydney than it is to fly from Perth to Sydney, and the times are friendlier too.)