A departing member of the New Zealand Parliament has sparked a new conversation about the potential benefits of closer ties between New Zealand and Australia. In his valedictory speech, Jamie Strange, the outgoing Hamilton East MP, mentioned the idea of New Zealand becoming an Australian state, emphasizing the economic advantages that could arise from such a relationship. Although purely a personal view, Strange highlighted the potential for economies of scale, both in the private and public sectors, as well as the possibility of Aldi stores opening in New Zealand.
While the proposal raises interesting points, integration would come with its own set of challenges. Strange humorously questioned how New Zealanders would integrate the Australian cricket team. Nevertheless, he concluded his speech by reminding his colleagues that New Zealand had previously accomplished what seemed impossible, such as conquering Everest, suggesting that joining with Australia should not be completely dismissed.
These valedictory speeches have provided a platform for outgoing MPs to share their candid thoughts and advice on a range of issues. Todd Muller, who briefly led the National party in 2020, used his speech to call for greater compassion towards mental health. Recognizing that climate change was an urgent concern, Muller stressed the need for a bipartisan consensus to achieve effective climate action. He also urged leaders to find a balanced approach to the ongoing debate about the role of Māori in New Zealand, emphasizing the importance of unity over divisiveness.
As MPs bid farewell to the parliamentary term, their speeches have offered both reflection and forward-thinking ideas. While the suggestion to explore closer ties with Australia might be seen as unconventional, it sparks valuable dialogue about potential economic benefits. Ultimately, any decision regarding New Zealand’s relationship with Australia would need to consider the complexities and challenges involved.
Q: Why did the outgoing MP suggest New Zealand becoming an Australian state?
A: The MP highlighted potential economic benefits and the concept of economies of scale in both the private and public sectors as reasons to explore this idea.
Q: Did the MP believe integration would be without challenges?
A: No, the MP humorously acknowledged the potential difficulties of integrating the Australian cricket team.
Q: What were some other important points made during the valedictory speeches?
A: Other topics discussed included mental health, climate change, and the role of Māori in New Zealand.