Invited Paper

The Trans-Tasman Relationship: A New Zealand Perspective

The Hon. Phil Goff, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


New Zealand’s relationship with Australia stems from a common heritage and values that lead us to see the world in a similar way. Our two nations are uniquely close due to geography and a shared history. However, this paper considers the proposition: are New Zealand and Australia moving closer together or drifting apart? The paper argues that, in a globalising world, it makes sense for the two countries to work closely together and combine their efforts to promote our shared economic, defence and regional interests. Specifically, it maintains that economic integration will be needed to offset the risks that globalisation poses for us both, and that both countries are better off operating as a single economic entity, with CER providing a stronger platform for our economic relations with the wider region. It also argues that the prospect of continued disturbances in the region means that the cooperation of our two Defence Forces will be essential.

The Honourable Phil Goff is the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister of Justice. First elected to Parliament in 1981, Mr Goff held several Ministerial posts in the fourth Labour Government, including Housing, Employment and Education. He is a graduate of Auckland and Oxford Universities. This paper is an adaptation of an address given to the Otago Foreign Policy School at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 29 June 2001.

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