New Zealand Cannot Exist

 

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Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand is a small country with a huge coastline. It has a population of 4.5 million.  It has a topography similar to Scotland, lots of mountains and glens. It rains a lot. Some places are named after Scottish towns, such as Dunedin after Edinburgh.

It was once ruled by Westminster.

It has a small army but no fighter jets and no submarines. It has no aircraft carriers. Nuclear weapons are banned from its land and nuclear carrying vessels banned from its waters. It has yet to be invaded, unless you categorise Maoris as non-indigenous.

Unlike Scotland with its near neighbours in Europe and the Nordic countries, its markets are 12,000 kilometres away over vast oceans. Yet the cost of living is not high, medical care free or private, pensions paid on time. It supports a welfare state.

New Zealand does not have oil or gas in substantial quantity.

It is a “primary” producer, mainly dairy products and wool. Like Scotland, it has a lot of sheep. Tourism brings about 25% of it income. Tourists arrive to photograph cities and visit the mountains. Once upon a time its sole export market was the “mother land,” the United Kingdom. Overnight, and against New Zealand’s vociferous protests, Westminster decided it wanted to switch to European produce. It dumped New Zealand.

New Zealand survived and prospered.

In statistics supplied by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), on GDP per capita, it ranked only three places under the United Kingdom, seventeenth. Life expectancy is an average of 80.2 years, longer than the south of England.

And as everybody knows by now, it has a flourishing film industry that brings notice of its dramatic land and its culture to the world, powerful enough to get Hollywood studios to agree to its contractual conditions.

Simply put, it’s a small two-island country, apparently unable to protect itself, a supposed bunch of farmers sheering sheep and milking cows. Therefore, following from the illogical, brutal arguments thrown at Scotland by the Better Together brigade to keep Scotland ignorant and docile, New Zealand cannot exist as an autonomous state.

But it does.

It does exist. It exists very well indeed.

 

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44 Responses to New Zealand Cannot Exist

  1. YESGUY says:

    Brilliant piece GB .

    The diatribe from the unionists never argue about how and why we “could” only on we “couldn’t” be a successful country and yet as you have shown there are many out there without the huge resources we have , that do away nicely.

    I think the people of Scotland are realizing that slowly. Thanks for this GB as it’s a change from hearing the Scandinavian model . The more “wee” countries we can show as an example the better. And from a personal point of view , the more example the better.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      You’re welcome.
      In time, when in a practical mood with nothing much to do, we’ll have a clear out of old stuff accumulated, magazines half-unread, photos of long-forgotten acquaintances, useless mementos, pens that don’t work, newspaper cuttings, e-mails, and the like, and our gaze will chance upon the utterances of those madmen again. We will wonder why the hell we ever troubled to answer their ravings. Why did we get angry? What they said was so obviously stupid.

  2. FergusMac says:

    Mind you, NZ has the inestimable advantage of not having Johann-I’m-too-thick-to-make-decisions-Lamont as a potential head of government. Passionately though I want Scotland to be independent, even the remote possibility that we might be landed with her and her equally talent-free party brings me out in a cold sweat!

    • Vas Jack says:

      No instead we in Nz have John Key as prime minister and he currently runs Nz like it’s a bank and doesn’t give a toss about what the people of NZ say or think. He’s slowly selling out country off to big banks and screwing us all over. He’s slowly killing NZ and what we could truly become.

    • Bay Rok says:

      She’s lamontable, isnt she? Totally dreary. Mind you, some NZ politicians are equally obtuse.

    • Hugh Wallace says:

      Oh, I can attest to NZ having some complete crack-pots of politicians who make ours look relatively sane! PM Rob Muldoon of 1980s fame leaps to mind. During the late 80s, when the UK was basking in the warmth of Thatcherism, NZ had a Labour government which essentially borrowed her financial policies and expanded on them. Despite this the country has survived and prospered and now is a pretty enviable place to live. If Scotland is stupid enough to vote No I will be re-emigrating to my other homeland, believe you me.

    • TheBabelFish says:

      There is no such remote possibility though, is there? She may suffer from delusions of adequacy despite being 100% talent-free, but she has gambled her career on a ‘No’ vote. All we need do is vote ‘Yes’ to never hear of her again.

  3. bearinorkney says:

    She’s at the caterpillar stage at present and it doesn’t look promising. Perhaps after Independence she’ll pupate and emerge as a glorious multicolored political butterfly.

    It doesn’t seem plausible though.

  4. Langtonian says:

    Recently back from New Zealand and loved the article but have to pick up on a couple of small details. New Zealand actually does have oil off the west coast of North Island and also has gas (“fracked” no less) in the Taranaki region of North Island.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Hi Langtonian

      I knew of the discovery of small deposits but work away from the computer stopped me modifying the sentence until now. Many thanks. Mind you, fracking and a propensity for earthquakes is a worrying combination!

      • Vas Jack says:

        Unfortunately our government over here in NZ don’t care about earthquake risks or the environment or our lovely clean land or our conservation areas. They seem to believe that drilling into earthquake prone areas is a good idea and won’t cause any problems or risks at all

  5. Simon Brooke says:

    I think, too, that the Maori might disagree with your claim that Aotorea has never been invaded. But for all that, good article.

  6. Isabella Porter says:

    My partner is a Kiwi (New Zealander) for those unknowing, we live in Queensland. A few years ago we lived for a couple of years there, their population has remained fairly static for a long time.
    I can tell you they are very much a fairly affluent country and most certainly a very viable and proudly independent Nation.
    Their All Blacks rugby team are hard to beat as well
    So I say to the Scots be proud and vote for your independence, you deserve it

  7. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you, Isabella.

  8. sanstorm says:

    It might exist – but many people leave in a brain drain to Australia and England and other places big enough to provide opportunities in business and industry.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      That might have been true back in the day, but for the last decade more people entered New Zealand than left. Last year’s census, 2013, there was another net population gain of 17,500. The majority arrived to jobs earmarked for them. One was my English friend, Tony, (whom I must write to again) happy to leave “rotten Blighty” as he called it. Mike Bell, a licensed immigration officer in Christchurch says, “If they have the right skills they will have a choice of jobs; tradesmen get snapped up, for example, as do engineers.”

      In any event, in-out statistics have little to do with a country already an independent nation, able to prosper economically, and offer its citizens a good degree of happiness.

      • Bay Rok says:

        The success of WETA film studios shows that NZ can import talent when needed.

      • Hugh Wallace says:

        When I lived in NZ during the 80s, the population was around 3 million. It is now nearer 4.5 million I believe. The country is the size of the UK with a population smaller than Scotland’s. It can cope.

  9. Aissa Watson says:

    The brain drain is actually slowing – there was a piece on TV One the other night about how this year saw a significant drop in Kiwis moving to Australia, it was something like the lowest it has been in years.

    Also, healthcare is – unfortunately – far from free in New Zealand. You have to pay to go to the doctor, and for any tests etc. – it seems to be common for people to get insurance policies to cover healthcare. Dental care is horrendously expensive, and opticians aren’t cheap either (I say this as a Scot who has resided in Auckland for circa. 8 months). There are significant oil fields but to what extent they will be exploited is still to be seen – it’s an area of fierce debate at present. Also, China is one of its main trading partners (if not *the* main one) which is a little bit controversial and possibly not something an independent Scotland would want to emulate – although it undoubtedly works!

    But you are absolutely right in the main message of this article – New Zealand is an affluent and wealthy country. It’s not a utopia, it has significant social problems. But it is prosperous, independent and flourishing. It’s much bigger (in terms of landmass) than Scotland and so faces even greater challenges in terms of infrastructure maintenance – and yet, it remains a world leader in terms of quality of life and individual prosperity. It also flat-out beats the UK and many other Western European Nations on the league tables like the Human Development Index, as well as a few others. It’s something Kiwis are very proud of, and rightly so.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      A welcome contribution, Aissa.

      I read some are unhappy about the Chinese connection, and the Chinese influx, but so long as a nation doesn’t sell off chunks of its land to outsiders I fail to see a problem with China. It does, after all, have a lot of serious problems to contend with, most self-inflicted. Like all nations, it will in time contract again.

      On the health service, I did say it’s free and affordable, meaning you can choose private care. Private care here in Scotland is just as expensive, dental care about £1,000 for an implanted molar! Those costs can be tamed if we elect the right people to do it and not the in-pocket friends of big business. One can easily presume one’s own world worse than any, when in fact we share the same global over-charging and exploitation.

      I’m proud to be a friend of one Kiwi, Alan Dale, of “Neighbour’s” fame, now in Hollywood with his handsome family. He still keeps a home in New Zealand.

      • Vas Jack says:

        Sorry to say but chunks of our land is being sold off under the current national government. Plus the leader of the government is an ex banker who loves to line the pockets of big business and let the NZ people go without

        Health care over here is only free for kids or if you go into public hospital but for standard doctors visits you can pay up to $80 just for a 15 minute check up.

        But no matter what our government is like or how much it costs for things over here, NZ is still the best place to live. Born here and never plan on leaving except for holidays.

  10. Iain Roberts says:

    It seems to me you’re attacking a straw man here. Is anyone in the No campaign seriously claiming that Scotland couldn’t survive as an independent country? No, because they are not quite that idiotic. You don’t have to go halfway across the world to find a counterexample: The Republic of Ireland is about the size of Scotland, and while it has had its ups and downs over the decades it is surviving well enough as an independent country.

    The debate is not over whether Scotland could survive, but whether independence would be in Scotland’s best interests, which is quite different….. (BTW I’m Canadian and I’ve lived in both England and Scotland.)

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    Iain

    I’m not sure where you get your certainties, or indeed, where you have been cloistered these last months, for the entire thrust of the British establishment and the No campaign is that Scotland is wholly unable to look after its own interests. While a few admit Scotland can be independent, they, like you, fall back on the wholly false argument that it will become a basket case if it dare govern its own affairs – which is to assert what you deny they say, Scotland cannot sustain any degree of autonomy for any length of time.

    The slogan spouters usually example the Republic of Ireland as the dire straits that happen to a small nation with ambition. Ireland is ridiculed. In fact, no matter what country is held up as a prime example of small but functioning well, the opponents of genuine democracy shoot it down on the basis there’s no country better than England to govern another.

    That’s the point you and they make: the minimal democracy offered to Scotland by Westminster ought to be regarded a blessing. Any more will be a “disaster.”

    That attitude is best described as the arrogance of the colonialist.

    • Iain Roberts says:

      You seem to be having some difficulty with reading comprehension. I’m from Canada. As far as I’m concerned, being independent of the UK is a good thing, and so is being a small independent country with a much larger southern neighbour. I never said anything to the effect that devolution “ought to be regarded as a blessing.”

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    I did not imply you are English. I suggest you’re wasting time arguing for Westminster. Had you begun by stating you are in favour of Scotland uncoupling from the United Kingdom your stance would have been clear, comprehension-wise.

    • Iain Roberts says:

      As a matter of fact I’m undecided, and currently living in England so I don’t get a vote. Independence was a good thing for Canada. There are respectable arguments both ways as to whether it would be a good thing for Scotland. My point is, there is a big difference between arguing that independence would, on balance, be undesirable; and arguing it would be a total disaster. In my understanding, the mainstream voices in the No campaign are arguing the former, not the latter. If I am mistaken, I would be very interested to see a verifiable quote from, say, David Cameron or Alistair Darling to the effect that an independent Scotland would be incapable of managing its own affairs.

      • TheBabelFish says:

        You will not see such a quote, however, neither will you see a quote from George W. Bush, or any members of his administration, asserting that Iraq attacked the US on 9/11. And yet they managed to say it without saying it as it were, by implication, by continually mentioning the subjects in the same sentence.
        So successful was this ‘guilt by association’ tactic that at one point polls showed 65%, yes 65%, of Americans BELIEVED that Iraq had indeed attacked the US on 9/11.
        We are seeing a similar phenomenon here. So while Cameron and his ministers may not be able to be pinned down to actually saying it, you do hear it, ‘We couldn’t survive on our own,’ from ‘No’ voters all the time, if you’ve participated in the online debate hardly a day will have passed when you haven’t heard somebody say it. It is commonplace.
        I wonder how it got that way, eh?

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re Canadian living in England? Well, I’m a Scot living in Scotland.

    You pick on the two, Cameron and Darling, who have stated Scotland is capable of autonomy, but both go on to argue it is NOT capable of self-sufficiency.

    Their pronouncement is a glaring contradiction.

    They go on to argue full democracy is not in Scotland’s best interests. Who is to decide that, Westminster or the people of Scotland? They suggest rule is best from Westminster. Hence, the colonial mindset at work.

    When their chancellor, aided and abetted by leaders of all the other political parties, warns he will block a currency union advocated by economic experts as the best of all the choices, (for both nations) it is a threat calculated to undermine voter confidence and Scotland’s ability to prosper.

    It cannot be interpreted as a benign intervention in Scotland’s favour.

    Then again, when one hears Scottish politicians saying they’d rather see Scotland remain as it is, or the poorer, it isn’t a shock to have English politicians crack the whip to teach us self-control, or make empty promises if we do as they want us to do.

  14. Iain Roberts says:

    Well, I’m a Scot living in Scotland.

    Good for you. I have British and Canadian passports, lived in Edinburgh for 9 years, and my mother was born in Glasgow and currently lives in Kirkcaldy so I think I do have an interest in what goes on north of the border. But even if I was posting from Toronto and never set foot in Scotland, so what? It doesn’t make any difference to whether I am asking valid questions.

    They go on to argue full democracy is not in Scotland’s best interests. Who is to decide that, Westminster or the people of Scotland? Hence, the colonial mindset at work.

    I do not understand what you mean by this. The people of Scotland are deciding. That’s what the referendum is for. Westminster has agreed to respect the result. In what way is this colonialist?

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    The people of Scotland are deciding. That’s what the referendum is for. Westminster has agreed to respect the result.

    The people of Scotland are subjected to a torrent of disinformation, deceits, lies, fabrications, fallacies, and threats, designed to deter us from making a reasoned choice.

    In addition …

    A House of Lords Committee has declared that a Yes win can be ignored if, “it is not in the United Kingdom’s interests.” You do not need an honours degree in linguistics to understand they mean England’s interests.

    Again, that overarching self-importance comes as no surprise.

    • Iain Roberts says:

      The people of Scotland are subjected to a torrent of disinformation, lies, fabrications, fallacies and threats, all designed to deter us from making a reasoned choice.

      That’s not colonialism. It’s normal political campaigning.

      A House of Lords Committee has declared that a Yes win can be ignored if, “it is not in the United Kingdom’s interests.”

      Interesting. Source, please?

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m not here to trade truth for sophistry.
    You’ve made your point.
    The House of Lords Report goes much farther than merely delaying independence if its suits “the rest of the UK” – there will be no UK on a Yes vote, but let’s leave that little howler aside. The “mother of all parliaments” that claims to protect democracy, is pleased to announce it doesn’t respect the will of the people. Google: Baroness Jay of Paddington if you can’t find it on dear old BBC’s site. Going by the tone of your posts I’m sure its contents will raise your curiousity from “interesting” to “don’t give a damn.”

  17. We expat Scots in New Zealand, in the main support the Yes vote.
    I notice amongst the comments that a lot of you are worried about who will be the leaders in Scotland if it’s a Yes vote. The answer to that is fairly simple. It will be whoever you vote for. What you should be looking more closely at is the type of government you want. Do you want to stick with the first past the post system which basically gives the bigger parties all the power? Or do you want to go down the proportional representational track where smaller parties make the bigger parties have to tow the line, or they can’t govern without there support?

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Duncan
      Good to hear from an ex-pat Scot, now Kiwi.
      By all accounts, the people of New Zealand fought tooth and nail to secure autonomy from the grip of the British Empire, and by various means, solved many economic issues. You mention voting systems; I believe yours is a kind of proportional representation.

  18. Gerry Gill says:

    New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, the Irish Republic, the USA … let’s have a complete list of all those countries that left the British Empire (against all advice from Westminster) and are now pleading to get back in.

    By the way, Grouse Beater, I like your arguments, but I’m not at all sure I like the initials of your pseudonym.

    Gerry Gill

    • Grouse Beater says:

      I’m not at all sure I like the initials of your pseudonym.

      Chuckle.
      And I’m half-Sicilian with an Irish grandfather from County Mayo, a heritage guaranteed to fuse into fierce integrity. Always wise to choose one’s ancestors carefully. (My wife was a grouse beater in student days on the Perthshire hills!)

  19. scotskiwi says:

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with your article New Zealand, it is actually quite a poor country with one in 4 children living in poverty. The housing is mostly substandard with poor insulation and the need for dehumidifiers to take the dampness out. Children over the age of 5 must pay for doctors appointments, hense the poorer families do not take their kids when they are sick. The housing market has exploded to disproportionate prices and the Kiwis pay through the nose for every service, mobile phone contract, imported good that they receive.

    Its a beautiful place though and the weathers better than Scotland and it exits.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Hi Scotskiwi

      If you substitute Scotland for New Zealand you’d not need to alter a word of your post, SK, save perhaps for the generally better weather.

      Whole stretches of Glasgow, tenement flats without insulation, housing schemes built with substandard materials gifted to the lowly as part of the “right to buy” policy, now nicknamed Magnate Southern land, values falling daily; the once proud town of Paisley more decaying asylum than thriving mills: bleak mining villages in Lanarkshire devastated by Thatcher’s insistent, brutal ideology; Greenock without its heart of shipbuilding; swathes of the Highlands, community to hill farmers living off impoverished land in dwellings, you’d call them, not homes. (Incidentally, a dehumidifier is working in my barn as I type.)

      House prices in the big cities have surpassed criminal level, a generation’s youth and probably their children too when older, quite unable to afford platform shoes to reach the first run of the house purchase ladder. Edinburgh “boasts” £1 million values and more, one extreme vulgar new build advertised at £8 million, its creator showing absolutely no evidence of any aesthetic education, and the Planning department confirming it doesn’t care. But some of Niddrie Marshal’s riff-raff schemies are obliterated, now renewed with bright, well conceived contemporary homes.

      Believe me, with independence standards can only go up!

      • Helena Brown says:

        I have to say that with regard to the regeneration of Scotland the present Government has made a reasonable start, it now needs the remaining levers of power to continue the job. That is what the people of Scotland need to give to which is their choice for 2016.

        Edinburgh has always been far to expensive for the hoi poloi to afford, strangely enough we were just saying that the only houses we have not had trouble selling were all in Edinburgh but the better ones, those outside have always been hard to shift.

        We noticed though in 2012 that our journey to Glasgow Airport was made much smoother by the building of the extension to the M80 something we could have only dreamed about previously. We have got so used to being left with the rubbish in Scotland that we do not have very high standards. Well time to get them.

        Have to say both my Husband and I are failed immigrants, firstly hubby’s Granddad met Grandmother when emigrating to New Zealand, he came back, then his Dad went to Canada but his Mum did not settle so they came back. Me, well Granddad was all set to go to British Columbia but decided not to, so here we are.

        Something unique about Scotland, I know, they think we are all stupid, lets show ’em in September or I am going to have to move country.

  20. Grouse Beater says:

    Good points, Helena. Thank you.
    We get used to the substandard. It becomes the normal after a short time.
    Still a two lane carraigeway most of the M8, and still no motorway on the A1 up the east coast. Edinburgh’s road surfaces mirror the moon, ad nauseam.

  21. See Above says:

    Brilliant piece. I like the way it totally ignores the fact that Scotland and New Zealand are two wildly different places on different sides of the globe and that NZ is not in direct competition with its nearest trading partner as Scotland would have been under independence according to the White Paper.

    Or that you have to pay to visit the doctor in New Zealand. And university education is not free. And the cost of living is much higher than here. Or the rampant poverty in some parts of the country. Or that the tax rate is 50% higher than the UK’s for most people but seven per cent lower for high earners.

    At least try to be honest with yourself.

  22. Grouse Beater says:

    Another case of Scotland too small, too weak, and too poor

    The delight about rabid Unionists such as yourself is in how you’re more than happy to parade your ignorance. When facts don’t suit your idea of half-baked democracy you throw in red herrings, and nonsensical logic.

    I have a policy of trashing any post that hides its origins, such as yours, though I know you hit this site regularly whenever there’s nothing on television, but I’ll make an exception on this occasion because it’s the festive season – everybody deserves a good laugh.

    Your pomposity in italics – my answers in bold below:

    It totally ignores the fact that Scotland and New Zealand are two wildly different places on different sides of the globe. Completely irrelevant.

    New Zealand is not in direct competition with its nearest trading partner as Scotland would have been under independence according to the White Paper. A piece of junk history masquerading as a smart ass put down.

    For generations New Zealand’s only trading partner was Great Britain, the same UK that unceremoniously dumped it when it joined the EU leaving New Zealand with a very large hole in its exports, mainly from dairy products and wool.

    In time, and after hardship inflicted on it by Westminster Tory policies, (and Labour) New Zealand recovered by acquiring new trading partners. There’s a lesson there for Scotland.

    In addition, the links Scotland with England are so strong and run so deep trade-wise, many companies having premises both sides of the border, the idea that all English companies would stop trading with Scotland overnight is a truly stupefying argument.

    You have to pay to visit the doctor in New Zealand. Some do, some don’t, same as Scotland. The NHS is safe in Westminster’s hands, is it?

    University education is not free. It isn’t free for everybody in Scotland.

    The cost of living is much higher than here. ‘Here’ is where, exactly? That’s the same dumb argument thrown at Norway, the one overlooking high wages paid offering a higher standard of living in comparison to the UK. Have you tried living on a basic UK hourly rate?

    Or the rampant poverty in some parts of the country.You mean there’s no ‘rampant’ poverty in Scotland or England? What planet are you writing from?

    Tax rate is 50% higher than UK’s for most people, seven per cent lower for high earners. A generalised statistic without evidence to show who it affects or if it’s universal, let alone fact.

    Try to be honest with yourself. That’s a nonsensical remark.

    I suspect New Zealanders who take time to read your nonsense will be incensed at the way you dismiss their country – but then again, you illustrate the mentality of the colonialist.

    Even blind Unionists Darling and McCrone admit Scotland can survive independent again, but somehow head bangers like you come along late to tell us differently. And to do it you belittle every country that isn’t Little England.

    The essay was checked by New Zealand friends, one an academic – the credit on the essay that you missed – in case it met with an ugly colonial sociopath concocting non-existent, moronic negatives, refusing to accept one iota of evidence that doesn’t concur with his warped version of reality and, desperate to appear superior, cites weaknesses in grammar, tossing crap back hoping it intimidates.

    Spit it out, be honest, say you detest ambition Scotland has to better itself. Dump the baggage you carry showing how much of a screwed-up troll you are. And get a life.

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