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. It has many generations of Scots emigrants. Some places are named after Scottish towns, such as Dunedin after Edinburgh. ‘Kiwis’ admire Scotland.
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. England has since dumped the EU, taking an unwilling Scotland with it. New Zealand’s people being hard working, resourceful people, soon adjusted, and now the country prospers.
New Zealand survives 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.
The country’s politics and values are left of centre, though it has a few stalwarts addict to hard capitalism. It has its own broadcasting system devoted to the nation’s interests.
And as everybody knows by now, it has a film industry brought to world attention by the director Peter Jackson, who follows in a long line of distinguished New Zealand auteur filmmakers. Their films bring notice to the world of a dramatic land and a diverse culture, powerful enough to get Hollywood studios to agree to its contractual conditions. There is no colonial dominant nation through which they must process their art to see it promoted or rejected, or ignored.
New Zealand’s international trade, political negotiations, meetings and obligations are not carried out by proxy, at the whim of a neighbour nation.
Opponents of Scotland aver New Zealand is a small, fractured, two-island country, unable to protect itself, a supposed ‘bunch of backwoods farmers sheering sheep and milking cows’.
Therefore, following from the illogical, brutal falsehoods thrown at Scotland by the ‘Better Together’ brigade – now enjoying the warm comfort of ermine around their necks – the same group that hopes to keep Scotland ignorant and docile, New Zealand cannot exist as an autonomous state.
But it does. And it thrives.