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Looking at our neighbours – what are some key points Australia and New Zealand differ on?

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Australia is a great place to live and one of the most important nations on the world stage. With lots of sunshine, great beaches, cool cities and stunning architecture, it really does have a lot to offer. Of course, the same can be said about its close neighbour, New Zealand. This island nation shares a lot of similarities with Australia and there is a lot that bonds both countries together.

As with any neighbours, though, there are some key points of difference between them, when you look a bit closer. But what might they be?

Online gambling looks different in each country

One key difference between Australia and New Zealand currently lies in their approach to online casino gambling. In simple terms, Australia is more restrictive around this when compared to its close neighbour. But what are the laws and views around online casino gaming in both countries?

To start on a positive note, we will look at New Zealand. The 2003 Gambling Act means that gambling is legal in the country, and this extends to online casino sites. This has given rise to a raft of secure platforms (including SkyCity online casino in New Zealand) for players to enjoy. The key thing to remember is that any online casino operators cannot be based in the country and must operate offshore.

In Australia, the laws around online casino play and online gambling are harsher. This makes it illegal to play at any online casino – be it based in Australia or overseas – for real money. The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 specifically prohibits foreign casinos, so be sure not to get caught out by this.

Focus on indigenous culture is a point of difference

Anyone who knows their history knows that Australia and New Zealand have indigenous cultures in common. The importance placed on this in each country, though, is markedly different. In Australia, for example, the Aborigines still have a relatively low profile, little political power and are not widely celebrated within Australia as a key part of the country’s culture.

While this is changing slowly, it is still a whole lot different to how indigenous culture in New Zealand is regarded. The same can also be said about other cultural groups in Australia, such as Filipino-Australians. Although they might not always have enjoyed the role in Aussie society that they should, recent moves, such as life-changing plans for Filipino Aussie’s in the care sector, are helping to change this.

Australia’s close neighbours put Maori culture at the heart of daily life, however, and show it massive amounts of respect. Maori, for example, is an official language in New Zealand and there are road signs in Maori (as well as English) around the island. With TV channels and shows dedicated to Maori culture, and the world-famous Haka before every Kiwi rugby match, it is clear to see how much more effort they put into celebrating their indigenous culture.

Politics is always a talking point

Politics is often a key area where the Aussies and Kiwis differ. In the present day, much of this seems to revolve around China and the way in which each country perceives its influence in the region. Recent months, for example, have seen Australia clash with New Zealand over the Five Eyes intelligence network.

In short, Australia (which has been hit with Chinese economic sanctions in recent times) is in support of plans to widen the network’s remit and push back against China’s growing power. It seems, though, that New Zealand does not go along with this and is not in support of Five Eyes enjoying a greater role to control China.

The other political hot potato that sums up key differences between Australia and New Zealand is the issue of deportations. The current Australian government has come under fire from its Kiwi counterparts for a rash of deportations and revoking of citizenships involving New Zealanders. To say Canberra and Wellington do not agree on this issue is an understatement!

Australia and New Zealand share key differences in some areas

There are many things which Australia and New Zealand have in common. As the above shows, though, there is no doubt that there are some areas in which they do not quite see eye to eye. While this is not a major problem, it does sum up how two countries that appear to be close neighbours can often take opposing views on things.


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