Warnings from New Zealand's Birdcage

Australia and New Zealand are drifting apart. The larger nation is buoyant and rich, while the smaller one is in a funk. The gap in average incomes between the countries has widened significantly in recent years to approximately 30%, drawing Kiwis across the Tasman in large numbers. Hanging over several of New Zealand's key industries (think banking), there's a branch-office stigma. Australia's Treasurer Peter Costello is chopping at tax rates with the glee of a burly bloke in a blue singlet. Kiwi workers complain that Costello's counterpart Michael Cullen is being a scrooge on fiscal policy, stacking up Budget surpluses when...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!