Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 17:20 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 17:20 | SYDNEY


Malcolm Cook

19 November 2007 13:51

Last week, the Asia New Zealand Foundation released its biennial report on New Zealanders' views of Asia and by extension their view of New Zealand’s place in the world. Three things struck me as different to our own polling on Australia’s views of the world. First, New Zealanders rated their Pacific neighbourhood (including Australia) as the most important region in the world. An impressive 84% of those polled viewed the Pacific as an important region for New Zealand, while  Asia (including China, Japan, India and Korea) trailed 13% behind, despite, or maybe as a reaction to, New Zealand’s growing Asian immigrant population. I am sure that Australians would place Asia on top of such a list while the Pacific (including New Zealand) would likely be far behind.

Second, Asia’s ranking is declining in New Zealand, as four years ago almost 80% of Kiwis rated Asia as important, while in Australia many are tempted to see our future as an increasingly Chinese one. Finally, when it came to regions further away, 65% of those surveyed indicated that Europe was an important region, while only 50% opted for North America. New Zealand seems to see itself as a Pacific country more at home with Europe than the United States; how different from the Australian focus on our place in Asia and our relationship with the United States.