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Aussies and NZers oppose federation

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 14 NZPA - Both Australians and New Zealanders oppose federation of the two countries, a poll conducted on both sides of the Tasman said today.

A UMR poll conducted for Television New Zealand's Q&A programme found that New Zealanders were more opposed to New Zealand becoming the seventh Australian state than were Australians.

Of those polled 71 percent of New Zealanders were opposed with 45 percent strongly opposed, 52 percent of Australians were opposed with 26 percent strongly opposed.

When asked if New Zealand would be better off if it joined with Australia, 37 percent of New Zealanders said yes, 27 percent said no and 25 percent felt it would make no difference.

Speaking on the programme former deputy prime minister Don McKinnon said he believed union was "probably inevitable', but felt it would be the next generation who would look into it as links between the two countries continued to grow.

UMR pollster John Utting said older New Zealanders, men and people in New South Wales were most pro-union, but New Zealanders were more concerned about the loss of national identity than possible gains that could be made in wealth.

Australian politician Peters Slipper said Australians were more relaxed about the prospect of union than New Zealanders but proposals such as a joint currency should be looked at instead.

Labour leader Phil Goff believed that New Zealanders would never consider submerging their identity with Australia and more work should be done on building on a single economic market.

When Australia was formed, its constitution was drawn up to allow New Zealand to join the federation of states, but New Zealand backed away from the idea then.

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