The media are keen on the prospect of a common border between NZ and Australia. The focus is on passenger access and this makes sense if NZ wants to grab a larger share of the tourism dollars expanded by Australians. Enabling them to check-in and clear customs just the once will represent a real benefit and could shift business - particularly from the domestic market where suddenly a trip to Queenstown is both cheaper, quicker and now less fussy than a trip to Perth and Brisvegas.
If, as seems clear, this is the main objective it makes sense but what of the risks?
NZers enjoy a priviledged position in Australia. We've no need to become permanent residents to work and access most benefits. This means it's a pretty simple matter to up-sticks are relocate. As noted in an earlier post, Key has to balance his goals in tourism with the accountabilities he took on pre-election; the promise to reduce the loss of skilled labour trans-Tasman!
When's he going to do that and how?
4 days ago