The announcement that Ford may be moving out of Australia by 2016 is a sign that things are changing for the ‘Lucky Country.’ Not only is the price for what they ‘dig out of the ground’ dropping like the proverbial brick SH, but their manufacturing base; one that has been an integral part of their economy is coming under threat. That threat comes from countries that can do what the Aussies do, only much cheaper. International giants don’t give a rats butt when it comes to caring about workers or regional economies.
We in New Zealand lost our car manufacturing base many years ago and since then, mush of our other manufacturing businesses have gone the same way. Our agricultural sector has adapted to the brave new world and what we grow is still in demand.
We should not be smug about the position our ‘across the ditch’ cousins find themselves in, because what happens in that country, affects us hugely. Yes, China has overtaken Australia as our main trading partner, but if recent events that show how volatile that market can be become the ‘new norm’ then we too are in for a rough ride. Perhaps this is the time to strengthen our ties so that we can weather the storm together. Treating our two countries as one market and manufacturing base may just be the start of defending our South Pacific patch.’ This is one gang that I support!NZ and Australia compete in many ways but when the chips are down the ANZAC spirit comes to the fore. Now is the time for relationship to grow even stronger. Our sense of ‘mateship’ must go beyond the jokes and barbs we shoot at one another. This time it must be far more than a mere ‘tweaking’ of the bonds that