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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)


One of New Zealand's most eminent geologists has been expounding the essential and ancient difference between this country and Australia. He shows that the Tasman Sea separates two most strongly-contrasted lands, wholly diverse in geology and in vegetation and fauna. If the two countries, parted from each other by a thousand miles of ocean, were ever connected, it was in very remote times indeed; in fact, it may be said that these islands never were part of the Australian continent.

So scientific knowledge supports the patriotic faith that should be preached strenuously in New Zealand's future, as a stoutly individual nation. There was a time when this country was regarded as a kind of geographical pendant of Australia. That idea has been demolished; so, too, is demolished the old notion that New Zealand must be a copy of Australia in its political and social aspects. We are good neighbours, and are likely to remain so, and stand together in times of stress and danger; but the natural differences between the two countries is inevitably to be reflected in the life in the towns as on the land. That very difference has its advantages, for New Zealand is by virtue of its scenery and climate exactly the change that Australians require, particularly those in the more northern parts of the vast Commonwealth. In that respect, at any rate, the holiday-land aspect, we do not mind being regarded as the necessary complement of the big-fellow country across the salt water.