“Geography is destiny” is a much debated diplomatic polemic, reportedly first uttered by Napoleon.* The saying may be an oversimplification, but it has always had an element of truth to it. There is no doubt that people’s opportunity and threat analysis has always been heavily influenced by who is nearby. States such as Singapore, Italy or Kazakhstan have traditionally had a fundamentally different set of strategic calculations than Australia and New Zealand because of geography.
Antarctica matters to Australia and New Zealand. It matters scientifically, environmentally and strategically. It rarely makes headlines and the work there is methodical and considered. This is a good thing – the Antarctica Treaty system has been extraordinarily successful.
‘I am delighted to have David Thodey (Chairman of CSIRO among many other things) as a guest blogger this week, commenting on Australian and New Zealand cooperation in the area of innovation. David has trans-Tasman bloodlines and is utterly committed to the innovation agenda in our two countries’
– Peter Woolcott, Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand
Peter Woolcott, 3 May 2016
This is the first in a series of regular blogs that the Australian High Commission in Wellington will present. These blogs will deal with issues as seen from a more personal perspective. It will not be just me who blogs on this site. It will also reflect the thoughts of other senior members of the High Commission and the occasional guest blogger. I will start with a few thoughts on the economic relationship between our two countries for it is this, and the people to people links, which is the bedrock.