Tim Walker’s Parity

The word ‘parity’ has been bandied about a lot of late; seemingly the majority of New Zealand have become enamoured with the idea of our dollar’s value being matched with Australia’s, but do we really understand what this would mean?

For as long as I can recall the New Zealand/Australia rivalry has been intensely battled; as a Kiwi I am aware of the ridiculous desire to match our Aussie counterparts in practically every facet of life, while perhaps ironically, maintaining our total independence from them at all costs.

Admittedly on the surface parity between the NZ and Australian dollars does sound pretty awesome: Australian products effectively become cheaper and a quick trip across the Tasman becomes that much more affordable; but what about those people trying to make a living, what about fiscally – what about reality? Realistically, the higher the NZ dollar goes against the Australian, or in fact the rest of the world, the more our exporters suffer…

That’s business and who really cares about that, right?

Right. So what about your blessed independence then? If the Kiwi dollar does reach parity with the Aussie, implying that our economy is equally as robust as that of our comrades across the ditch, and the currencies are amalgamated, as has been widely discussed with a great deal of (ignorant) excitement, the question remains, do we actually understand what that would mean?

Sure, wages would have to be adjusted – in some cases up – but then so would taxes – in most cases up – so would commodity prices along with the cost of living; so would benefits along with every other financial aspect this new joint currency would encounter. Millions of dollars would likely be spent on printing a different range of Kiwi/Aussie banknotes; travel between the two nations would become tantamount to a commute then suddenly, why even bother having two separate nations – why not build a bridge and just make them the same land? Honestly, who needs independence anyway? Let’s just call it ‘New Trailia’ and be done with it…

Is that what all you parity-lovers really want?



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Ozzy Ocher

Photography by Dingo Stahlma Bebe

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