New Zealand's Business as usual
Firstly, it's very noticeable that the New Zealand political scene is quite differentt to ours. Whilst we have Prospect, the New Statesman and the Spectator, amongst others, there isn't the same political press here (or not that we've been able to find in any case). Much of the media attention is focussed on the business community, perhaps reflecting New Zealand's position as the number one in the world for 'ease of business' last year. Similarly, whilst the UK is brimming with think-tanks with different value sets and their own niches, New Zealand has nothing on the same scale. So, without that level of media debate or source of new ideas it will be interesting to see where new ideas tend to come from here.
And the second unmissable difference is the position of the Maori in New Zealand's society and political system. Under long-standing constitutional agreements, the Maori have seats reserved in parliament to secure representation, and the country is in the midst of a remarkable process of restorative justice, stemming from the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. This was an agreement between Maori and the British government over rights to New Zealand land, and the Labour government is in the process of agreeing compensation packages at the moment for the 15% of the population who are Maori. Pretty amazing (and controversial) stuff.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll be back with more ' just as soon as we can both shake of the jet-leg'