The Australia Letter is a weekly e-newsletter from our Australia bureau. Enroll to get it through e-mail. This week’s factor is written through Natasha Frost, a reporter in Melbourne.

Changing into a republic, legalizing same-sex marriage, converting the Charter to determine an Aboriginal advisory frame: To make those adjustments to Australian lifestyles calls for — or has required — a minimum of one national vote.

But there’s a way more dramatic step that would — however virtually definitely won’t — happen with none polling in anyway: turning New Zealand into Australia’s 7th state.

The speculation used to be lately mooted within the valedictory speech of Jamie Peculiar, a departing Labour member of Parliament in New Zealand.

“Each time I consult with Australia, I continuously contemplate the idea, ‘Do we ever turn out to be one nation, Australia and New Zealand?’” he mentioned final week, including: “My non-public view — and it’s just a non-public view — is that New Zealanders shouldn’t rule that out.”

(A few of the advantages Mr. Peculiar indexed used to be bringing the grocery store chain Aldi to New Zealand’s shores. Integrating the rustic’s cricket groups, he mused, may well be a bridge too a long way.)

Chatting with the Australian information media this week, Barnaby Joyce, a former Australian deputy high minister (and clandestine New Zealand citizen), said that this kind of trade used to be not going to ever happen.

However, he mentioned, “we would possibly as smartly put it available in the market,” including: “The protection coverage, financial coverage — we would possibly even win a rugby sport!”

In Phase 6 of the Australian Charter, drafted in 1900, New Zealand used to be indexed as a possible Australian state. (Federation — when Australia’s six states united to shape the Commonwealth of Australia — came about on Jan. 1, 1901.)

Some years previous, Australia had invited New Zealand to enroll in the federation. For a lot of causes, New Zealand declined.

John Corridor, a former premier of New Zealand, cited distance as a deciding issue all over a convention on federation in Melbourne, Australia, in 1890.

“Nature has made 1,200 impediments to the inclusion of New Zealand in one of these federation within the 1,200 miles of stormy ocean which lie between us and our brethren in Australia,” he mentioned, including: “Democratic executive should be a central authority no longer just for the folk, and through the folk, however, whether it is to be environment friendly and provides content material, it should be in sight and inside of listening to of the folk.”

Australians, for his or her phase, idea New Zealand would possibly trade its thoughts. Talking on the similar convention, William McMillan, an Australian baby-kisser, expressed this kind of hope.

“I consider that,” he mentioned, “when public opinion has sufficiently penetrated New Zealand, even New Zealand, separated from this continent through 1,200 miles of water, will come into the Federation of the Australasian Colonies.”

Geography used to be no longer the one attention for New Zealand. Reporting previous this yr for a piece of writing about adjustments to citizenship rights for New Zealanders dwelling in Australia, I spoke with Paul Hamer, a researcher at Victoria College of Wellington, concerning the two nations’ ancient courting and their other approaches to race and migration.

“Australia sought after New Zealand to federate in 1901. It sought after to arrange a racially discriminatory state — ‘White Australia,’” he mentioned. “New Zealand used to be hesitant as a result of its Maori inhabitants,” and ultimately selected to head it on my own.

The ones other approaches have reverberated around the a long time. As my colleague Yan Zhuang wrote in final week’s e-newsletter, Australians may have their say about Aboriginal illustration in executive in an Oct. 14 referendum. In New Zealand, a basic election will happen at the similar day — and Indigenous citizens will, as they’ve since 1867, give you the chance to vote in seven electorates which can be reserved for Maori representatives.

There are many different causes this kind of merger doesn’t make sense, together with wildly other attitudes to nuclear energy, migration and the financial system.

So, all issues regarded as, neither the All Blacks nor the Socceroos will want to concern concerning the intricacies of how one can merge their rugby union and football groups with the ones in their opponents.

However that doesn’t imply that some, in each nations, gained’t proceed to ruminate on what would possibly were — and whether or not New Zealand must, as some economists counsel, merely import Australia’s tax code wholesale.

And within the period in-between, Australia would possibly imagine officially adopting a proposal from the Australian comic Celeste Barber, who in 2020 referred to as on then-Top Minister Jacinda Ardern to rename Australia “West New Zealand.”

Listed here are the week’s tales.

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