Tasman Union Imminent
Flights between New Zealand and Australia will soon be as cheap as domestic flights under new efforts to streamline trans-Tasman travel. Following talks between New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, travellers could benefit from no departure fees, the scrapping of duplicate quarantine, customs and security checks and allowing planes to land at domestic terminals. The two countries would recognise each other’s security, immigration and quarantine checks, effectively setting up a “high ring fence” similar to that in the European Union. Open border air travel is not unprecedented. A similar model has been operating between the US and Canada for about six years, where customs and security clearances at the end of the journey were abolished.