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Publisher's Summary

Australia and New Zealand are often considered close cousins. But why, despite being so close, do we know so little about each other? And is there such a thing as national character?

In this wise and illuminating essay, Laura Tingle looks at leadership, economics, history and more. Competitiveness has marked our relationship from its earliest days. In the past half-century, both countries have remade themselves amid shifting economic fortunes. New Zealand has been held up as a model for everything from tax reform to the conduct of politics to the response to COVID-19. Tingle considers everything from Morrison and Ardern as national leaders to the different ways each country has dealt with its colonial legacy. What could Australia learn from New Zealand? And New Zealand from Australia?

This is a perceptive, often amusing introduction to two countries alike in some ways, but quite different in others.

©2020 Laura Tingle (P)2020 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

What listeners say about Quarterly Essay 80: The High Road

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A very interesting analysis and historical review

This was very interesting and informative. Well worth the listen/ read. The performance was also good, overall. I have marked the performance down slightly because of the annoying mispronunciations, including David Lange’s surname. I suspect these are not AH’s fault but it was a continual distraction.

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Very enjoyable for a policy and political wonk...

Well researched, excellent and interesting analysis. very enjoyable with excellent narration. Well worth listening to.

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  • CS
  • 03-01-2021

Mispronunciations and name-calling?

As a New Zealander, this essay was undermined by the disrespect the author has shown by calling former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Muldoon, "Piggy" Muldoon throughout, while abstaining from name-calling with other Australian and NZ leaders. Yes, that was his nickname, but what purpose did it add to the arguments made in the essay? It seemed petty. It was also very distracting to have to listen to the narrator mispronouncing the name of another former prime minster, David Lange - it is pronounced Long-ee, not Lang. I found myself gritting my teeth every time this happened, which distracted from whatever point the essay was trying to make. The NZ minor party mentioned a few times is incorrectly referred to as the "A-C-T." party - it is actually called the "act" party, In a book about politics, the narrator should check that she is pronouncing things correctly. I assume the author must not have listened to the narration at all - I'm sure she would be horrified by these mistakes. As for the final chapters on Jacinda Ardern, the author completely overlooked the fact that until the covid crisis emerged, Labour had been trailing massively in the polls, Labour's policies were failing all around them, and it was quite possible that they would have been defeated in the 2020 election. I wish this had been more balanced.

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Quarterly Essay 80 The High Road

Very interesting comparison between Australia & New Zealand. Well written by Laura & well narrated by Aimee.

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Great synopsis of our south Pacific affairs

Excellent review, very thorough from my perspective. One admission was the absence of discussion as to why John Key's failure on replacing the NZ flag, the hit to his ego and handing the helm to Bill English. English had lost credibility in many NZer working class referred to earlier in the essay. Key may very well have performed better in the elections and then manage to scrap a coalition together if he had stayed in office and ran for a fourth term.

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Refreshing & Motivating :)

In a world full of confusion, it's encouraging to see that journalism is alive and pumping. Laura tingle has the ability to put together facts and opinions, reflect on experience and personal encounters, in a way that encourages the reader to learn more. I am fascinated and inspired to learn more about this leader named Jacinda Ardern. Thank you Laura Tingle!

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Great narration but didn't enjoy this essay

I didn't find this essay as interesting as the others released this year. The narrator did very well, you can really hear the experience than what authors who narrated their own essays beforehand. This essay wasn't on a topic I am as interested in but you do learn some interesting things, especially if you're interested in NZ.

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Splendid & Timely

Great journey through our shared & divergent histories. Excellent reading at a time when these stories deserve the greatest study & comparison.

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  • Mark Kelly
  • 08-01-2021

Laura is awesome

I really enjoy Laura’s mind. She is a good commentator in both TV and press form.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.