Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific Islands: Ambiguous Allies?

Centre of Gravity Series - Issue 43

Author/s (editor/s):

Joanne Wallis, Anna Powles

Publication year:


Publication type:

Discussion paper

In this Centre of Gravity paper, Dr Joanne Wallis, Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and Dr Anna Powles, Senior Lecturer in Security Studies in the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University, argue that divergences in Australia and New Zealand’s policies and practices raise questions about the status of their alliance and how the two states will work together to address challenges in the Pacific Islands.

Dr Wallis and Dr Powles identify four points of convergence between Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific Islands as well as four points of divergence. The authors argue that the Australia-New Zealand alliance can be strengthened to benefit Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands through greater burden-sharing, combining their respective strengths in hard and soft power, strengthening existing regional institutions, and promoting closer consultations on Pacific issues.

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