Both Sides of the Tasman: History, Politics and Migration Between New Zealand and Australia
Trans-Tasman migration connections are deeply woven into the everyday existence, emotions and imaginations of New Zealanders in ways that historians are only beginning to explore. They have also become a significant political issue. One of the challenges in making the Tasman Sea a central focus for migration history, however, is the fact that the nation remains powerfully entrenched as a way of representing, framing and understanding the past. As Hempenstall noted, ‘writers on both sides of the Tasman have produced national histories that talk past one another, ignore shared pasts and neglect historical parallels’. To understand the experiences of contemporary trans-Tasman migrants, we need transnational histories that promote deeper understandings of regional mobility, encourage more nuanced debate, and contribute to greater compassion in immigration policy.