Howard shares 'world view'

Former Australian prime minister John Howard soaks up the  Queenstown scenery yesterday. Photo by...
Former Australian prime minister John Howard soaks up the Queenstown scenery yesterday. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard warned delegates at the Property Council of New Zealand's national conference in Queenstown yesterday "not to be mesmerised by China".

Presenting a "world view" to about 280 delegates at the conference, Mr Howard said in his wide-ranging speech - which covered everything from leadership qualities to the state of the euro - Indonesia was a country New Zealand needed to watch.

It had gone from a "military dictatorship" to the third-largest democracy in the world, with a population of about 230 million, of which 85% followed Islam, in just 15 years.

"It is significant.

"I keep reading stories about how it's only a matter of time before China overtakes the US as the most powerful country in the world. I wouldn't bet your bank balance on that.

"I think the idea ... that we have to choose somehow between America and China is nonsense - it is possible to have a good relationship with both."

Mr Howard said Australia and New Zealand were "closer than any other [countries] in the world", based on their common philosophies and ideals "and long may that continue".

On natural resources, Mr Howard said he had a "fairly simple view".

"If you were blessed ... with large resources, you shouldn't be shy about exporting them and you shouldn't be shy about finding customers."

 

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