Most of the time, our political leaders tell us, New Zealand is supposed to be trying to catch up with Australia.
But there's one area - rising interest rates - where no early catch-up is likely. For borrowers and exporters, that's good news, since it keeps lending costs down and should mean a lower Kiwi dollar against our most important high value export market, across the Tasman.
For savers, it almost certainly means a few more months of historically low interest rates, notwithstanding the hot competition that's out there at the moment for deposits.
So, when will the interest rate catch-up start?
As anyone who watches New Zealand interest rates will know, Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard intends to start tightening monetary policy this year - around mid-year by his own reckoning.
Bollard first explicitly flagged a 2010 resumption in interest rate hikes on April 30 last year, when he slashed the official cash rate by 50 basis points to its current level of 2.5%.
Nearly a year on, it's remarkable how little Bollard has had to waiver on the timing through a period in which forecasting anything was like flying blind.
The only change has been to move the timing from the latter part of 2010 to mid-year, and some of the latest housing and economic data suggests any serious move will be after June rather than before.
So, the question now is: how much lead's in his pencil? Markets are betting he will raise the Official Cash Rate by 1.5 percentage points over the next 12 months, based on the Overnight Index Swap curve, bringing the rate to around 4% by this time next year.
He can be expected to begin to adopt a more hawkish tone as soon as this month's Monetary Policy Statement, due March 11, but most economists are leaning to the mid-year for an actual increase.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, by contrast, was the first major economy to raise interest rates again after the global financial crisis, with a quarter-point hike last October.
Three more increases since then mean its cash rate is already sitting at 4% and it is showing no signs of stopping. The Overnight Index Swap curve for Australia suggests the RBA will lift rates at least 1 percentage point in the next 12 months, leaving a 100 basis point gap with New Zealand.
While Bollard may not catch his Australian counterpart Glenn Stevens, he is well placed to have maximum impact when he does raise rates this year. Some 63%, or $100 billion, of residential mortgages were either fixed for less than a year or on floating rates, in November, according to central bank data.
Three years ago, when he last was in tightening mode, almost three-quarters of home loans were locked in at longer fixed terms.
The change means many more property investors will be in the market to refinance this year, giving Bollard more bang for his buck.
It will be fascinating to see how the looming prospect of higher interest rates affects attitudes to property, especially in a year when the government is bent on removing some of the tax benefits of property investment structures.
Given the outlook, a marked increase in homeowners looking to fix long again is almost certainly on the cards, while savers will presumably seek either short term specials and wait for rates to rise, or be tempted by a flood of higher-yielding corporate bonds that are coming to market this year.