DEBT-ridden Kiwis sunning themselves on Australian beaches watch out - the credit collectors could be coming to get you.
A new payment system to allow New Zealand companies to collect $NZ100 million in debts outstanding from many of the 580,000 Kiwis living on the other side of the ditch is one of the policies the governments are considering to harmonise trans-Tasman relations.
During a visit to Wellington today, Treasurer Wayne Swan and his New Zealand counterpart Bill English discussed progress with moves to bring the nations closer together.
Besides the usual talk of "mateship" and jibes about the rugby, the ministers talked of progress with plans to finalise an investment protocol, expected in a "few months", and streamline super funds so that retirement savings can be transferred between countries.
Mr English said the most visible signs of trans-Tasman harmonisation were changes to speed up passenger processing between border airports.
"It's something that Aussies and New Zealanders have taken to with much more enthusiasm than we expected," he told journalists at a joint press conference on Thursday.
The ministers also discussed streamlining cross-border payment systems.
At a Trans-Tasman Business Circle meeting in the city, Mr Swan heard from Australasia's largest credit information company Veda Advantage, which complained that debts could be collected from Australians in New Zealand, but not vice versa.
"At last count they owed $NZ100 million in outstanding fines and instead enjoying themselves on Bondi Beach and others," said Veda's John Roberts.
He said getting the money back would be a windfall for the cash-strapped New Zealand government - "It could make Bill English's day."