"New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa) is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country has two main landmasses — the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu) — and around 600 smaller islands."
That's us. That's the intro on our Wikipedia page. It's on the internet, its official.
Around 600 islands though? Wow.
I'm not sure why but we don't tend to think of ourselves as an island archipelago.
It sounds a bit exotic I think ... not to mention warmer.
And it gets better, the Wiki page.
The climate, biodiversity, the social policies, the economy ... none of it perfect, all of it better than so many other places in this world right now.
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Trust me, if you really want an antidote to the seasonal cheer try watching Al Jazeera world news for an hour. It's a grim place, the world.
There's war, famine, disease, human trafficking and rioting in the streets.
With international pages swamped by Trump and Brexit, Hong Kong and the Australian weather, most of it doesn't get on the local news radar.
I blame the Black Caps.
Not for the state of the world obviously, but for not batting to the end of the fourth day in Perth and leaving me scrolling listlessly through free-view channels last Sunday night.
I'm normally quite optimistic. At least that's what critics of these columns usually suggest.
After a year of banging on about how this economic downturn isn't really so bad, the mood has changed, and everyone seems to agree we're on the up.
Somewhat inevitably, that's making me pessimistic.
Business confidence, according to the ANZ Outlook, has rebounded to the strongest it's been since November 2017.
Consumer confidence, according to the latest Westpac McDermott Millar survey, was the strongest it has been all decade.
The housing market is back on the rise. Even GDP growth has been revised up.
Our GDP growth rate in the September quarter saw us outperform the US, UK, Australia,
Canada, the European Union, Japan and the OECD average.
Suddenly all our economic woes are behind us, it seems.
It's hard to remember a time when we got so gloomy about the economy and then did such a complete u-turn.
Luckily I found something on the internet to cheer us down.
Bloomberg ran piece last week that picked up on the same trend in the US this year.
Remember that between October and Christmas last year markets dropped almost 20 per cent.
All the talk was of bond markets and inverted yield curves pointing to imminent recession.
The US is a lot more upbeat now too, with markets back at record highs, job growth strong and even the trade war seemingly under control.
Bloomberg markets writer John Authers notes that the last time a Google trends search for the word "recession" spiked so sharply and then collapsed quickly without an recession occurring was in early 2008, i.e. right before the actual recession hit.
That reminded me of a similar phenomenon in 1987 when markets tumbled early in the year - then covered and everyone thought we were through the worst.
Generally the forecasts for 2020 now sound very good.
But I can't help thinking we've still got an economic and financial marketing reckoning to come before this long cycle plays out.
Will it come next year? Perhaps not.
Governments of the world, including our own, seem uniformly set on a stimulatory spend-up, a bold show of fiscal force.
They are finally riding to the rescue of central banks, determined to drive economic growth through this inflationary malaise.
Well good on them and I hope we build some world-class infrastructure along the way.
I just fear we will again avoid any structural economic change and may be accelerating growth into the biggest credit bubble and debt crisis the world has ever seen.
Ugh ... time to change the channel.
Watching grimmest world news is at least a reminder that even all current the political conflict in the US and UK is not necessarily the end of the world.
Who knows, maybe the fires and record heat in Australia are.
But then end of the world has always been just around the corner. Apocalyptic thinking is easy to embrace and just as easy to dismiss.
It doesn't need to be the end of the world for life in the 21st century to be a bummer.
We used to believe things were getting better, that civilisation was on the upwards escalator of progressive improvement but perhaps that rise has stalled.
Perhaps we're headed in the other direction for while - as civilisations have tended to do over the millennia.
Perhaps our Western liberal democracy has peaked
Perhaps I'm not really an optimist and just seem optimistic relative to economists professionally bound to always look for things that might be about to go wrong.
Perhaps I just need a holiday. I'm sure we all do.
So Merry Christmas. Here's to another year living on this relatively, per capita, bloody wonderful little island archipelago at the edge of a very troubled world.