New Zealand has been described as a "lifestyle superpower", joining Australia as the envy of the western world, a political author says.

Nick Bryant, former BBC Australia correspondent, was talking to TVNZ's Q+A programme about his new book The Rise and Fall of Australia: How a great nation lost its way, when he made the comments.

The broadcaster and author, who married an Australian woman with whom he now has two children, said: "I do describe Australia as the lifestyle superpower of the world, I'd also describe New Zealand as a lifestyle superpower of the world, because again I think it shares many of these wonderful things -- this abundant life, this glorious natural scenery and an economy that's done pretty well, especially compared to the rest of the world."

A lot of the language used within Australia and New Zealand - such as 'the Antipodes' or 'Down Under', or phrases like 'the tyranny of distance' - was "outdated", he said.


"It's wrong to think of yourselves as distant countries anymore. You're part of the major story in the world, which is the rise of this region."