Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has said that the income gap between New Zealand and Australia may not be as wide as first thought.
But there are concerns that the incompetence gap between the two countries may be widening.
Unlike the income gap, levels of arrogant ignorant shortsighted stupidity within government have traditionally fluctuated, making it difficult to measure whether New Zealand or Australia leads the way in having the most appalling self-serving venal politicians.
However, Australia has historically outperformed New Zealand in allowing dangerously incompetent people to hold office.
New Zealand closed the incompetence gap in recent years, due to the Key government's efforts in dealing with unemployment, reforming the education sector and encouraging economic growth.
Australia responded strongly to New Zealand's challenge by dumping the elected PM late in his term and replacing him with someone only marginally less toxic, and by then almost electing a village idiot as Prime Minister.
The Key government had remained confident of drawing level with Australia, thanks to Treasury's ongoing inability to accurately forecast anything beyond what its analysts plan to have for breakfast.
It was also expected that standout performances by ministers Maurice Williamson and Jonathan Coleman in recent days would build on the solid foundation of dizzying ineptitude laid down by Pita Sharples.
But these hopes were dashed over the weekend, with political moves under way in Australia to replace Julia Gillard as Prime Minister with Kevin Rudd.
Experts say that the growing likelihood of Rudd once again becoming the Australian PM will mean a considerable widening of the incompetence gap. The move goes beyond merely proving that senior Australian Labor Party members have grown deranged and need to be euthanised for the good of their nation. It also shows that in terms of sheer arrogant incompetence the Australian ruling classes are still in a league of their own.