New East Anglia - A Geological WI with a nation

New East Anglia
Location: 2 islands, with a total area half the size of Tasmania, in the Tasman Sea, halfway between Tasmania and New Zealand.

1 of the Islands is discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770, shortly before he goes on to discover Botany Bay.

The other island is discovered by La Peruse in 1788 before he visits the Sydney colony.

The islands are fully explored by French explorers before 1800, and colonists are sent. The islands are found to be uninhabited, though they had been inhabited in the past (Aborigine's? Maori's?). The French colony is taken over by the British after the Napoleonic Wars, and placed under the control of the governor of New South Wales.

The New East Anglia colony is separated from NSW in 1845. Becomes a Dominion within the British Empire in 1907 (same time as New Zealand), and Independent after the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

This nation is not involved in the ANZAC action at Gallipoli in 1915, although its troops do fight along side Australian and New Zealander Troops in the Great War. Is also on the Allies side in WW2. But it is not involved in the Vietnam War or the Gulf Wars. Currently not involved in the War against Terror, but its government has adopted an isolationist stance so as to not give the terrorists a reason to target them.

Ecology: Similar to both southeast Australia and South Island ecologies, Lots of Nothofagus and Eucalyptus/Acacia woodlands.
Marsupials, birds similar to Kiwi's, Reptiles similar to Tuatara's.
Based on their location and low population I'd think they'd be joined to the Dominion of New Zealand, though possibly later joined to Tasmania (Australia) as a Territority of Tasmania & New East Anglia.
Meseems it could greatly change history... of New Zealand. If these islands were inhabited at some point in the past, there is a good chance NZ was already inhabited by some relatives of Australian aborigines by the time Maori came. At the very least these people would already have hunted Moas down to extinction before following them. Alternatively you can get a) some sort of Aboriginal culture, b) alternate Maoris, c) almost empty islands... Thoughts, anyone?
Here is a (small) map of the Tasman Sea with New East Anglia in the middle.

Tiny New East Anglia map.PNG