Sibling rivlary: why NZ is like a pesty little sister

March 10, 2016

My relationship with NZ: like an annoying younger sibling who is always a hares breath away from outdoing you.

Photo by: Valeska Reon

I have a very complicated relationship with our ANZAC brethren across the Tasman.

My favourite holiday by a mile is ANZAC Day – the extraordinary courage, sheer guts and guiles the young men of Australia and New Zealand showed for the Mother Country is the stuff that defines us and our national character.

But for me, like so many other Aussies, there’s a slight irritation there and it’s not just because of their stupid accent (“oh thet’s nice! Don’t forget your jandals eh Bro”) it’s so many things, like that annoying younger sibling who is always a hares breath away from outdoing you.

Personally I’m still cheesed they were in front of us on the medal tally at the last Olympics for a decent amount of time. I’m already nervous about Rio.

And what’s with the sleepover?

I am infinitely curious about Malcolm Turnbull’s sleepover with NZ Prime Minister John Key the other week. What was all that about?

I can only hope it was half as good as the last Kiwi sleep over I had – God Defend New Zealand.

Apparently it’s quite common in the US for world leaders to have a slumber party but…. yeah…I’m not a fan I prefer I bit of international decorum myself. What did they do? Sit on the deck and talk crap about the rugby and the cricket over rum and L&P? Hardly.

Get a reality show to fix The Lodge

I can understand not wanting to invite people to The Lodge though. Up until very recently it’s been a nightmare. I always thought they should let one of those renovation shows have a crack at it.

SERIOUS DEEP MALE VOICE OVER: “Kaylene, a part time teacher & Barry a butcher from Oodnadatta are itching to get their hands on The Lodge”. Cut to ripping out a couple of feature walls with Johanna Griggs or Shelly Craft smiling manically and grasping people’s hands.

You could have a few cut away shots of Lucy Turnball grimacing at Barry and Kaylene’s choice of colour scheme.

Is it just because it’s Malcolm? I suspect it is – can’t see John and Janette Howard sharing the bathroom sink cleaning their toothy-pegs with NZ PM John Key somehow. #Awkward much? Don’t think it would have been Tony and Margie’s bag either.

Like all good relationships: love and hate!

However, as my terribly clever mother is fond of reminding me “love and hate are two horns on the same goat”, so like a good big sister, I’m proud and annoyed by the Kiwis in equal measure:

  • Look at what they are doing with their flag! Good on them.
  • And speaking of rugby (which we are now), there’s not a country on earth that can touch them and for a nation of 143 people that is really impressive.
  • But WHY does the New Zealand Herald and nearly every other publication have a sport section AND an additional rugby section? Yes, we UNDERSTAND you’re very very good at rugby but it’s still sport and should be in the sports section.
  • But they do great coffee. Excellent in fact – sweet as Bro.

I will be in The Land of the Long White Cloud in a few weeks for my lovely friend’s wedding. Now credit where it’s due as soon as you get off the plane in NZ you get the big “Kia Ora!” They embrace their Maori culture so proudly and robustly. Props to them.

Australia could learn take a leaf out of their book on that and other things to be honest.

Stayed tuned for more on NZ shortly from my friend’s wedding in the Bay of Islands.

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Alexandria Bernard
With a successful 20+ year career in media and communications, Alex’s media portfolio includes contracts as a radio and television presenter (612 ABC, 4BC, Channel 9 and Network Ten) and as a feature writer for bmag and Brisbane Times.

Alex's voice and face may be familiar to you from her voiceover and television commercial work. She has been featured in national radio and TV advertising campaigns, corporate videos and has been a regular MC for major events.