Editorial : Hands off, mate

02:24, Dec 19 2013

Dear Australia,

We like you, we really do. You're our brother in arms and we've gone into battle beside you. It's you and us against the world, mate, and stuff the starchy collars.

But come lunchtime, sport, it's game on.

We're better at rugby and we've never minded that you're way better at cricket than we are. But you know what? You gave yourself away when you rolled the ball at Brian McKechnie in 1981 when he didn't have a show of hitting a six off the last ball.

It's that lack of self-belief when you've got victory in your sights that gives you away. For a big country sometimes you think really small. You're always talking yourself up, or talking down the opposition, or threatening to break their arms.

We understand that you are essentially a nation of convicts and that pilfering is second nature. And we know that a win's a win and you take 'em when you can get 'em.


But, comes a time when it's just got to be said: Playtime's over. Stop stealing our stuff.

You've had a crack at our pav. You claimed Phar Lap. You poached Split Enz and the brains behind Crowded House.

Pineapple lumps, John Clarke, Kimbra and Weet-Bix. All ours. Dragon and jandals. Ours, too.

Joh Bjelke-Petersen? We're not unreasonable, we'll give you that one. Ditto Russell Crowe.

But, mate, hands off our kiwi. You've got your own fluffy toys. Leave ours alone.

Word has reached us that researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide have been crawling under rocks over here looking for evidence that our kiwi is descended from your emus and the little blighter flew over here 20 million years ago.

Stone the crows, the lengths you'll go to to rip us off.

The fossil your fellas found is from the early Miocene period, they reckon. Its DNA suggests it was related to the emu and that it was capable of flying. Therefore, they reckon, it must have flown across the ditch.

Well, that's perfectly understandable. Which little critter wouldn't want to fly out of the desert to find a greener place to live?

We're not too worried by any of this. No matter where it came from, the kiwi's been here longer than you or I, and it's ours.

We notice that the bloke who discovered the fossil is one of our castoffs. Just to show you there are no hard feelings, we'll let you keep him, too.

The Marlborough Express