THIS week Kiwis were taken to task for being overly and harshly critical of Australians. This got me thinking as to why that might be.
The Australian Federation Act of 1901 allowed for New Zealand to be federated with Australia. Our then Prime Minister Richard John Seddon determined we should not. He deserved a Victoria Cross and a knighthood for that great decision.
The Australians have blocked access to New Zealand apples for more than 80 years. The World Trade Organisation ruled their conduct illegal. In the mid-90s we tried to sell 50% of Air New Zealand to Singapore Airlines. The Australians said Air New Zealand would be refused landing rights in Australia if this happened.
I have raised merely two issues that clearly show significant Australian prejudice to New Zealanders. I have not even addressed the sheep-shagging jokes, nor their dirty, rotten officials who rule against us unfairly and in a discriminatory manner in everything from rugby league to cricket.
To say that we have evidence for being treated harshly by Australians is an understatement. I have not even mentioned the underarm bowling incident.
If you have ever attended a Kiwis rugby league match or Warriors game in Australia, you will know the true feeling against Kiwis there. Is it good natured, is it simple banter, or is it mean-spirited ugliness?
We have the evidence to hate Aussies.
Let us put our relationship into some perspective. There is history between us not based on unfairness and underhandedness.
The sons of both countries fought and died side-by-side in the Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
When the blood of the flower of the nation has been spilt, side-by-side, supporting one another, we have a close and endearing bond. When catastrophe strikes, either here or in Australia, they are the first or we are the first, to fly in resources and help.
There is no doubt we are competitive, we are a poorer cousin and that they succeed far above their population in global business and global sport. We sit back and look at them amazed.
We can bag them, hate them, but if anyone else has a go at them,we will defend them at all costs.
The Warriors competed in the semifinals of the NRL; they made the top four. The All Blacks will be in the top four of this World Cup and we were happy when the Irish beat the Aussies. That is the fine line between love and hate.
- © Fairfax NZ News