They never let us forget, do they? I was a guest at a wedding in Te
Puna, south of Auckland, over Easter, where the master of ceremonies
used his overhead projector to give those from “across the ditch” a good
drubbing. His series of jokey slides culminated in an image of Trevor
Chappell delivering that infamous bowl to Kiwi Brian McKechnie.
It may have been 29 years since we Aussies unleashed our underhanded,
underarm tactic in that one-day match, but the incident still rings
loudly in the New Zealand psyche, as do our claims to its sons and
daughters, Russell Crowe and Crowded House et al, whose faces also
flashed up in the slideshow.
The comparative economic reality means the smaller country has often
lost its fairest and brightest to its neighbour, but you didn’t need to
look past the bridal table to get the point: the Kiwi-born bride had
married an Aussie. Our presence was being felt in real time.
New Zealanders quietly know what they’ve got. They rightly take pride
in the natural beauty of their homeland, its lush green hills and
wilderness. Take a trip around the gorgeous South Island in particular
and you’re spoiled for scenery. The country’s tourist industry has,
until the recent world economic downturn, boomed, centered around its
environmental credentials; “100 per cent pure”, according to the
Now, in pursuit of trying to dig its way out of the
economic ditch, new Prime Minister John Key, leading a minority
government with his Centre-Right National Party, shakily formed with its
unlikely political bedfellow the Maori Party, is threatening to destroy
that carefully massaged international notion of New Zealand.
up, with profit as his priority, Key proposes removing 7,058 hectares
of protected land from the Crown Minerals Act, allowing mining in
sensitive areas such as Great Barrier Island and Paparoa National Park.
Key has flagged that, when the International Whaling Commission meets
in Morocco in June, he might support a compromise position that would
allow Japan, Norway and Iceland to openly hunt whales, with the aim of
reducing the total catch over the next decade.
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