Keeping Up With the Kiwis 2

Meanwhile on a different page …”What do Australians think about New Zealand? Not very much and not very often. ‘We think about New Zealand like we think about Tasmania,’ one Australian tells me with unaccustomed tact. Another notes that if New Zealand were, God forbid, to be carried away by a huge tidalwave, no one would notice the difference. Not-so-nuanced Australian newspapers refer to New Zealand as ‘Helengrad’, an unkind reference to the Stalinesque prime minister Helen Clark. Politically pristine Kiwis have every reason to feel inferior to their slightly anarchic neighbour. New Zealand is everything that Australia is not. While Australia exhibits the characteristics of a thrusting alpha-male, New Zealand remains stuck in sullen adolescence. The heavy grey sky overhanging Auckland offers a clue to the national mood … Kiwis excel at rugby, but in most other endeavours they barely touch mediocrity. Friends who have visited New Zealand recently rave about the ‘Pacific paradise’, but I am into cities, not glaciers and snowfields. All I see is a relentless sprawl of clapboard houses which entomb the bleak moodiness of their inhabitants. The geometrically planned gardens and the finely manicured parks awaken my most destructive instincts … Alcoholism and drug abuse continue to take a crippling toll. Suicide is now regarded as a ‘significant cause of death’. The incidence of violence against children is among the highest in the developed world. Not a very happy paradise.” – Douglas Davis in The Spectator


Tags: Australians  Helen Clark  New Zealand  Rugby  Spectator (The)  

RBNZ Turning Heads Around the Globe

RBNZ Turning Heads Around the Globe

“New Zealand is tiny by economic standards, but it’s a giant in central banking circles,” Forbes senior contributor William Pesek writes. “While working in Washington in the mid-to-late 1990s, I was…