Top 10 things New Zealand does better than Australia

The opposition parties did the best thing ever when they declared that we had a crisis of Kiwis leaving NZ for Australia.

Once the crisis was declared it was over quicker than it was started.

But one thing politicians and whingers go on about is how lucky Australia is.

That’s why this list of the Top 10 things New Zealand does better than Australia as published in Australia is so special.

IT’S somewhat foolhardy to ruin an otherwise pleasant new year by getting my head punched in. But sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns or, in this case, the sheep by its ears, and say what you really think.

And what I really think (ducks) is that New Zealand is quietly trouncing us.

Not with its weather, which is reliably miserable, or with the Kiwis’ infuriating habit of replying to every question with “Yeah, nah.”

But when the 4000th person, upon learning that I was born across the Tasman, asks: “Why are the All Blacks so good?” I feel compelled to speculate on the national psyche.

New Zealanders like themselves.

Unlike the Germans who have self-regard, or the Italians who are self-admiring, or the Americans who aren’t quite sure how great they are these days but will enthuse anyway, the kiwis exude quiet confidence and self-determination.

“So why are so many of them coming over here?” I hear you say.

Well, they’re not.

Whereas they used to flock across the ditch, prompting former PM Robert Muldoon to distastefully remark that they “raised the IQ of both countries”, the migration rate has slowed considerably.

Kiwis are staying home where they’re enjoying a strong economy, low unemployment, a stable government and terms of trade at a 40-year high.

And those boys in black just keep winning.

So what are they doing right?  

Here, 10 things we could learn from our kiwi neighbours (ducks again):

1. They don’t have Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to Prime Ministers.

In recent years they’ve played a long game politically.

John Key has just begun his third term while Helen Clark enjoyed nine years as the country’s first elected woman Prime Minister.

Whereas Julia Gillard has largely sunk without trace, Clark is being touted as the next head of the United Nations.

The only compelling reason for Helen Clark to be the head of the UN is so she won;t come home…we aren’t that keen yet on having her back. The black shroud of despair was lifted in 2008 and we don;t want it returning any time soon.

2. They believe in firm consequences.

When All Black Aaron Cruden missed a flight to Argentina following a drinking session he was dropped from three tests and told to stay home.

Upon returning to the squad he was benched for a match because his replacement was playing so well.

Compare it to the shenanigans over Kurtley Beale whose text message scandal rumbled on leading to two resignations, a $45,000 fine and the most turbulent episode in Australian rugby history.

That’s the no dickheads rule in action.

3. They sell themselves.

As Australia has flailed with Lara Bingle, dated expletives and a string of “best jobs in the world” for freeloaders, New Zealand has sold itself on “100 per cent Pure New Zealand” since 1999.

No visitor is in any doubt of the splendour offered.

Air New Zealand’s in-flight videos featuring the All Blacks and The Hobbit have gone viral on YouTube.

It’s a case of knowing who you are and what you’re proud of: we seem to have no bloody idea.

4. When they boast “homemade” they mean it.

Sure, the wine is excellent, the craft beer, well, beery, and coffee is the national religion after rugby — although the growing health trend for “quarter shots” is bonkers.

But it’s at morning and afternoon tea they truly excel.

Not for them the mass-produced hydrogenated muffins and fridge-odoured caramel slices that fill our cafes.

Using the century-old Edmonds baking bible, they make scones and slices from scratch.

I think this chick has stayed away for too long…sure the Edmonds cookbook is the best…try the Shepherds Pie recipe for an example…there is none better, but seriously this is a top ten. I would replace this one with “We don’t shorten every possible word to end in ‘O’ like Bottlo for a Bottle Shop, Milko for a Dairy, Servo for a petrol station, Salvo for Salvation army…etc.

5. Women play sport.

Of course they play it here too but you’d never know from watching television.

In NZ, netball is not only broadcast live but its stars, along with golfer Lydia Ko and shot putter Valerie Adams, also appear in the glossies.

Here you only make a mag if you’ve had a juicy marriage breakup (Lisa Curry), a drug scandal (Chantelle Newbery) or a dodgy text message exchange (Nova Peris).

6. They’re thrillseekers.

Whereas you can’t visit a beach or a pool in Australia without a sign warning you against every possible activity short of breathing, New Zealanders view any body of water as the means to adrenalin.

Having had the imagination to tie an elastic rope to their feet and jump, they developed extreme flying foxes, mega swings and the sort of jetboating that leaves your stomach in your mouth. While caving I was encouraged to close my eyes and fall backwards into the water because “you probably won’t bang your head.”

This woman sounds like a real pansy…loving scones and baking and being nervous about everyday entertaining things? Next thing she will be thinking Wendyl Nissen is a national treasure instead of a mad old bint living with chickens in the sticks.

7. Race relations matter.

Grievances are redressed through the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori culture is upheld in schools where the national anthem is sung in both languages, and to have “mana” (honour and respect) is to have it all.

8. They don’t see gay marriage as a threat.

And so they legalised it. Full stop.

9.There’s no special favours.

Whereas we continued to endorse MPs who misused their cab charge allowance, compared women’s genitalia to molluscs and used union money to pay for prostitutes, a NZ cabinet minister was fined $2000 in November after he bypassed airport security to board a flight.

Oh there is special favours…and I’m sure if there was an Independent Commission Against Corruption we’d hear all about dodgy politicians far more frequently.

10. Their coins make sense.

The $2 is larger than the $1 and the 5 cent was withdrawn.

It’s not enough to make you move there — the mango prices are exorbitant and the accent sucks, sorry, sux — but credit where it’s due.

Anyway, I can’t go back — I love it here and the kids are true blue.

Stay there love…you have become an Aussie.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.