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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  • I.M Bach

    She forgot to mention the beer. Australian beer doesn’t get anywhere near NZ beer in any regard.

    • Saggy

      No she did mention it. Said it’s “beery”. I guess that’s good.

      • I.M Bach

        My apologies, what I meant was, she didn’t make a comparison. Mybe it’s because there isn’t any ;)

    • Just a thought …

      And they still haven’t achieved a standing on the evolutionary ladder that will allow them to sell it in supermarkets yet ……..

      edit – grama

  • Just a thought …

    Compare the way the All Blacks carry themselves to the way the Australian cricket team does and I think that would just about sum up the differences ………

  • Yeahright

    and we are not tied to the unions, we work hard and will do anything…..and best of all we are not Aussies.

    • Just a thought …

      For sure. How is that Australian car industry going by the way ?……….

      • Yeahright

        luckily you didn’t say foreshore, add, no animals that will kill us everywhere, buy this I mean poisons, biting…..

        • Reaper

          I have had 3 whitetail bites in the last few months. OK, they haven’t killed me but have eaten away nasty holes in my flesh and take forever to heal. I wish they would take their nasty spiders back.

          • whiplash2

            You sure the holes weren’t from excessive scratching or something? I know they make a big red dot with a small (yuck) hole in the middle but they’re not necrotic so don’t destroy cells or anything? I’ve never been bitten so I’m curious.

          • Reaper

            Yes, I never scratch them. I know all the info says they are not necrotic, but there is so much anecdotal evidence similar to mine as well. They start off as a tiny little blister, then get bigger and deeper … In this warm weather I am finding these spiders daily at the moment, often in my bedding – they are driving me crazy.

    • conwaycaptain

      We have Angry Little Andy

    • Albert Root

      Strange statistic – a third of Oz adheres to Catholicism! Wasn’t that the religion that ‘banned’ science for 2000 years?

      • Aucky

        Not surprising – Irish convicts and Italian immigrants.

  • Cadwallader

    She forgot to include that OZ taxes are vicious compared to NZ’s.

    • Just a thought …

      Not only that . I lived in Australia for a couple of years and an Aussie sheila with a couple of beers in is truly a scary thing………

      • Cadwallader

        My wife is an Aussie and lives there but I prefer intermittent visits. WA is too hot, too taxed, too socially ill-equipped, too governed, too expensive, too remote, too socialist and the locals have turned obesity into an art-form.

        • Just a thought …

          And that’s just it’s good points ……..

          • Just a thought …

            Wow, I really love this intermittent visits to your wife idea. How did you manage to swing that ? ……..

          • Cadwallader

            Just through procrastination, prevarication and unbridled generosity when I am over there.

          • Just a thought …

            I am humbled in your presence ……. Mohummad could learn a thing or two from you…….

          • Cadwallader

            No thanks one wife at a time is more than adequate. Psst got a few goats to spare?

  • Jaffa

    The reason they swim so fast, is, look what’s in the water!

    The Kiwi yachtie called out to a local, ” are there any sharks here?”

    “No”, so he dived in, and when he came up, the local said ” the crocodiles scare them away!”

  • dgrogan

    And we don’t say blaaark (black) or sweeem (swim), or poowell (pool), like my two, beautiful Aussie granddaughters, bless them.

  • In Vino Veritas

    There is also the small matter that the Australian Government have stopped NZ’rs from getting benefits. And given that it was far from our “best and brightest” that were going there in droves (in fact our worst and dumbest), they are now finding out the harsh reality of economic downturn, and are rushing home for work andor the dole.

    • I.M Bach

      Not all of us. I’m doing better and the wife is up to 2.5x her NZ salary. If it weren’t for the golden handcuffs though……

  • Nige.

    She forgot to add that is far easier for an Aussie to live in new Zealand than a kiwi to live in Aussie. They just DONT SHUT UP about sheep or kiwi jokes.

    • DavidW

      It is very easy to get a gutsful of shopgirls saying “Oh from New Zealand eh?, say fush and chups for us (giggle, giggle, giggle)”
      My standard response became “Fair suck of the sav sheila, are youse a scrubber or wot? Just off to meet Jonnoh and Daveoh to pick up the doona and a new lounge, bonza”

      • I.M Bach

        Don’t forget the esky, cobber.

  • Just a thought …

    Isn’t it interesting . We love to give each other “crap ” but when I was doing my O.E there was an instant bond and comaraderie between NZer’s and Aussies. It was us against the world and it was fantastic.
    Remember ( lest we forget ) the ANZACS and I would be more than happy to have them beside me in the trenches…….

  • Jaffa

    They have lots of fires too.
    They burn the cane fields to get rid of the snakes.
    They burn off the spring growth along side railway lines, and roads to prevent bush fires.
    And then they have bush fires.
    All the smoke in the air produces lovely sunsets, if you can see them through streaming eyes.
    Sometimes they give us lovely sunsets too.

    Thanks, Australia!

    • I.M Bach

      Some of those fires are plenty scary too, the wind whips them up like they’re a blowtorch and anything in their way is gone in minutes. They have odd floods too; you can be hundreds of k’s from the rain and still get stuck.

  • ozbob68

    11. Modesty

  • cows4me

    They do one thing better than us, they dumped their stupid carbon tax and told it’s scam artists pushers to take a hike.

  • Odd Ball

    Seafood should be in the top ten somewhere, the next time I visit NZ, I’m cooking up a big pot of mussels, followed by a feast of paua, with a can of L&P to wash it down.
    Oh, and pavlova for dessert…

    • Isherman

      Seafood definately, as for the pav I’m personally happy for them to claim and keep them.

    • taurangaruru

      & a crate of big bot Lion Reds to wash it all down – or “long necks” as the dingo botherers call them…”Grab a crate mate”

    • I.M Bach

      No whitebait fritter??

      • Odd Ball

        Oh, Yes, Whitebait as well, preferably fresh

  • 2rotorbro

    Aussies are far more embracing of success than the kiwi norm of unbridled jealous put downs.

    • Cadwallader

      Disagree. There is nothing more caustic than an Aussie bemoaning other people’s successes. The tall poppy syndrome is a national sport in OZ, whereas in NZ it is more or less confined to dribbling lefties.

      • taurangaruru

        Especially the so called “aussie battler” who bemoans anyone becoming successful.

  • Isherman

    I know an 18 and a 21yr old pair of lads who live and work in Aussie, and come back here for holidays now and again. The first thing they want when they get out of the airport is a proper meat pie,.. every time, apparently the Aussie ones are nearly inedible compared to ours.

    • hookerphil

      Go the pie floater from the pie cart in Adelaide.

    • I.M Bach

      They need to try the pies from the Pinjarra bakery. Multi award winning and multi splendid. We don’t eat pies often (maybe once every two-three months) but theirs are great and worth the 20k drive. Plus Pinjarra is a cute wee place, so a pie by the river can be a pleasant aside.

  • RobT

    I have noticed on my visits to Aus that the general population…especially the older residents are not as politically correct as we have become. They are not frightened to call a spade ..a spade. Also they are not as tolerant towards visitors, especially Asians.
    Not sure if we have become a tad too soft or they have refused to bow down?

    • Cadwallader

      I spend a fair bit of time in the Western Suburbs of Perth as my wife and I keep a home there. My experience is that PC behaviour is rife in those parts. I wouldn’t dare say anything anti-poverty, anti-big government or indeed refer to the over-indulgence expended by successive governments towards the “disadvantaged.” These suburbs are spilling over with chardonnay liberals, chardonnay greenies and other removed species. My wife declines dinner invitations when I am over there. I am the naive Kiwi still needing to be cured of my harshness. Oh well!

  • pisces8284 .

    I could live there if it wasn’t for their politics (so many states), their TV (there was a cat up a tree in Caloundra), their accent (funny how they think ours is bad) and their unions. But…their transport is great ($2.50 buys this senior a day on anything – buses, ferries, trains), their weather is constantly good and great beaches. I have to agree with the larger coin being worth less than the smaller coin though. What is with that??