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11 Things Aussies Can Learn From Their Kiwi Neighbors

Australia New Zealand
by Sara Schneider Nov 20, 2014
1. Be yourself, humbly

Plain and simple, nobody likes arrogance, Australia. You may be way bigger than New Zealand, but that doesn’t make you better by any means. Take a good look in the mirror; it’s not like you’re China or America or some other powerhouse country. You’re still an island in the middle of nowhere just like your friends down south, so learn to embrace it. Despite your penal-colony upbringing, you’re not a country full of convicts anymore, so take a page from the Kiwis’ book and handle your national pride with poise.

2. The definition of good wine

Australia might boast a great label here and there and might export a lot, but no one can deny the true magic that is New Zealand wine. The lush terrain and conditions of New Zealand simply lend themselves better to growing grapes than the dry desert outback. So, Aussies, pick wisely next time you’re pairing a red with your kangaroo steak. Unless you’re just using it to cook with, then, by all means buy local.

3. Inclusion and preservation of native culture

While both countries share their land with indigenous populations, New Zealand’s inclusive approach to the Māori is clearly superior to the Australian relations with the Aboriginal. From the traditional Haka (Māori war dance) performed before rugby matches to Māori being an official national language taught in schools and used in public media, the Kiwis’ have managed to maintain the native culture of their country much better than Australia.

4. The true origin of the sandal

Although the rubber-soled sandal goes by many names around the globe, the great debate between “thong” and “jandal” must be awarded to New Zealand. In 1957, a Kiwi businessman actually had the idea for today’s flip-flop after seeing the wooden sandals worn in Japan. Thus the jandal was born: japanese + sandal = jandal. Don’t think we can really argue with the inventor…

5. Proper meat pie mania

The Aussies and Kiwis cling to the meat pie as their own, but Australia does not seem to represent this delicious snack to quite the same degree. It is the official New Zealand national dish, and Kiwis eat about three more pies per year than their Aussie counterparts. Alas, the real tiebreaker? In New Zealand, you can order a meat pie straight off the McDonald’s menu. A little behind on that one, Australia.

6. How to read punctuation

Aussies can learn a thing or two about proper English from the Kiwis. New Zealanders might have a problem pronouncing their “i” and “e” leading to some hilarious misunderstandings (i.e., six vs. sex), but at least every sentence doesn’t magically transform into a question. If you’ve ever carried on a conversation with an Australian, you know the exact end-of-sentence-upswing I’m talking about. I’ll have two? Well, will you or won’t you?

7. Deadly animals are, well, deadly

The rest of the world definitely loves visiting these two islands, but do tourists love the constant, looming threat of death? Sure, they want pretty landscapes, but New Zealand provides those without the most venomous and lethal animals on the planet. Australia really can’t compete with the Kiwis when it comes to safety in nature. There are no poisonous snakes in New Zealand, just fyi…

8. The “cold” will not kill you (unlike your wildlife)

In fact, if cooler temperatures are the price to pay for such an EPIC landscape, bring them on! Swimming in 12°C is absolutely worth it with the unmatched beauty of the mountains engulfing you. Not to mention the benefit of snow! It sure makes skiing a lot more enjoyable. And remember that remarkable wine? It’s all thanks to the “cold” that’s unbearable to so many Aussies. Two words: man up.

9. How to play rugby

Speaking of manning up, the last time the Aussie national rugby union team defeated the Kiwi team for the annual Bledisloe Cup was in 2002. Twelve years ago! And a Google search will showcase that winning seems to be the trend for New Zealand. This is one sport the Kiwis hands-down know how to dominate.

10. The taste of delicious oysters and seafood.

When your entire country is basically a strip of coastline, it is hard to get seafood wrong. What might be considered a prime piece of Whiting in Australia would be scoffed at and turned into processed cat food in New Zealand. Just try some of their fresh oysters. There is no competition.

11. What it means to be born somewhere

Yes, Lorde, Kimbra, and Crowded House are all from New Zealand, not Australia. Although outsiders might not be able to tell the difference between a Kiwi and an Aussie right away, that doesn’t make it okay to take ownership of celebrities that aren’t yours, Australia. Stop being a hog and let New Zealand share some limelight. After all, Russell Crowe is theirs, and I think we can all appreciate that contribution.

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