Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Kia Ora, but not for Green Okkers

By Duncan Graham - posted Tuesday, 11 June 2013

At the New Zealand Greens' AGM in Christchurch this month, a TV station seeking a stereotype unearthed an elderly bearded delegate in bird-watching gear hitching his bike to a rail outside the conference hall.

A yesteryear image – as outdated as workers in cloth caps and bosses in top hats.

For the party's co-leaders, lawyer Metiria Turei, 43 and political scientist Dr Russel Norman, 46, have been trying to dress their party in different clothes. Literally.


Ms Turei, once a radical Maori activist, has turned from protest brown to blue designer outfits, reportedly costing thousands. Meanwhile clean shaven Dr Norman is seldom seen outside a business suit, embracing economics before hugging trees. Marijuana reform? Hush.

With 14 members in NZ's 121-member, eight-party unicameral parliament, the Greens are now widely tipped as possible coalition partners with Labour, should the National government lose its two-seat overall majority at next year's election.

The likelihood of this is best shown by the ferocious attempts to undermine Dr Norman. The party's policies are moving into the mainstream. The man is articulate and usually well informed, so a difficult target. Better to concentrate on a major personal defect.

For Dr Norman (and apologies for any offence felt across the Ditch), is an Australian.

Although quitting his homeland in 1997 Dr Norman has failed to grasp the subtleties of the cross-Tasman relationship and the residual hates and jealousies.

Trevor Chappell's underarm at the MCG was in 1981. It could have been yesterday measured by the regularity the shameful incident is bowled up to prove the untrustworthiness of the people next door.


Possums in NZ aren't cute, cuddly and protected – they're pests from Australia to be poisoned, trapped and shot for chomping their way through native wildlife and habitat.

And what Australian ever recognises Phar Lap as a Timaru horse, or that the Pavlova was invented in NZ?

Bank bashing is a universal sport. NZ's big four are all Australian owned, as are hundreds of other companies, including miners like Bathurst Resources, keen to open-cut coal fields on conservation land in the South Island's Denniston Plateau.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Duncan Graham is a Perth journalist who now lives in Indonesia in winter and New Zealand in summer. He is the author of The People Next Door (University of Western Australia Press) and Doing Business Next Door (Wordstars). He blogs atIndonesia Now.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Duncan Graham

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy