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Across the Tasman: swallowing Kiwis

By Irfan Yusuf - posted Tuesday, 23 January 2007

We’ve always regarded our cousins across the Tasman as ever-so-polite. Behind all that Haka bravado is a nation of SNAKs (Sensitive New Age Kiwis) renowned for being so laid-back they’re horizontal.

But now a mob of Aussie Parliamentarians want to change all that. They made a pre-Christmas pronouncement from Canberra that will have the Kiwistanis throwing off their SNAK veneer and exclaiming, in unison, three words beginning with the letters w***, t** and f*** respectively.

In December it was reported that a bi-partisan Australian Parliamentary Committee recommended that Australia and New Zealand consider merging into one country.



The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal & Constitutional Affairs (LACA) has decided that harmonising Australia and New Zealand’s legal systems wouldn’t be such a bad idea. It concluded our two countries have had a uniquely close relationship stemming from historical factors such as New Zealand being one of seven British colonies in Australasia prior to Australian Federation in 1901.

Now, of course, I could suggest that the Kiwi insistence on going it alone arose because they preferred sheep to kangaroos. But that would be very nasty of me, and might even risk rupturing what the LACA Committee describes as “the strong ties between the two countries - the economic, cultural, migration, defence, governmental and people-to-people linkages - suggest[ing] that an even closer relationship, including the possibility of union, is both desirable and realistic.”

Then again, a merger might be just what us wild West Islanders (it takes time getting used to this terminology) need. Things haven’t been going well for us in recent times. I’m sure Kevin Rudd wouldn’t knock back some of Helen Clark’s political luck. Maybe “Aunty Hilun” could take over and lead the ALP to victory against the hitherto invincible Howard.

I doubt whether a Kiwistani agricultural board would have been caught out paying secret bribes to Saddam Hussein. And the way things are going, our tourism advertisements have been consigned to the deepest depths of bloody hell.

Let’s be honest. There are plenty of examples of Australia and New Zealand having close cultural ties. Fair-dinkum, true-blue Aussie musicians like the Finn brothers and Russell Crowe love touring Kiwistan at every available opportunity. Rumours surfacing in pubs across Bondi have it that they may have even purchased property there.


We Aussies could also do with Kiwis running our beaches. I doubt there’d be race riots at Cronulla if the place was inundated with SNAKs sharing fush “n” chups with the locals. Certainly we’d have fewer shark fatalities if we had Kiwis patrolling our coasts.

Aussie sport isn’t the best either, notwithstanding the Ashes. Although I love wearing my Wallabies jersey when appearing on NZ television, I’ll admit that our Rugby players aren’t all that crash-hot with traditional war dances or tackling All Blacks.

On the positive side, there is plenty the Kiwis could learn from us. There’s no doubt our journalists compensate for our Rugby players in the tackling department. I mean, just last week, one of Rupert Murdoch’s scribes decided to practise his tackling skills at the otherwise sleepy annual Walkley awards. The poor intoxicated offender blamed his migraine pills for colliding with his alcohol, forcing him to collide with Crikey founder Stephen Mayne and push him off the stage.

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First published in New Matilda on December 6, 2006.

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About the Author

Irfan Yusuf is a New South Wales-based lawyer with a practice focusing on workplace relations and commercial dispute resolution. Irfan is also a regular media commentator on a variety of social, political, human rights, media and cultural issues. Irfan Yusuf's book, Once Were Radicals: My Years As A Teenage Islamo-Fascist, was published in May 2009 by Allen & Unwin.

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