If you are considering moving to New Zealand from the UK or relocating to Australia, you might be wondering what the relationship is between the two countries. Do Aussies and Kiwis get along or is there a rivalry there? They both share British colonial heritage and they are located on opposite sides of the Tasman Sea, so what kind of relationship do they have to each other?
First of all, the relationship between New Zealand and Australia is a very important one economically. Australia is the largest market for New Zealand and its strongest trading relationship. There is free movement allowed of people between the two countries and there is also a lot of regular contact on the political level. Australia also benefits from being able to do business with New Zealand, as New Zealand has one of the most attractive economies in the world. It offers a deregulated and resource-rich environment that ensures it is a desirable place to do business.
One big difference between Australia and New Zealand is that Australia was founded by the British as a penal colony, yet New Zealand was founded by the British as a religious colony. This means that Australians have a somewhat strained relationship with England, while New Zealanders have a fondness and praise for their motherland. “God Save the Queen” is still one of the two official anthems in New Zealand.
The “Little Brother” Relationship
In an article for the Otago Daily Times, Bruce Munro wrote about how New Zealand and Australia are like a pair of brothers. New Zealand is like the younger brother, constantly trying to measure up to Australia and feeling envious and resentful of the other’s achievements and strengths. New Zealand’s attitude to Australia manifests in immature put downs of Aussies on all levels of New Zealand’s society and a strong sense of social inadequacy. New Zealand takes on the character of David against the Goliath of Australia, seeing their larger neighbour as the bully. In order to take on this narrative, New Zealanders tend to perpetuate all manner of prejudices about Australia and Australians.
Of course, a lot of this rivalry is good natured and humorous. For example, the New Zealand Tourism Board once hosted a “Be Nice to Australians Month.” Australians typically tease New Zealanders about sheep and the Kiwis call Australians uncultured rednecks. Australians tend to think that New Zealand is boring, rainy and slow – just like England back in the 1950s. The nickname of Auckland is the City of Sails because of its many boats, but some Australians call it the “City of Snails” because nothing really happens there.
Kiwis will tease Aussies about the amount of deadly snakes, spiders, crocodiles, scorpions and other creatures that lay in wait in Australia – as there is nothing in New Zealand except the odd flightless bird with no natural predators at all.
Although there might be a slight rivalry, many of the jokes that Aussies and Kiwis make to each other are good natured and light-hearted.
Ties Forged on the Battlefield
However, these two brothers have a strong history of working together as well and when it comes down to it they will be by each other’s side when the going gets tough. They were brothers in arms in the military raid on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey during World War One as a combined force – the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). They lost a lot of soldiers during that fight and their joint loss brought together the two small nations in a way that politics never could.
Close Brothers with a Tight Bond
Aussies and Kiwi share a sense of humour and a love of the same sports in soccer, cricket, rugby leage, rugby union, netball and hockey. They also have the 1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement that allows New Zealand and Australian citizens to travel freely between the two countries to live, work and stay for an unlimited time without having to apply for a visa for Australia or New Zealand.
If you are considering moving to either New Zealand or Australia, it is important to be aware of what the relationship is like between these two countries. When Aussies and Kiwis get together and start teasing each other, you will understand where the jibes are coming from and what they mean.Like a pair of brothers, New Zealand and Australia really do love each other deep down but they still aren’t afraid to make fun of each other’s weaknesses and quirks.