As an Australian living in NZ for the last 3 years, I care little about rugby, but I know that my house would be vandalised if I placed a flag up for the World Cup - or for any other reason - if anyone even differentiated the flags. When I first arrived here, a Kiwi who's be living in London warned me that Kiwi's take criticism very personally. When I came for a holiday here a few years ago, and said how great the place is, a Kiwi was surprised, arguing that we could only say bad things about the place. I think Kiwi corporate advertisers do not help because they accentuate the vitriol, i..e One advertising campaign "Come and get (their products) before the Aussies".
I thought this funny, but wondered about how deeply-entrenched this loathing for Australians, because you would never see adverts like this in Australia. We look to the world, and we see opportunity.
Kiwis look to Australia, and see their relatives enjoying higher incomes, a better, sunnier life, and they hate us for it. There is nothing unique about it. The Canadians hate the Americans; the French hate the English, etc.
Our banks rip you off (like they rip Australians off), we take your workforce (after you paid for them), we are bigger, so we tend to get more attention for 'Down Under'.
It strikes me that NZ really needs to discover oil, so it can become a commercial centre of significance. It needs an ego boost to resolve its diminished self-esteem.
It does not help when John Key says he will close the gap with Australia.
The reality is that - the wage gap - or anything is not going to be closed until John Key kickstarts oil exploration and discovers the stuff.
Australia has some natural advantages which NZ simply cannot match - resources. There is $750 billion of planned investment in Australia - the solution is that - it should not define itself on the basis of Australia.
If they did, they would have to sacrifice their lifestyle like the Japanese - just to catch up with the Americans - and look how unhappy they are.
NZ has its own personal and unique context - it needs to set its own 'reasonable' standards....and forget about Australia. Stop making them the centre of your reality. You will always be the smaller brother, unless you want to change your values and import 50million immigrants. But then, you will not be NZ.