Spent some time in Brisbane recently visiting our son and daughter-in-law who is ‘with child’. I say ‘our son’ which is technically inaccurate, but I’ve been on the scene so long that what’s hers is mine, and vice versa. Love’s the same either way. We had a really nice time. They’ve chosen to live in Australia, have a lovely home, good jobs and the weather’s great.
But I worry. We like to think of the Aussies as our good mates across the ditch. But it’s an uneven relationship, something less than a partnership. Generally speaking, I don’t think the Aussies give a stuff about New Zealanders. All that ‘mateship’ rings pretty hollow when it comes to being a Kiwi and living and working in Australia. A child born to New Zealand parents in Oz will wait a decade before it can become a citizen. That’s a longish trial period. And really we’re not that welcome. We need to take our blinkers off about the Aussies. What we have in common is sport and a history in wars that a majority of us can barely remember. Or not at all. We like them and they sort of like us. As long as we both stay on our own side of the ditch. I’m up in Leigh, lying in bed, looking out at the sea as I write this. Wouldn’t be anywhere else. We’ll pop into Matakana a bit later for lunch. Everyone knows us round here and we know everyone. I’m reminded every day that coming to New Zealand was the best decision of my life.