The 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, as with those before it, focuses attention on one special relationship. That is the bond encapsulated in the word “Anzac”, the union of the soldiers of this country with those of Australia during the ill-fated Turkish campaign. In quick time, common characteristics, not least courage, endurance, ingenuity, irreverence and mateship, were attributed to the men of the two nations. The Anzac spirit was born.
So, as a consequence, as Paul Little explores this week, was an intense rivalry. New Zealanders enjoy nothing more than getting one across their big brother. Usually, the chance for this occurs on the sporting field, but, recently, we have been able to crow about stronger economic growth, lower unemployment, a more stable government and near currency parity.
Australians, for their part, try as far as possible to display indifference. For some, the “NZ” in Anzac is a genuine mystery. Largely, though, this attitude is all for show.