Friday, February 08, 2008

New Zealand: 'Kiwinism turned things ugly'

It's truly heartening to discover just how many New Zealanders read Arcati - who would think that such a warm and inspiring people would find anything of interest in this hellish miasma of real-time satire and idiosyncracy? Yet Duncan Fallowell's (still) unpublished book, Going as Far as I Can: The Ultimate Travel Book, continues to provoke reaction.

Now a New Zealander takes his own people to task ...

New Zealanders really do have a very immature attitude when it comes to criticism. They all say that “we are a pretty easy goin lot here in Godzone”, and yet bleat like sheep when someone points out the obvious. I’ve lived for most of my life here in this country and I’ve enjoyed my time out of it more. One meets the best people from New Zealand overseas.

I find the New Zealand national character to be rather immature. It was developing slowly. It was naïve and shy but New Zealand is a young nation after all. Then about 10 or 15 years ago things turned ugly and Kiwinism started up. It is loutish, arrogant and aggressive identity. New Zealanders believe their own tourist marketing and still walk about going on about how sweet and nice they all are while ignoring the broken Tui beer bottles, tagging on the buildings and an ever increasing murder rate.

They are touchy about people who voice an opinion against New Zealand. People look at anyone who makes a critical social comment as immediately being a total weirdo and they gather around this nay sayer and start a barrage of “facts” about how worse it is in other countries. In other words, “shut up, it might be true but we must keep up the myth”.


kakapoinexile said...

And don't they get all uppity if you mistake them for Australians ! Calm down dear, its only a vowel sound.

Anonymous said...

For God's sake! The New Zealand national character [whatever that might be] IS immature, it's only 160 years old. Before we could begin to grow we had to work out who the hell we are ... expat Brits, Dalmations, disenchanted also fresh-off-the-boat Australians. It takes about three generations to shrug off the social baggage carried by immigrants, and NZ began its cultural history with shiploads of immigrants, both Maori and pakeha. The development of a cultural identity 'won't happen overnight, but it will happen' [as our Rachel Hunter has been known to murmur suggestively].
Fallowell was on Radio NZ this morning explaining that he was having a very bad lonely day when he wrote his self-described 'splenetic' words of criticism. He also [ingrate!] said he found Susan Hill's 'send Duncan a hug' campaign a 'cringe'. Naughty Damage-Control Duncan.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Only a vowel sound??? Would the resident of Knightsbridge mind having his/her vowel sound mistaken for that of a Sarf Londoner?