Article by: Emmy Nam
Exhibited at the recent Touch Football World Cup, the rivalry between the Australian “Aussies” and the New Zealand “Kiwis” was very tense. Despite being very similar and close to one another geographically, Kiwis and Australians have completely different mindset; these two proud nations seem to battle it out when it comes down to sports, ownership of food, and origins of famous products. Many seem to wonder; why is there such a great rivalry? However, when interviewed, Kiwis and Aussies feel that the rivalry is only friendly banter between the two countries. In reality, it seems that Australia and New Zealand view each other as family.
One of the biggest contested rivalry between Australians and Kiwis is in sports. Australians display extreme competitiveness during rugby or touch tournaments. For example, during the Australia vs. New Zealand finals at the Touch World Cup, the supporters of the competing nations get very riled up while watching the two countries battle it out on the field. Aj O’regan-brown expressed that when he invites friends over to watch rugby with his family, he gets extremely “embarrassed because [his] whole family is screaming.” However, when asked how Kiwis perceive Aussies, he stated “we love Aussies.” He feels that Australia is “like a second home” and their competition is just like sibling rivalry. Australians are the “big brother,” because not only are they geographically larger, but they also always want to win. New Zealand is the “younger brother,” so when Australia loses in sports to them, it piques the nation even more; whereas, Kiwis accumulate even more pride that they won.
When discussing the difference between New Zealand and Australia with two juniors, Fergus Macks and Anjali Rauniyar, Fergus felt that New Zealand was almost a sub-state of Australia. This was strongly disputed by classmate Anjali as she firmly states that “New Zealand is definitely not a state of Australia.” During this conversation, many stereotypes about New Zealand and Australia were mentioned, such as “Aussies are tougher because we have to deal with drop bears and hoop snakes on a daily basis, whereas Kiwis are weak because all they have is sheep.” Regardless of these stereotypes, these two countries are so similar, they feel they are each other’s “second homes”.
In the end regardless of the competition between the Aussies and Kiwis over sports and other subjects of interest, many times it is for entertainment purpose and the rivalry is not as tense. From the range of responses, we can deduce that at the end of the day, the two countries will always be there for each other and all the feuding is just good natured, friendly banter.