Waitangi Day is the perfect excuse to celebrate some of the best things about being a Kiwi in London
1. Flight of the Conchords
They put New Zealand comedy on the map, especially in the US where we are no longer mistaken for our idiot cousins from across the Tasman. London is where they cut their teeth before making the big time on HBO. Where else will you hear such gems as: “You’re so beautiful, like a tree or a high-class prostitute”? Gold.
2. Riki Flutey
He couldn’t break into top flight rugby back home, went on a bender and bashed someone in Argentina, ending up in a police cell. When he got his shit together, he came here and was capped for England. Probably the only time we’ll ever cheer for the Poms is when he touches the ball.
3. Care packages from home
Aw, thanks Mum for those Pineapple Lumps, Toffee Pops, Twisties, L&P and Peanut Slabs. And those lambswool slippers.
Oh, and those Outrageous Fortune DVDs will keep us going for a while. Can’t wait for you to send season six. The finale of season five was sooo exciting. I can’t believe that Gerard did that …
4. Kiwi wine
You know you love taking it to a dinner party (especially if the hosts aren’t Kiwi) where it seems exotic and expensive. Truth is, it’s pretty darn good and really not that pricey. Another glass of Oyster Bay, anyone?
5. Kiwi coffee
Many a Kiwi in London has been dismayed by the homogenous high-street chains serving crap coffee and overpriced food. That is until they discover a café with a Kiwi barista and can relax in the knowledge they’re going to get a good brew, not a lukewarm blend of singed mud, filtered through potatoes.
6. Sir Keith Park
New Zealand RAF commander Park was in tactical command during two of the most significant European air battles in World War II, the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Malta. He was dubbed ‘the Defender of London’ by the Germans.
A 9ft statue of the heroic man will be erected in Waterloo Place on 15 September 2010, the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. An absolute legend.
It isn’t just for their regular 2-for-1 deals that we love New Zealand-inspired Gourmet Burger Kitchen. It’s also for their healthy, filling and varied menu, sure to leave you satisfied, especially on a cold winter’s day. And the fact they run promotions to help underprivileged children. Solid.
8. Green credentials
Yep. Our clean, green image follows us everywhere. There’s truth to the joke: “How do you spot a Kiwi in London? They’re the ones walking around, holding their rubbish looking for a bin.” It may seem dorky to others, but at least we’re doing our bit to save the planet.
9. The All Whites
The doubters said they’d never make it. There was a time when the All Whites struggled to beat the Solomon Islands (who don’t even wear shoes). Now for the first time in 28 years, they’re at the World Cup.
The name may not go down a treat in South Africa, but everyone loves an underdog and the Kiwis sure are that. Paying 1000-1 to lift the trophy, every New Zealander secretly hopes for at least a place in the last 16. At least we can get involved in the party in London come June.
10. Kiwi house parties
You know you’re always gonna be welcome for a beer or home-made snakie, there’s always a bloke with a guitar ready to lead an old-fashioned singalong to the likes of Loyal or Better Be Home Soon, and there’s bound to be a doobie going round. Like a house party back home really, just colder.
Things Kiwis in the UK shouldn’t be proud of …
Paul Henry: The pompous TV One Breakfast host made international headlines by calling Britain’s favourite crazy cat woman Susan Boyle retarded. YouTube: Paul Henry Susan Boyle. See it here
Kiwis who sit around moaning about London: “Woe is me, the tomato sauce is different, it’s cold, I miss the beach, the meat’s not the same …” Did you think there was an identical NZ on the other side of the world just for you? Get over it or get your arse home.
Bro: Look, we all know and love the word. It unites us as Kiwis. But there’s no need to say it at the end of every single sentence. And let’s not get started on girls who call each other “bro”. There’s something weird about that.
Kiwis who constantly bang on about rugby; The All Blacks lose every now and then. Haven’t we accepted that yet? We all saw the game. We don’t need to relive a loss. Shut up and drink your beer.
Words: Jahn Vannisselroy