Not Australia

Just some stuff about New Zealand

It’s Ours!


New Zealand and Australia have somewhat of a sibling relationship. Australia is like New Zealand’s big brother. You know. The sort of big brother who steals his little sister’s stuff and claims it as his own. Below is a list of just some of the disputed items in the Australasian toy box. To be fair, some can be legitimately claimed by both countries, but others definitely can’t – so keep your hands off, Aussies! Explanations below.

Things Both New Zealand and Australia Have Laid Claim to at Some Point

The Pavlova

The pavlova, a meringue-based dessert with fruit on it, was invented after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. But by whom? For decades the debate raged, with the pavlova becoming a national dish in both countries. Finally, exhaustive research revealed the true inventor to be… New Zealand.

Split Enz

Split Enz was a ’70s/early ’80s rock group that was definitely from NEW ZEALAND. Yes, they moved to Australia in 1975, where they changed their name from Split Ends to Split Enz, but even this name can’t be claimed by Australia, as many Aussies have argued: they changed it to Split ENZ to signify their New Zealand, a.k.a. NZ, roots.

Crowded House

Despite having some members of Split Enz in it, Crowded House is, I’m sorry to say, an Australian band. Even Neil Finn says so. Kiwis always cry that Crowded House is yet another thing the Aussies stole, but in this case the Kiwis are the theives. It was founded in Australia, and two-thirds of its founding members were Australian.

Stan Walker

Stan Walker became a famous singer after winning Australian Idol. He was born in Australia, but is of Maori descent and grew up in New Zealand. When he was in his late teens, his family returned to live in Australia. I’m sorry, New Zealand, but this isn’t a steal either. Stan Walker is quite legitimately claimed by both Australia and New Zealand.


Lorde, however, isn’t. Seriously, Aussies, back off. She’s undisputedly a New Zealander. And don’t try to worm your away around it by saying she’s Australasian, which is technically true. It’s like that time New Zealand left the Football World Cup undefeated, (by drawing every match and being kicked out after the first round, but, hey, Australia didn’t even make it into the World Cup,) and some Australian news people were claiming  ‘Australasia Undefeated in World Cup’!

ANZAC Biscuits

By their very name, you’d think there’d be no dispute over the origins of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps biscuits, and there isn’t really. That wouldn’t be in the spirit. But ANZAC biscuits as we know them do seem to have been invented in New Zealand rather than Australia.

Russell Crowe

Best known for his role as the gladiator in a film I’ve forgotten the name of, Russell Crowe is famous actor who has been both claimed and rejected by both Australia and New Zealand. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but moved to Australia at the age of four, and then back to New Zealand as a teenager, and then back to Australia in his twenties. He identifies as Australian, even though they (for some stupid, convoluted reason) denied him citizenship.

Keisha Castle-Hughes

Best known for her role as the whale rider in another film I’ve forgotten the name of, Keisha Castle-Hughes was born in Australia to a Maori mother and an Anglo-Australian father. However, she moved to New Zealand as a baby and grew up in New Zealand, so while the Aussies may have a technically legitimate claim, yeah-nah, she’s a Kiwi.

The Flat White

Starbucks may have credited Australia with the invention of this specific type of coffee, but it was actually invented in the 1980s in New Zealand. Or maybe not. The dispute’s still raging.

Phar Lap

Phar Lap was a champion racehorse that won fame and glory for Australia in the late ’20s/early ’30s, despite being foaled in New Zealand. He was a giant-of-a-horse with a heart twice the weight of an average horse’s, and he may be the only horse in Australasian history to be murdered by U.S. gangsters, (but that’s just a theory. You can google it yourself.)

The Kiwi

There was also a theory that New Zealand’s iconic kiwi bird was in fact an Australian immigrant! (From so long ago it hardly matters, but still, national pride was at stake.) Its closest relation was thought to be the Australian emu, which would have been a devastating blow. Thankfully, recent DNA analysis has found that the kiwi’s closest relative is in fact the now extinct elephant bird of Madagascar. Phew! Take that, Aussies.

New Zealand Itself

Would you believe the Aussies have even laid claim to New Zealand itself in the past? New Zealand is actually defined as an Australian state in the Australian constitution! The reason being is they expected New Zealand to join their federation, but New Zealand decided against it. New Zealand is, after all, separated from Australia by 2,000 kilometres of sea. New Zealand was originally part of the British colony of New South Wales, but it was NEVER part of Australia.


Article by Abigail Simpson, author of POMS AWAY! A British Immigrant’s View of New Zealand

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