Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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It’s the unspoken fear that every Kiwi holds deep within. Like the mystery room at the top of the stairway that you must not enter or the guilty family secret that has been unspoken about for years.
Yes I’m talking about being usurped by Australia, which delights in bumping aside what it perceives to be its country cousin at the most inopportune moments – notably the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
No Kiwi will admit it but that underlying fear of another trans-Tasman humiliation is ingrained on the national pysche in the run-up to next month’s World Cup in France – where the All Blacks hope to end a 20-year drought in winning rugby’s ultimate prize.
For most of us, losing to South Africa, Ireland, France, hell even the English, would be awful, but (after a suitable period in mourning) just about acceptable. But the Aussies? We’d all sooner be stewed in boiling Kangaroo stew and fed to the crocodiles in the Northern Territories.
But the signs onboard Air New Zealand, self-styled ‘fanatical supporter’ of the All Blacks, are not good. Alongside a magnificently diverse and top-notch wine-list (all Kiwi), the airline’s bottled water – given to all passengers travelling to the World Cup – is called Summit. So far so good.
But read the (not so) small print. It is described as “clean, pure, unadulterated spring water from natural sources – Australian of course!”
See? It’s started already. Those Aussies always peak in World Cup year and now they’re at it again with this Trojan Horse-like Summit assault. Among the listed ingredients on the bottle we’re surprised they didn’t include ‘bare-faced cheek’.
Can you imagine Aussie national carrier Qantas listing a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as its main pouring wine? There’s more chance of Ned Kelly being retrospectively named Pope.
Air New Zealand, we love your service, your wines and your loyalty to the boys in black. But get that water out of there. Otherwise I’m off to check out the room at the top of the stairs…