Even if you don’t suffer from Colonial cringe and overly rejoice at every sporting win over the Imperials or the bigger cousins across the ditch and every other occasion where we ‘punch above our weight’ you have reason to celebrate that New Zealand won a seat on the UN Security Council on the first ballot. It goes to show how much good will New Zealand enjoys around the world. This is no surprise to someone with an overseas experience or background.
Countless commentators listed as reasons for our success, the perception of New Zealand being independent from the big powers (nuclear free stance) and standing up for principle and the little guys (anti-apartheit protests even if it deprived us of one most beloved rugby contest). Our image as the clean green Paradise of the South Pacific, which underpins much of our economic success, also comes into it.
It is a little bit ironic that since those deeds, which put us in the good book of the rest of the world, we had successive leaders of the National Party who either wanted our nuclear policy ‘gone by lunch time’ or can’t even remember where they stood during the Springbok Tour in 1981. And if we are honest with ourselves and for instance look at our rivers we have to admit that we are not as clean and green as we present ourselves to the world.
Now is the time to make an extra effort to be or become true to our brand and be the good little country the world imagines when it puts us at the big table (see).