The fierce rivalry between the Aussies and the Kiwis comes to a grinding halt when they need each other.
The Aussies were the first to help with the Pike River Mine disaster - some of them are still down there. The Kiwis are the first foreign country on the scene of the devastating flooding in Queensland. There's even talk now that the Kiwi military may go across the Tasman to help.
When the chips are down, these two countries are brothers. There's nothing they wouldn't do for each other, these allies who have fought together and bled together. And whose heart isn't horrified by the pictures of the devastating flooding and now the tsunami-like onslaught in Toowoomba and Brisbane? The images are shocking: that peace and quiet and normalcy can so quickly turn into hell on earth.
To be frank, I've never seen anything like it. The danger is now compounded by the fact that crocodiles and venomous snakes have been spotted in the floodwaters. Trouble and devastation never come alone.
It almost brings tears to ones eyes to see these two countries coming together in their hour of need, because they really do slag each other off on a pretty regular basis. They squabble over almost everything (pavlova, sports, coffee) and they compete in the sporting arena, the pubs and in business as if their very lives depended on it. But when it comes to times like these, they are right there for each other. Blood and sweat and backbone.
The countries now pretty much behave as one. Kiwis make up more than 10 percent of the immigrants into Australia. The two countries' borders are open to each other and they are each other's number one trading partner. The history goes back a long way, back to the early 20th century when New Zealand decided not to become part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Back then they even competed together in some big sporting events under the name Australasia.
I can make an honest prediction: that won't happen again anytime soon. I love this jocular depiction of the way the Kiwis see the world.
They'll make fun of each other easily, but when tragedy strikes, they're the best of friends.