The Relationship Across The Ditch: Joint Efforts

New Zealanders and Australians have had a friendly rivalry for decades. Whether it’s sport (we’ll get onto that in a future article), achievements, or even just claims to fame, we all love a bit of competition. Sometimes though, it becomes a little unclear as to which one of us actually has claim to a particular crowning glory. Today, in the second part of The Relationship Across the Ditch, we’re going to take you through best of these to celebrate the joint efforts of our friendship.Food rivalry aus nz

Phar lap

Despite being a famous New Zealand bred racehorse, Phar lap never raced in his homeland. Instead, he went on to win big in Australia and internationally, with some of his crowning achievements being the 1930 Melbourne Cup and the Agua Caliente Handicap in Mexico. Phar Lap became a favourite with the punters and book-keepers.

Phar lap became a sporting icon, whose ownership was heavily disputed between Kiwis and Aussies. After an unexplained death, Phar Lap’s remains were split. His heart went to Canberra, his hide went to Melbourne and his bones went to Wellington for display. We’re always going to dispute the true nationality of one of the greatest racehorses of all time but both countries now hold part of this legend.

PavlovaIs Pavlova Aussie or Kiwi?

Pavlova is a soft meringue based dessert with a crust that is usually topped with cream and fruit (especially berries and kiwifruit). “Pavlova” receives its name from the Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova after a tour to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920’s.

No-one is sure who actually created pavlova – and it’s often disputed among Australians and New Zealanders. The earliest known recipe was published in New Zealand. However, there’s also some research suggesting that it originated in the United States, after evolving from a German dish.

Despite New Zealander’s claiming to have “won” the pavlova wars after The Oxford Dictionary updated its listing to state that the meringue-based dessert was invented in New Zealand, it’s probably still fair to argue that Australia and New Zealand have become the home and guardians of this interesting little dessert.


Flat White Coffee

We clearly love to argue over our cuisine. Flat White is really just a fancy milky coffee. This hasn’t stopped us arguing over its origin. Just last year, Starbucks put flat whites on their menu and credited Australia for inventing the masterpiece. While there’s still a bit of dispute, it looks mostly conclusive that Australia may be on top – but we’ll still chalk it up to being a “joint” effort after the pavlova escapade.

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe’s a little bit like Phar Lap – born in Wellington, but living and identifying as an Australian. Russell’s success as a famous actor, film producer and musician means that he’s fought over between the two nations. Unlike the rest of the items on this list though, Russell is sometimes a “you can have him” affair. The Daily Telegraph called him a New Zealander after assaulting a hotel clerk with a phone, but an Australian when he won an Oscar.

While John Key, New Zealand’s current Prime Minister, has said they’d lend Crowe to Australia on a bad day, though he may be a Marilyn Monroe: “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” affair.

As a Trans-Tasman partnership, we’re always going to have sibling-like squabbles, but as a family we’ve come a long way. Be sure to keep a lookout and check in regularly to The OrbitRemit Blog for our next part in the series of The Relationship Across the Ditch, which covers off some of the more painful moments in sporting history between the two countries.

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