With the impending changes to British laws and the repercussions for Kiwis on their OEs, is it time to re-think our relationship with Britain? With the bias against Kiwis in Australia, is it time to re-evaluate our relationship with our nearest neighbour? Does loyalty count for nothing now? Are we just "too soft" when it comes to our relationships with our "sister" countries?
Debate rages presently about changing our country's flag. Next month we will choose to either adopt the new design or retain the current flag. The only difference really, is replacement of the Union Jack with the silver fern. We appear to like the blue representing the southern ocean and the stars representing the Southern Cross - we all seem to relate to them. The debate appears to be over having the Union Jack as part of our flag. None of the options selected for a new flag included it. Yes, we have a colonial history and many if not most of us have English, Welsh, Scots and/or Irish blood - but no, we are not British. Yes, we have genes, language, laws, structure and history in common - but no, we are not British.
What have we done to deserve this shoddy treatment by Britain? Was standing in front, behind and side by side through two world wars not loyal? It was happy then to consider us "one of them". Does Britain now consider us too much removed to be considered related? If so, why should we retain their flag as part of ours?
BUT - We may not be British but Britain is part of us, like it or not. I for one wouldn't exist but for my British ancestors, hardy immigrants all of them. Perhaps those immigrants were different, not like the average Brit. Maybe they were ready to cut ties.
Kiwis in Australia get a rough deal compared with other immigrants. Big sister Australia likes to belittle and ridicule little Aotearoa. Australians in New Zealand are treated much better. Once again, we show a loyalty to our shared history and genes, a loyalty not reciprocated.
Are we scared to stand on our own, is that why there's fear about letting go of some of our past? Loyalty appears to count for nothing, so maybe we have nothing to lose.