John Key takes back our icons

John Key has said he admires Muldoon, now he has splashed into the news in Australia with a tongue-in-cheek interview in Australia where he takes back some of our icons the Aussies have nicked over the years.

“It’s totally ridiculous for Australians to claim that they have pavlova or Phar Lap or any of those iconic New Zealand items,” Mr Key said today.

“Everybody knows that they’re ours and for Australians to claim ownership of them is quite inappropriate.”

The latest evidence on the pavlova front suggests he might be right, with the discovery of a New Zealand recipe from 1929, predating the earliest Australian recipe by six years.

The jury is still out on Phar Lap, the wonder horse that was born in New Zealand, raced in Australia and now has its body parts scattered in museums on both sides of the Tasman.

But Mr Key says there’s no doubt that New Zealand can lay claim to the Finn brothers’ band, Crowded House.

Mr Key, a conservative politician who ousted long-standing Labour leader Helen Clark from the top job last November, said his country’s relationship with Australia was its most important.

“We’ve fought together in many theatres of war, you’re our largest destination for inbound tourism, you’re our largest investment partner, and on it goes,” Key said.

He said he didn’t agree with Rove McManus’s recent dig that New Zealand was the “cousin at the party with the short trousers” but conceded his country would always be the younger sibling in the family.

“We’re always going to be the little brother, but a little brother that can play rugby well.”

Asked if he shared the famously controversial view of former New Zealand prime minister Rob Muldoon that “New Zealanders who emigrate to Australia raise the IQ of both countries,” Mr Key was more coy.

“It would be most impolite of me to confirm or deny that proposition,” he said, laughing.

And is our little neighbour ready to forgive us for that unsportsmanlike underarm bowl of 1981 that stopped New Zealand batsman Brian McKechnie from hitting a six to tie the match.

“We’ve certainly stopped the counselling sessions,” the Prime Minister said.

“But we are convinced that Brian McKechnie, with a decent bowl, would have hit a six.”

Finally we have a Prime Minister prepared to stand up for Kiwi’s rather than crawl and snivel in  order to score a UN job at the end of their reign.