Barnaby Joyce should rejoice in his new found citizenship like the rest of us

New Zealand’s All Blacks perform the haka. (Photo: Reuters)

15 August 2017

Louise Kennerley

Like many offspring of Kiwis the world over, I woke up this morning to discover I was a New Zealand citizen. We’ve always known our father was a Kiwi – born just outside of Christchurch in 1934 – but when he moved here aged 15 we thought that was the end of it. Until this week, when Barnaby Joyce discovered that his Kiwi citizenry by descent, may bar him from sitting as a parliamentarian.

But let me tell you, and Barnaby Joyce, there’s an upside to everything. Especially a new found citizenship.

1. There’s never been a more exciting time to be a New Zealander.

Think of all those New Zealand firsts we can now lay claim to: first country to give women the vote, way back in 1893, the first Anglican women were ordained to the priesthood in New Zealand in 1977. Sydney still hasn’t deigned to do this.

2. Forget the same sex marriage debate.

When my siblings and I reclaim our birthright – we can forget about the postal vote and hand wringing over this issue in general. “Would be great if one of us were gay cause that way we could get legally married,” as my sister said.

New Zealand-born Russell Crowe. Photo: Lindy Percival

3. A chance to support the winners in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup.

Think of the benefits of supporting the All Blacks. To do the haka. Wheel your chilly bin full of Steinlager in your jandals to barrack for the winning rugby team for once. All those bro jokes, fush and chup jibes (I’ve already had a fun day today with texting banter between my four siblings over this momentos news). Oh it will be worth it when we beat the Aussies at rugby/the Olympics/the America’s Cup. Truly.

4. Brand New Zealand.

All of those creative colleagues we can now call fellow compatriots like Russell Crowe, Jane Campion, John Clarke, Rachel Hunter and Reg Mombassa (Chris O’Doherty) not to mention Scott Ludlum and now…Barnaby Joyce.

5. Cheaper real estate.

Even Auckland prices look minuscule compared to Sydney’s – you could probably buy three for the price of our one. Property is considered so appealing even a few Sillicon Valley billionaires have bought homes there. Apparently, it’s the place to escape the Global Apolocalypse, not to mention all that fresh air, great Sauvignon Blanc and the general regard that it’s considered one of the safest places on Earth (Rainbow Warrior incident aside).

Grazing calves on green hill, New Zealand.

I’m getting my passport tomorrow.

Louise Kennerley is a Fairfax photographer.

[Read the Sydney Morning Herald article].

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