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Punching above our weight

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, March 31st, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: International, spin - Tags: ,

We in NZ like to tell ourselves that we “punch above our weight”. John Key aspires to it. Journalists get all excited when America flatters us with the phrase (and others about our “close friendship”). This great clip from Danish TV puts it all in perspective though…


16 comments on “Punching above our weight ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Wow! And thank goodness that Denmark is one of our closest allies and that they punch above their weight too. Gosh. Who is left who don’t fit the bill? Greenlanders?
    Poor old John Key. He thought he was special.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Just like every woman who finds herself as a bit on the side originally thought that she was “special”.

  2. Jenny 2

    Yes, the rhetoric is cheap and overused.

    But at the risk of looking stupid. I would still say that NZ punches above it’s weight.

    In deed, more than in words this was shown by Obama when he promoted New Zealand during the recent talks on Nuclear Proliferation.

    That it was Key who was the politician to receive this honour on our behalf, is of no mind. When it comes to anti-war, anti-nuclear and pro-justice campaigns New Zealand citizens have protested in their tens of thousands.

    New Zealand had the highest percent of anti-Vietnam war protesters per head of population in the world.

    The New Zealand anti-apartheid protests shook the world’s media.

    And of course the massive anti-nuclear protests, that made this country nuclear free. (a fact still not paralleled by any other country)

    This historic combativeness goes back a long way, to the striking unionists who landed on our shores to the fierce resistance of the Maori to colonialism and British Imperialism.

    • fatty 2.1

      that’s one way to look at it Jenny…I see NZ as a social laboratory for the West…we are the guinea pigs…the lab rats.

      USA only want to talk to us cause we will always bend over backwards and beg for more, we are hungry whores begging for more capitalist cock.

      Our anti-apartheid protests were to be expected when you considered that NZ was responsible for half of Africa boycotting the 76 Olympics. We might think a few hippies define us, but half of Africa thinks we are racist arseholes.

      pro-justice?…That’s a lie…How many kids are suffering from poverty here?

      No country has attacked unions in quite the same way that we did.

      We punch way below our weight. We are the third fattest country on Earth

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        We are the third fattest country on Earth

        Surely more people sitting down and watching ‘Sky Sport’ qualifies us as a ‘sporting nation’.

    • Robert M 2.2

      Tim Grosser is of course, desperate that we don’t. I have noticed that whenever the International media question Key about our inspirational, anti nuke policy or anti whaling etc- he is desperate to move the ground to (pharaphase) we are here to discuss, ‘trade’, ‘investment opportunities’ or giving ‘ overseas interests the opportunity to buy us’ or ‘opening your door so NZ talent, intelligence and beauty can work as doctors, teachers or nurses in your country.’

  3. muzza 3

    Can some change my teleprompter, you’re making me appear like I can’t think for myself!

  4. captain hook 4

    of course we punch over our weight dont we.
    new zealand is the land of talkers and sloganeers who desperately want to be someone or somebody or even something when really they are world class nobodies who must be good punchers because most of them are overweight.
    aren’t they.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Well its so true ” France is our oldest Ally”

    If it wasnt for the French fleet off Hampton Roads and the French Army with Washington there would have been no surrender of the British at Yorktown which led to US Independence.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Well, yes, but it was interesting that France doesn’t appear to be considered a close ally.

      • Jenny 5.1.1

        I also notice that the French were also excluded from being said to be “punching above their weight”. Maybe France is considered to be a contender in the same “weight” category as the USA, the greatest heavy weight, super power in history.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          You would have thought since we followed the US to Korea, Vietnam, GWI, Afghanistan, we would be one notch above mere hangers on such as Denmark. ( Coincidentally they too excluded nuclear weapons from their country during the Cold War, not sure about nuclear powered ships).

  6. Reagan Cline 6

    What a scream !! The “expression taken from boxing” is partricularly disrespectful to boxing – but then Obama sees no issue with using a sporting analogy to groom the TV audience. The viewer then has the “punching above their weight ” thing to preoccupy the mind. I suspect he is embarrassed by the expression, but sacrifices his integrity to speech writes, who think it will go down well in the target country. I am not fooled.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Well of course, while in Seoul our local hero was at his middling best.

    “At least twice, while speaking to the media, an adviser had to chip in to correct Key’s affliction of Mixed-Up-My-Presidents-and-Prime-Ministers.”

  8. Matt 8

    It is important to understand scale. NZ GNP is 2/3 of the gross economic output of the county I am from. As NZ has no strategic importance due to its location, and Australia manages the regional security role already, you really can’t expect too much but the standard pleasantries. Overall Key is far less important politically than the mayor of some third or fourth tier US city. Lincoln, Nebraska maybe.

    I don’t think NZ is a laboratory for any US interests, there’s just no point. Mostly NZ is where LOTR was filmed and somewhere everyone would love to take a two week vacation if the flights weren’t so darned expensive. That’s basically it.

  9. Reagan Cline 9

    Matt, NZ must have some strategic importance because it was an important R and R base for US forces in the Pacific War. There is also the relatively large EEZ and proximity to Antarctica. US business has invested in NZ IT and biotech firms – so in a sense NZ is “a laboratory for some US interests”.

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