A nation in search of a new identity

For a long time now it has been apparent that New Zealand no longer wants to identify its self with the British and its monarchy. With years of mumblings about changing the flag and the odd murmur about becoming a republic, it appears that we are destined for change.

But what will our new identity be? To me it appears to be blunderingly obvious now: Sports. The other day I came across this article.  Yes, our planes are going to be ‘all black’, Just like our passports have recently become and our flag is likely to become in the near future. Notice the term I used there? “All black”. I don’t need to tiptoe around the matter of the All Blacks being our de-facto flag carrier (Air New Zealand is only playing second fiddle in this match) but where are they carrying that flag to?

I’ve lived in Europe for nearly 3 years now and one thing that could not be more apparent is this: No one cares about Rugby. Oh, wait, yes someone does care, A bunch of antipodeans in a Walkabout bar on a Saturday morning. Yes, sure, a lot of European countries have Rugby teams but really, no one watches it. It’s all about Football here (Or Soccer, whatever you may call it). I don’t even need to mention how insignificant Rugby is in the USA.

So it appears that we have chosen an identity that only matters in the antipodes (think Tri-Nations). Okay so we have some other sports teams too with “Black” in the name but no one outside of the antipodes has heard of them either. Oops. Why are we so worried about proving ourselves on the world stage by wholly and entirely branding ourselves with our sports teams? I don’t know. I understand the mentality but that doesn’t mean I agree with it.

Okay so all of this might be a bit cynical but I ask: Who was black first? The All Blacks of course.

Filed under Opinion.