Aussie website joins in Kiwi bashing started by ex-pat bloggers

A news website in Tasmania has joined in the Kiwi bashing started by two ex-pat bloggers who are writing a stinging blog about life in New Zealand.

The Tasmanian couple, now living in New Zealand, upset some Kiwis with an online expat guide warning that Auckland is a "horrible soulless city" and its inhabitants are "hobbits" who cannot dress properly.

Now themercury.com.au has entered into the "fun-poking", asking its readers for their best Kiwi jokes.

Toredo of Hobart writes:

Q: What would you call a hundred Kiwis' on Prozac?
A: Once were worriers!

While Farmer Jo of north west Tasmania writes:

Q: How do you know when a Kiwi has been in a shoe shop?
A: Love bites on the Ugg boots.

The Australian blogging couple were yesterday stunned at the response to their derogatory remarks of New Zealand.

The anonymous duo have used their website, fushnchups.co.nz, to attack their new home here, rubbishing everything from the country's beer to its major cities and lack of worldliness.

After their website comments were widely publicised in mainstream media, the bloggers issued this response to the coverage:

"To the Kiwis reading this: Don't take it to heart, I seriously love you guys. But you really need to work on your sense of humour. It's a piss-take, alright?

"To Australians: Everything I've said is true."

However the blogger said comments on the site were getting "a wee bit aggressive" and the site's comment tool was being turned off "for now".

Their online 'guide for Australians living and working in New Zealand' grabbed headlines after a string of stinging observations on New Zealand and its way of life.

"I was horrified that I couldn't buy a copy of The Age, even in the major bookstores. True story," wrote the bloggers, a professional couple in their late 20s.

They summed up the largest city, Auckland, as horrible and soulless, a comment the city's tourism chief executive, Graeme Osborne, took exception to.

"Maybe they're just envious that Auckland recently rated ahead of every Australian city as a tourist destination," Osborne said.

"They should get in touch with me personally and I guarantee I'll change their impression."

The couple also trashed Rotorua, a popular tourist destination famed for it sulfuric activity, saying it "absolutely stinks".

"It smells like the whole town let rip at once," they say on the site, set up as a guide for Australians contemplating making a move over the ditch.

"Can blokes (in Rotorua) get away with letting out a silent-but-deadly in bed next to the missus?" they ask.

"How do people tell when their eggs have gone off?"

In response, Ruth Crampton, from Destination Rotorua, said the Aussie bloggers had missed the point.

"It's the smell that makes us special," Crampton said.

"And didn't they read that scientists have discovered the gas which causes smell is great for men's sexual arousal and prowess?

"That's a reason to visit."

The New Zealand beer brewery, DB, took exception to an open letter on the site which says the national brew is lacking in hops.

"They can't be serious," a DB spokeswoman said.

"We've got some of the best beer in the world."

The bloggers also waded into touchy trans-Tasman waters, laying claim to pavlova and Phar Lap, but adding "you can have Russell Crowe".

Professor Philippa Mein Smith, of the NZ Australia Connections Research Centre at the University of Canterbury, said the comments were "pathetically rude" and did nothing to help the two countries relate.

Picking up that the young pair were from Tasmania, she decided to give some back.

"Isn't Tasmania the butt of all the jokes over there?" Prof Mein Smith said.

"They're just attacking us because they themselves are at the bottom of the pecking order back home."

- AAP, NZ HERALD STAFF

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