Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: The most annoying things about New Zealanders

Visitors’ criticisms can quickly whip up a defensive backlash.
Richie McCaw has earned the right to talk  about New Zealand rugby fans being annoying. Photo / Photosport
Richie McCaw has earned the right to talk about New Zealand rugby fans being annoying. Photo / Photosport

Last week the great Richie McCaw told the Daily Telegraph "It annoys me when Kiwis say "oh it's not like it used to be, when games were close'. Well, they used to moan when it was close that we hadn't played well."

He's right rugby fans can be annoying, but it's only because we care so much. Surely there's nothing more humble and Kiwi than worrying that your team is too good?

But what about New Zealanders in general? Outside of our rugby fandom what are the most annoying things Kiwis do? This week on The Matt and Jerry Breakfast Show we had visitors to the country tell us what annoys them about New Zealanders.

This international feed back was interesting and controversial. But being Kiwis we didn't get annoyed or defensive about any of it.

Dean, a 35-year-old South African here visiting relatives reckoned Kiwis are a friendly people, but we talk about the weather too much.

Well Dean, 35, maybe we do but it's only because there is so much weather to talk about. We're a set of islands on the receiving end of both antarctic and tropical weather. We have brutal orographic rain patterns due to our majestic Southern Alps. The most beautiful mountain range in the world.

Our country has wide latitudinal variation. Look at the dry westerly wind systems that hit Central Otago and the warm moist northeasterly weather that can devastate northern coastal regions and don't get me started on the fern winds of the Canterbury plains or the north/south wind patterns hitting Wellington.

So yeah Dean, 35, from South Africa, we Kiwis talk about the weather a little bit. What of it? What's wrong with that?

Mike, an Australian caller visiting Rotorua, described New Zealand as the most beautiful country on earth but was annoyed that we call methamphetamine "P".

He reckons thousands of tourists leave the country thinking we have a urine smoking problem. Well Mike you can call your nasty little drug "ice" if you want. No one cares. We don't get confused and think Sydney drug addicts are smoking frozen water. Anyway Mike how often do you need to talk about "P" or "ice" or whatever you want to call it? Very suspicious.

What a load of bollocks ... We love being critiqued. Show me one example of a Kiwi not being able to handle criticism.

Amanda, a 28-year-old from California, said she liked socialising with Kiwis but found it annoying how quickly we drink. Claiming she's two sips into her first glass of wine when her New Zealand friends are cracking open their second bottle.

Well, Amanda, 28, of California, you're missing the cultural and historical significance of our speedy drinking. It's all the fault of the enforced 6pm closing of pubs that ran from 1917 to 1967. We had to drink fast to get it in before home time.

Sure that ended before most of us were born but still it's not our fault. So what if we like a drink? Your most famous teetotaller is Donald Trump. So why don't you marry him if you love not drinking so much, Amanda, 28, of California?

Paul, 26, from Birmingham is here on business and is enjoying the place so much he's added a couple of weeks on the end of his trip to look around. But Paul claims Kiwis get overly defensive when criticised.

"You have to love everything or Kiwis get grumpy. Every beer, beach, pub and club has to be the best in the world or Kiwis start sulking and call you a 'whinging pom'."

What a load of bollocks Paul, 26, of Birmingham. We love being critiqued. Show me one example Paul, of a Kiwi not being able to handle criticism.

Richie McCaw has more than earned the right to tell the Australian media on New Zealand rugby fans for being annoying. We are fine with it. As a country we have always welcomed criticism. We never get upset. Never overreact.

Whatever you say about our weather chat, stupid names for drugs, boring wildlife, America's Cup loss, sitting-down-going-backwards medals or drinking problems - we're cool. Kiwis are a confident people that enjoy having our foibles pointed out.

That's because New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world, we bat above our weight in sport and everything else and most of all we never get defensive. Anyone who says we do is a dick.

- NZ Herald

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Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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