We're ready to transcend our national icon's flightless status and soar. Kiwis will fly even if our longest trip is to the South Island.
Lockdown, followed by the continued closure of our borders, has made us acutely aware of what we're missing and will likely miss for some time - international travel.
I doubt any of us will jump on a long haul flight during July school holidays or any time this winter to visit the UK, Europe or America. We've declared victory in New Zealand against Covid-19 but our wings remain clipped - for now.
Miss 16 and I were talking about taking short trips around the North Island next month. I had already told her visiting America was off the cards for December. "I'm glad I got to travel when I was younger," she said.
We'll travel again, I told her. But seeing the grandparents at Christmas looks unlikely.
This is when crushing coronavirus feels like a lonely victory.
Who'll join with our Prime Minister and many of her constituents in the happy dance? Will we, as Billy Idol sang in the 80s, be "dancing with myself"?
While the pop star's version claimed he had "nothing to lose", we could surrender a lot if we drop the drawbridge and allow friends, family members and tourists from the four corners to join the Long White Disco.
Asymptomatic Aunt Babs might bring British bikkies along with an unwelcome souvenir from the homeland - Covid-19. To celebrate her arrival, you host a dinner for 40 family and friends and now most of them have the virus, too. You love Babs, but are now seeing her as not just your favourite aunt, but as potential disease vector.
When some of your far-flung loved ones are mixing and mingling instead of staying home in lockdown, you worry. Folks in my native America are taking virus precautions and requirements with disparate degrees of seriousness.
Some are staying home and sending their partners to the grocery store wearing a mask.
Others are letting respiratory droplets fly while shopping, laughing and dining with friends. A family member recently told me because most of the 112,000 Americans (and counting) who have died of Covid-19 were in nursing homes or obese, his chances of a coronavirus catastrophe were slim.
Never mind tens of thousands of people have succumbed to the virus without having those risk factors.
Coronavirus has now taken more Americans than the 104,404 troops killed in every war since the start of the Korean War. Soon, coronavirus deaths in the US will surpass the 116,516 American lives lost in World War I, according to an article Thursday in Fortune.
Tomas Pueyo wrote a piece called The Hammer and the Dance on Medium that has been viewed millions of times since it was posted in March.
He has dubbed the period of lockdown to squelch the disease as "the hammer" and the subsequent period of living with it as "the dance".
Kiwis have entered the dance, where we must still think about our movements, preparing
for life to ebb and flow should another outbreak happen.
Many people in other parts of the world are still living under lockdown's hammer, while preparing, often prematurely, for the dance of reopening economies. Despite recently hitting 2 million cases of the virus, many states in the US are reopening.
Americans are still dying from Covid at a rate of 800 to 1000 each day. At least a dozen states are still seeing rising rates of infections.
NZME reported Thursday more Covid-19 patients were hospitalised in Texas and North Carolina than a month ago. It looks as though America will be engaged in the hammer and the dance for many more months.
Meanwhile, the last person in New Zealand known to have the virus was reported recovered Monday. As of Thursday evening, we've had nearly three weeks with no new cases.
We're one of nine countries in the world with no active coronavirus cases.
Where does this leave us Covid conquerors at the bottom of the world? We hope to soon join our Australian and Pacific Island neighbours in a travel bubble. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's focusing on a transtasman bubble despite the fact the Cook Islands and Niue are Covid-free. Fiji has also declared itself rid of the virus.
These places depend on tourism and could use our dollars.
So can businesses in our backyard and beyond. Until we can spread our wings further, we'll explore Aotearoa, whose charms could keep us fit, fed and engaged for a lifetime.
Hopefully soon, we'll say ''bula'' to the Fijians and "kia orana" to the Cook Islanders… but it's no substitute for wrapping our arms around loved ones if they live in places such as America, India, Brazil and the UK. We have plans, passports and people to see.
The virus could turn what should be happy reunions into a revolving door of sadness and sickness if we move too soon.
Got wanderlust? I hear Bay of Islands and Queenstown are beautiful this time of year. So is the Bay of Plenty.