Kiwis dipped into their pockets as all the buttons were pressed.

Could it possibly look any more like a Nigerian scam? Here's a beach. A cute baby beach.

(Insert picture of an adorable, innocent beach, its sands tousled and blonde like Madeleine McCann.) This beach is in a national park. Our national park. How about: our virgin national park. Have we pressed enough buttons yet?

Left unsupervised for only a moment, this particular beach cub has become separated from its mother. Trembling, defenceless, she is in the clutches of gnarled, private hands.

A sinister clock is ticking. We need $2 million, cash, or this beach will never be seen again. This beach will swim with the fishes.


Our worst fears kick in. Who could possibly do such a thing? IS IT ASIANS???


Is there a ruthless cartel of beach abductors, who travel the world, preying on unaccompanied sand? What would they do with this beach?

Would they snort it, grain by grain? Sell it to beach traffickers? Smuggle it out of the country melted, as artisanal glassware?

It didn't take much to get New Zealanders to reach into pockets. Nobody asked any questions. There'd be time for questions later. But first, we had a beach to rescue. New Zealanders, in droves, sent money. The ransom was paid.

Our beach is back home.

And now: would you like to buy a bridge in New York?

I seriously wonder how many Kiwis have fallen for online scams. The only thing missing from this appeal was bad punctuation, an actual prince's name, and some reason why he knew nobody else's email address to help get this money out of Nigeria.

I had no idea anyone in New Zealand could even buy a beach. Aren't private beaches the evil inequality other countries allow? What about the Queen's Chain?

It goes to show how attached we are to New Zealand as a postcard. Could any other country spark this much fervour to liberate a tongue of land that vanishes at high tide? It was the crowdfunding version of D-Day: we took the beach. HELL YEAH.

And everyone involved feels great about it too. Good on them. Personally I couldn't get over the trust worries I have buying anything over the internet.

I see a picture of a beach, but how do I know it's a real beach? Am I buying off the plans? How many other beaches have gone rogue, and need to be repatriated?

So that's New Zealand for you. On the one hand, we won't leave any beach behind. But when it comes to New Zealand people, we want as many as possible gone.

The new Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull, has made it easier for New Zealanders to become Australian citizens - and we're cheering about this. For all our rivalry with Australia, Kiwis having an easier road to becoming Australians has us stoked. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!

Likewise, last month, we were disgruntled when the Brits made it more expensive for Kiwis to be hired in the UK. We didn't want that. We want that playing field level. We don't want any impediment to the brain drain.

We want our best and brightest gone. We want them to be Australian citizens, we want them to be British citizens. We're proud of New Zealanders leaving New Zealand, and we will fight for it at the highest levels. All those neurons, all that get-up-and-go, we want it gone.

Is this how Pacific island nations feel when New Zealand poaches one of their sons and makes him into an All Black? Their little island misses out on a class player, but back home they're happy about it. One of theirs was good enough to be stolen. Sigh.

Yet we don't fight back when Australia returns a New Zealander for being a bit too criminal. This I find wrong. How's it fair that Australia keeps the good New Zealanders, but gets to throw back the bad ones?

Australia is clearly doing very well out of New Zealanders. In sheer competence, only the Kiwis who could find an airport made it there at all. Even if they kept all our expat criminals, Australia has got to be ahead.

They should think of us as bundled mortgages - the occasional one will default, but the bundling is a hedge. Isn't that a language Turnbull would understand?

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