The North-South Rugby match will be played at Sky Stadium in Wellington on September 5.
There will be no crowd, but there will be the best players in the world, and that is well worth a watch.
As part of the build-up to this exciting and historic game, there's a non-sporting question that needs answering. Which of our two main islands is the better one? Not in rugby terms, in general terms.
A difficult question to answer. How do you judge the respective worth of the two most beautiful islands on God's green earth? How do you split the best buddies of the southwestern Pacific?
You do it unscientifically with the arbitrary categories; size, population, weather, scenery and fish. The winner shall be crowned king of New Zealand. Will it be the spectacular Te-Ika-a-Māui or the mighty Te Wai Pounamu?
The South Island is the 12th largest area of land surrounded by water on Earth. An impressive 150,437 km². Over 20,000 km² larger than England. Te Ika a Maui, on the other hand, is a pathetic 113,729 km², 32 per cent smaller which means 10 points for Te Wai Pounamu. 6.8 for Te-Ika-a-Māui. An excellent start for the South.
As of October 2019, the North Island's 3,760,900 dwarfs the South Island's mere 1,155,400, but is larger better?
Auckland's 1.6 million means more concerts, events, culture, money and facilities. It also means traffic and COVID. Hokitika on the West Coast has a population of 2060 and has neither COVID nor traffic. A larger population isn't desirable across all variables, but New Zealand, with a population density of 15 per km² is far from crowded.
There's no Shanghai, Delhi or New York here. If anything we need more people. In the end, Te Wai Pounamu has failed to attract significant numbers to her shores. The south shouldn't be rewarded for that so with three-quarters of the population; the North Island gets 7.5 points, the South a disappointing 2.5.
Climates vary significantly within each island. Should Nelson be judged on the shocking meteorological sins of Invercargill? Is the winterless North better than Central Otago which features the variety of highest summer and lowest winter temperatures?
To make sense of the mess, I put the following question to 1 News weatherman Dan Corbett: "You have a loaded windsock to your head, which island has the better weather?" After a detailed description of how much he appreciates both, he put it all on the line. "I love a good old storm and the cold but ah... I love the warm… it's the North Island." North Island 10 points, South 9.
The South Island has Central Otago, Fiordland, the West Coast, Marlborough and the Catlins. The North Island hits back with the Bay of Islands, the Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and the Coromandel.
The South Island sports the stunning South Alps but no mountain in the country is as remarkable as Taranaki on a clear day. Are the two island's equally scenic? No. A google image search of "Beautiful New Zealand Scenery" brings up 50 South Island shots before you get a single North Island one. It's a line call, but this one goes to Te Wai Pounamu. South 10, North 9.
In the name of simplicity, the North/ South seafood battle takes place between the cod and the snapper. I reached out to New Zealand's premiere TV fisherman Matt Watson. He didn't get back in time, so I asked avid amateur angler, Jeremy Wells. The Seven Sharp and Hauraki Breakfast host had no doubts 'Snapps all day mate'. Unfortunately, the man is a known Ponsonby-based North Island apologist so 10 points each way on fish.
On Saturday September 5 we find out which rugby team is better but which is the better island overall? Let's tally the scores. It's close, but the winner is The North Island with 43.3 to the South's 41.5. Congratulations Te Te-Ika-a-Māui you are the king of the world.
May you live forever in exalted glory. See you all Saturday night at 7.10pm. Press the yellow button on your Sky remote for the Alternative Commentary Collective or tune in to the game live on Radio Hauraki.