Sunday, March 13, 2016

How Powerful Is New Zealand?

The video above is from Test Tube News from Discovery Networks, and it was released in May of last year. I saw it for the first time yesterday. And that led to the video at the bottom of this post.

First things first, the first thing: The video up top actually isn’t too bad, though it’s incredibly annoying when she says that the majority of New Zealand’s population lives “on North Island”, when it should have been “in the North Island” (or at the very least, “on the North Island”; no one in New Zealand ever refers to the two main islands without a “the” in front of it).

A second thing: DON’T watch the alternative history video they hype—it’s terrible. The audio is awful (no pop filter was used, apparently), they never really get around to providing an coherent alternative history in any detail, and the pronunciation of Māori words isn’t even close to correct. Including of the word Māori. Just skip it.

Instead, there’s the second video (below) from BuzzFeed, “Why New Zealand Is Better Than Australia”. Obviously tongue-in-cheek, the video is kind of a funny in a knowing sort of way—which is a nice way of saying that if you don’t know what their talking about, much of the humorous barbs will fall flat.

Even so, it’s a light-hearted look at the sibling rivalry between New Zealand and Australia, with a pro-New Zealand tilt. Still, judging by the YouTube comments, Aussies don’t seem to get the joke, which is kind of typical, really (yes, that’s a sarcastic joke, too…).

In any event, I don’t know if they made one from the other side of the ditch’s perspective, because I haven’t looked. I only found this one because YouTube put it in the “Up Next” sidebar to the video up top. I don’t actually go looking for these videos…

Both videos have elements of truth, and both have a bit of fun (the second one in particular). And considering that I was able to bring them in to pinch hit when the post I’d planned for today didn’t work out, I think they’re bloody marvellous.

That, too, is taking the piss, of course.

Update March 15: As Roger Green points out in the comments, and I meant to address in this post, the video up top said New Zealand is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. As most people know or could guess, New Zealand is NOT a member of NATO. However, New Zealand and Australia are among countries that NATO refers to as “Partners across the globe”, countries that are not part of any of NATO’s formal structures. As NATO puts it on their website: “These countries develop cooperation with NATO in areas of mutual interest, including emerging security challenges, and some contribute actively to NATO operations either militarily or in some other way.”

So, the video was incorrect to say that New Zealand is a member of NATO, because it’s not. However, New Zealand does have a relationship with NATO, so I rate this particular fact “Partially True”, since the context was about New Zealand working with international organisations, which it does do.


rogerogreen said...

Top video has overlay that NZ belongs to NATO. NORTH ATLANTIC Treaty Organization...

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

I noticed that, too, and meant to say something about it. So, I've added an update to correct that part of the video narration.