The difference between Kiwis and Aussies
Page 1 of 3 .....4:00AM Saturday Sep 13, 2008
By Chris Barton

The answer is Coronation Street. Geoff Dickson is mystified as to why the show is still on prime time TV here. "You guys love it. I've never watched an episode, but I've watched the promos and know I would absolutely hate the show." Coro moved off prime time in Australia in the early '80s and Dickson is convinced the reason why it has endured here goes to the heart of the differences between the two countries.

It's a good argument which may, in part, be explained by Neighbours, the country's quintessential home grown soap, which began its sunny, silly, brash and unashamedly Australian run in 1985. New Zealand's equivalent, the tortured, "is it you or is it me", angst ridden Shortland Street, didn't begin until 1992. But while having the confidence and capability to express ones' essential identity through a TV show may be a sign of a nation growing up, Dickson thinks royalist forces are at work too.

He notes there is no strong push in New Zealand for a constitutional break with mother England, whereas in Australia they have, at least, had a referendum on the issue. And although the1999 remit was defeated, it did ask the question whether Australia should become a Federal republic. As he points out: "Australia has been trying to separate itself and stick it back up the motherland for the best part of 200 odd years."

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