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Selina Tusitala Marsh  

All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney             


‘New Zealand, the lucky country’

For the Leadership New Zealand class of 2010

New Zealand, the lucky country
Aotearoa, land of divine memory
of Papatuānuku and Rangi
lovers of land, sky and sea
progenitors of

Yes – New Zealand's a lucky country

Lucky the brothers were restless sons
Lucky they rebelled from day one
Lucky they longed for the light of the sun
and the warmth of the open air
Lucky they acted for the sake of their brother
Lucky they outgrew Mother and Father
Lucky Tane-Mahuta did things like no other
and upside down
pried his parents apart

E iki, e iki e!
Te turou o Whiti!
Hiki nuku e!
Hiki rangi e!
Hiki nuku e!
Hiki rangi e!
Ka hikitia tona uri!
Ka hapainga tona uri!

Lucky the lovers loved so much
missing the caress of each other's touch
for Rangi cries tears from the sky so freely
and Papa's fecund soil's so healing

giving us Tane-Mahuta's forests of jade green
rivers, lakes, underground springs
a green belt around the nation's hips
kissed all over by Moana’s blue lips
from Te Wai Pounamu to Te Ika a Māui;
greenstone to fishtail – lucky, lucky country

See the pohutukawa blush deeply
along cliff edges rising steeply
where the dead depart for Hawaiki
from Cape Reinga to Rakiura's sea

Yes, New Zealand's a lucky country
If you’re not Tangata Whenua
you’re Tangata Tiriti
whether British, South African or Somali
Chinese, Indian or Israeli
We’ve got the diversity
no ethnic cleansing policy –
           Well, except for around 1833
           that ‘infected blanket’ strategy
           Britain's ‘Manifest Destiny’
           taking             land by          
the historical platform for Māori
fighting land wars, foreshores, Bastion Pointing the way
to O, blessed Tiriti o Waitangi
setting a fire in your belly
against paternalistic tyranny
Just do it said Sir Tipene
way before Nike

Yes – New Zealand's a lucky country
this land, home to tauiwi
from 1858 Wellington Gujarati
to Al Wendt's flying fox in a freedom tree
Pule's tapatalk canvased ten metres by three
where 250,000 at Western Springs
drink deep from the well:
Samoans, Tongans and Kiribati
Fijians, Rotumans, those from Tahiti
and the fusion from Niue to Scottish Highlanders
makes Fij-ongans, Raro-moans, and Pakeha-islanders

We had our Muldoon but he was no Mugabe
we're fourth in the world with the least political conspiracy
we wear our sloganed t-shirts freely
In Queen Street I see:
                             Politicians are the same all over
                             They promise a bridge where there is no river

And this one, from Taupo, down by the lake:
                             In NZ anyone can be Prime Minister –
                             it’s a risk you take

New Zealand's a lucky country
where our birthright civic duty
lets you vote, or not – it’s free
there’s no one purple finger vote
no machete held at your family’s throat
no AK47 to persuade you at the polls
no standing in the dust, waving the same flag as the presidential Rolls

New Zealand’s a lucky country
we’re inconvenient geography
no land-locked topography
we’re far but close enough to see
that our dairy economy
makes the milk in this land of honey
Kiwi-Shakespeare shearing in farming families
Gumboot brigading, black singlet parading
No. 8 wire mentality
in Enterprise and Industry
Fred Dagg haggling in the city

And we've got water like no other
wind turbines and solar polar
and Antarctica: Terra Incognita
our polar explorers – our global heroes
It's a land of opportunity
hard work meeting synchronicity
where we can still think differently
because we’re Te Moana Nui a Kiwa's Kiwis
totara waka parked next to chromed humvee
next to Vespa next to Cooper's mini
where beaching beauty’s for free:
reservations of canvas teepees
jandals flip-flopping
Rachel Hunter tip-topping
bare feet lapping the sea
stamping our Holy ozone CV
Bro'town cartooning our TVs
eagle vs. shark mentality
Jim Baxter's Jerusalumming it in Ponsonby
Sam Hunt's DB Bitter poetry
Mansfield's Devonshire scones over a cuppa tea
corduroy jacket dignitaries
swarming hive blue-suited bees

Yep, New Zealand's a lucky country
it’s a plucky country
Cuba Street busking, husking money
where you can buy McDs and KFC
next to pork bones, puha and palusami
taro, kumara and chopsuey
swirling Indian curries
Korean wokking – no msg
in this free market of inclusivity
and we do so good globally

Didn't the All Whites do all right in the World Cup 2010?
Winston Reid did the deed, and we all remember when

New Zealand’s a lucky country when
our nation’s greatest anomaly
is the freedom 'to be' or 'not to be'
to be nouveau culture or customary
to walk with burqa or face and hair free
low cost education high school to kindy
hospitals,  recycling and libraries

New Zealand’s a lucky country
but like Sir Tipene and Sir Paul Reeves
we’ve got to horizon-seek
otherwise it’s Goodnight Kiwi
and everything we think is free
lies hostage to a world economy
We need inter-generationality
for our fossil fuels and energy
in this land of space, water and sea

We need a bit of Hillary
who, like everyone else, had a fear of heights
and knocked the bastard off' anyway

When we grow up
we will learn to do the same
Yes     we      will

©Selina Tusitala Marsh