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The kiwi is a flightless Antipodean bird (believed extinct). It survives as the national icon of New Zealand, and gives its name (as an affectionate nickname) to New Zealand's citizens. Divided between Maori (Polynesian - indigenous) and Pakeha (Anglo-Saxon - colonist) stock, Kiwis manage to maintain a remarkably harmonious society. The Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1838, is the lynchpin of interracial harmony in NZ. Waitangi Day (6th February) is the major public holiday in NZ to this day.

Common to both Maori and Pakeha, is a proud military tradition. Kiwis cemented a firm military alliance with Australia, by sending a strong division in 1915 as part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Landing at Gelibolu (Gallipoli) in Turkey, the Aussies and Kiwis forged a military tradition of toughness and courage which survives today. The ANZAC spirit has been demonstrated in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

Kiwis also have an irritating ability to upset the big players in world sporting events. Recent spoiling efforts in the Soccer World Cup gave them ideas above their station. They have not done much since in the football world. Their influence on the world of Rugby, on the other hand, is another thing. In New Zealand, the All Blacks are not simply sportsmen - they are icons - role models - gods.

Failed All Blacks (such as those who lose to Australia or England) become non-persons. Their advertising contracts are torn up, their access cards to exclusive clubs are disabled. They are outcasts - until their on-field performances dictate they should be viewed otherwise. Australian and English Rugby clubs might have a thing or two to learn from the Enzedders.