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This informative stamp tells us that from New Zealand to Great Britain NZ’s mutton travels 12,030 miles. This is a tick less than half the earth’s circumference.

[2010]   In more language news, The New Zealand Herald reported on a complaint that had been lodged about The Farming Show on Hokonui Gold radio station based in Gore (Maori name: Maruawai) in the Southland region. The host of this programme is a quintessential Kiwi: Jamie Mackay of Dunedin. Rugby fanatic and farmer, sports buff and travelling sportsman, Mr Mackay is a classic New Zealand bloke. The report said that this bloke referred to Lord Johan Steyn as a “pommy git”. This because Baron Steyn, who is best known as a distinguished British jurist and human- rights activist, had suggested that people should eat less meat to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This sort of talk doesn’t go down too well in lamb- chop country like Southland.

Well, somebody from Hamilton in the Waikato region complained about this “racist” abuse to NZ’s Broadcasting Standards Authority (Te Mana Whanonga Kaipaho). Waikato, it should be noted, is a largely dairy-farming area and so has little to fear from Baron Steyn.

The authority ruled, however, that “Pommy” is merely a name New Zealanders give to British people and “git” just means “a bit of a fool”. And since, in the Kiwi farmer’s view, the British baron’s advocacy of vegetarianism was foolish then the term “pommy git” was fair comment under the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice Standard 7 which deals with discrimination and denigration. This standard carries a very important proviso: Guideline 7a (iii) that protects the broadcast of material that is “legitimate humour, drama or satire.”

So, Jamie, mate, you’re a sheep-hugging halfwit if you think we can afford to carry on guzzling your lamb chops on the far side of the planet just so you can carry on affording regular trips around the planet to attend sports events. All in the spirit of 7a (iii) you understand. Mate.