Growing Up Kiwi

You know you grew up in New Zealand in the 1990s when the following makes you laugh, giggle or cry:You were sent to bed at the same time as Goodnight Kiwi.

Your parents bought you $1 Pies from Georgie Pie, a $2 pie if you were a big kid.

You had Fish n Chips on the bonnet of your parents car.

You thought a Nintendo Gameboy with tetris was the height of technology.

You walked around with multicoloured zinc smeared all over your lips and nose (just like Chris Pringle).

You laughed when David Tua appeared on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and asked for an ‘O for Awesome’ then later on asked to by the vowel ‘P’.

You grew up in a time when cars were loud because of their engines, not their mufflers and no one looked twice at an old Holden or Ford V8.

Your favourite Sunday roast was roast lamb and mint sauce.

Regardless of whether or not you love or hate the song, you know all the lyrics to Dave Dobbyn’s Loyal.

You watched as Daniel Vettori made his international cricket debut at 18, the youngest player to represent New Zealand in test cricket.

You used to wear Body Suits, MC Hammer pants and Reebok pumps and they weren’t hideous then!

You learnt the recorder in primary school and spent half your time cracking highs!

Lamb Chops was more than a meal and a stupid sock never looked so good – “This is the song that never ends,
Yes, it goes on and on my friends.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue singing it forever just because….”

You know the entire theme song to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and tried to impress chicks with it.

You watched Matthew Hart, Stephen Flemming and Dion Nash get done for smoking pot in South Africa and smiled at Simon Doull getting away with it.

You had at least two flouro snap bands.

Your ears were subjected to the constant sound of chatterings during lunchtime and sometimes when the teacher wasn’t looking.

Clogs, what was with that?

You remember getting pummelled by the Maori kids in bullrush because you were a tiny Pakeha.

You remember pummelling the Pakeha kids in bullrush because you were a big Maori.

You played or watched Kiwi cricket and couldn’t wait for the day when you got to face the hard ball (even though you were secretly scared).

You loved blowing ‘Big bubbles, no troubles’ with Hubba Bubba bubble gum then complained when Mum had to cut the gum out of your hair.

You got $2 pocket money and would race down to the corner dairy for two for one cent lollies.

You watched the street fill with smoke in autumn as all the neighbours set fire to piles of leaves in the gutters.

You could buy a dollars worth of chips with free sauce and feed both you and a friend!

You Ran home from school to watch Jason and Thingee and the Son of a Gunn Show.

You wore the sweat stains on your hyper-colour T-shirt with pride.

You thought that it was a great privilege to be taken to Cobb’n’Co with your family.

You knew that being sent to the principals office was nothing compared to the trouble you were in for when you got home.

All playground democracy was governed by ‘eeny-meeny-miney-mo’ or scissors, paper, rock.

You went raving at the Blue Light Disco and the boys and girls all danced in seperate groups. You then asked out your preferred member of the opposite sex by getting your best mate to pop the question.

Constable Keith and Sniff came to your school to teach road safety and all you cared about was petting Sniff.

Princess Diana died August 31st 1997, and Elton John sang ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’.

Bush snr. invaded Iraq in the First Gulf War and Saturday morning cartoons were ruined.

You Learnt Haere mai at primary school and sang it to any school visitor.

The Americas cup is now New Zealand’s cup!

Auckland won at everything.


You watched continual repeats of the Richard Lowe eye gouging incident.

You didn’t go to school on your birthday because you were scared of Birthday Beats.

You went barefoot in summer, but wore jandals to the beach because the sand burnt your feet.

You listened to Supergroove and Che-fu before he went hip-hop.

L&P and summer, world famous in NZ – inseparable.

Thingee’s eye falling out on the Son of a Gunn Show was the greatest moment in television history.

You played Street Fighter and Spacies at the local takeaways.

You thought that Elastics was possibly THE coolest game in the world…(but only if you were a girl).

You’d get hokey pokey ice-cream on a summers day and ended up smearing it all over your chin.

You fought over which was better; marmite or vegimite.

You ate candyfloss at the A&P show.

Alex the Kid on SEGA MASTER SYSTEM was an addiction (along with that blasted music).

You headed out to your mates bach for summer and ate paua fritters.

You remember Sir Richard Hadlee’s 400th Test Wicket: Sanjay Manjrekar bowled for 4: NZ v India, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 4/2/1990.

You called your Maori mate gross for eating raw kina!

If it weren’t for your gumboots where would you be…..

Flouro everything.

Sonic the Hedgehog.


You pretended to be grown up by smoking spaceman candy.

You beat your little brother up after watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and then made your own nun-chucks).

The Warehouse, ‘where everyone gets a bargain’, or the Warewhare for those in the know.

What Now was on Saturday mornings but got moved to Sunday morning in 1996 – Get up, get up, get out of your lazy bed. Before I count to three – step to the rhythm.

Summer BBQs meant Dad cooked the meat while Mum made the salads (and did all the work).

You knew summer had arrived when the Pohutakawa was in full bloom.

You were gutted because the All Blacks kept on losing in the semi-finals of the rugby world cup.

Pokemon, did you catch them all?.

You had a pair of Doc Martin school shoes with AirWair technology.

You wore Barkers track pants, boat shoes and an Aertex with the collar up.

The Embankment at any New Zealand sporting venue was an institution unto itself.

You had an ‘I’ve been there t-shirt’!

You were allowed to stay up to watch the State of Origin and cheered when the first punch got thrown. You then spent the next day at school arguing over which team you supported.

Who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies, you fat bastard, you fat bastard, you ate all the pies! – McLean Park, the Embankment to Shane Warne.

You wanted to be a 1.96m, 119kg Polynesian after watching Jonah Lomu trample Mike Cat in the ’95 World Cup.

You thought that the grey uniforms with lightning worn by The New Zealand cricket team at the World series cricket competition 93/94 were the height of fashion.

You and a thousand other screaming kids conducted Pitch invasions after every game in the hope of touching or getting an autograph from your favourite players.

Days were spent playing hide and seek or go home stay home in the park.

Super 12 Rugby became your new passion.

You’d go to your mate’s house because he had a Megadrive with Mortal Combat and you couldn’t afford one and you played sub-zero in Mortal Combat, froze everybody and got called a cheat.

You cheered for streakers and there were no $2000 fines.

You secretly watched the love connection form between Angel and Shane on Home and Away then mocked all your mates who admitted to watching the show.

Shortland Street and the immortal line “You’re not in Guatemala now, Dr. Ropata!”.

Todd Blackadder was Canterbury rugby.

Christian Cullen carved up everyone and proved that white men could still run fast.

Your heart leaped into your throat when George Gregan tackled Jeff Wilson on the tryline and Jeff lost the ball and the Bledisloe Cup.

You witnessed the last days of unPC Manu on Play School before it was replaced by Chatterbox.

Your 5+ a day consisted of Pixie Caramels, Buzz Bar Sundaes and Perky Nanas.

You decided to take up swimming after watching Danyon Loader win two gold medals for butterfly at the 1996 Olympics, but quit when you discovered how hard swimming was.

Sale of the Century with Steve Parr sliding in was your evening viewing.

Every summer afternoon involved backyard cricket where you’d always dive into your Mum’s garden to find a lost ball and emerge with 2. The following rules were always in effect: 6 and out, automatic wikkie and one hand one bounce.

You thought you’d grow up to marry Lana Cocroft from the Wheel of Fortune.

You played marbles at playtimes and if you won you were playing “keepsies” but if you lost then it was just “friendlies”.

Having a Sony Walkman made you the coolest person on the block.

Double denim – fashion crime unsurpassed.

You watched Hercules and thought you were cool when Xena came out because she was a kiwi chick!

Saying things like cool, wicked and massive meant that you were a pretty righteous person.

You had an assortment of electronic pets and when they got banned from school you got your mum to babysit them.

Super Mario Kart and rainbow road challenges on the SuperNes became more hostile than friendly.

Everyone seemed to take out ‘Bring Back Buck’ signs at all manner of sporting events.

You remember the kid on the bank at Lancaster Park with a sign saying ‘I hate you Auckland’ causing a major public outcry (but you knew that everyone south of the Bombay Hills agreed with him).

You cheered when Chris Harris threw down the stumps side-on to run out David Boon at the 1992 Benson & Hedges (back when tobacco advertising still ruled) cricket world cup. Go the Young Guns!

Y2K meant you stocked up on water, canned food, spare batteries and an old torch (that probably wouldn’t have worked anyway).