Pavlova stunt sparks ‘diplomatic incident’
Like all good things from New Zealand - Crowded House, Lorde, flat white coffees and Phar Lap the racehorse - Australia likes to claim them as our own.
But a treasured dessert, combined with our classic Australian hubris, may have brought us to the brink of a breakdown in Australia-New Zealand relations from which there may be no return.
And we've got no one to blame but ourselves for this diplomatic dessert crisis.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and her fiance, Clarke Gayford, are in Australia for scheduled bilateral talks with the PM Scott Morrison.
The couple are staying in the heart of Melbourne's CBD, where Mr Gayford was confronted with a most unsavoury surprise by hotel staff this morning - a DIY pavlova kit.
So unimpressed was the First Man of New Zealand, he felt compelled to post the offering to his 25,600 loyal Twitter followers - many of whom are just as outraged.
Mr Gayford took to Twitter around 11.30am to share a photo of a message card he received with his meringue base that was surrounded by a variety of fresh fruits and sauces.
The card invites the political power couple to "Make You Own Pavlova".
"This was placed in our hotel room in Melbourne," Mr Gayford wrote.
The card invited them to "indulge in a traditional Australian dessert, the pavlova, a decadent treat best enjoyed at times of celebration!"
The assumption it was an "Australian dessert" did not impress Mr Gayford in the slightest. He wondered if the stunt had been an attempt at humour or a deliberate "diplomatic incident".
Oh God, oh God, oh God.
This was placed in our hotel room in Melbourne.— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) July 19, 2019
Sense of humour or diplomatic incident? pic.twitter.com/kFcIO83SYk
Suffice to say, people were not happy about this "ignorant" act of cultural appropriation, describing the gift as an international declaration of war and insisting Ms Ardern and the couple's host nation be notified immediately.
They need to get a little more original and get their own recipes, stop stealing ours— Suzanne McNamara (@suzemcn) July 19, 2019
AUSTRALIA VS NEW ZEALAND PAVLOVA
The debate over the mighty pavlova's origin stretches back decades, with Aussies insisting we created the iconic dessert, while Kiwis nod and smile quietly, secure in the knowledge those first egg whites were whipped to buggery on the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Pavlova is, however, a traditional Kiwi dessert, comprising a light, crispy meringue-based cake piled with fresh cream and fruit.
It is said to have been designed as an homage to the world-famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, to present to her during a tour to New Zealand in the 1920s.
But when do Aussies let the truth get in the way of a good pav?
Even the legendary lamington is said to have been invented in New Zealand.
Originally called "Wellingtons", the cake involved a double sponge, tossed in chocolate and coconut, to recreate the snow-capped mountains of New Zealand.
Sure, things don't look great right now, but maybe Mr Gayford tasted the pav, took a beat, and called off the dogs.
We can only hope.
But while her husband was busying himself with matters of the plate, Ms Ardern met with PM Scott Morrison this morning to discuss matter of the state.
Namely, Australia's deportation of more than 1500 Kiwis based on "character grounds" since changing the laws in 2014.
The laws stipulate any migrant can be deported on "character grounds" if they spend more than 12 months in an Australian jail cell.
Ms Ardern argued the policy was too broad, sending innocent Kiwis home and hurting relations between the two countries.
She labelled the current legislation corrosive and claimed it was also having "a corrosive effect on our relationship".
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I think you should make serious representation to your host nation informing them of their error.— 💧Riki Bowler 🙉🙈🙊 (@rikibowler) July 19, 2019
My god, how very dare they!!— Kate Douglas (@KateDoug180197) July 19, 2019