To whom is my allegiance owed?

Tarragon Fields Roar Rookie

By Tarragon Fields, Tarragon Fields is a Roar Rookie

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96 Have your say

    This could be a touchy topic. I was born in New Zealand, and as such, supported the All Blacks through childhood. At 21 I moved to Australia for university and it was meant to be for just three years.

    Realising that Australia is just simply a better place, I decided to stay, and subsequently became a citizen.

    Given that: I was now a citizen of Australia, my girlfriend was Australian, the majority of my friends were Australian, my accent had slowly changed to make myself more understandable to my friends and co-workers, my employer was Australian, my taxes went to the Australian government, my health care costs were largely taken care of by the Australian health care system, etc, I decided that on the next international between New Zealand and Australia, I would support the Wallabies.

    I followed through with this, and although strange at first, it is now natural.

    To some people, this would be the ultimate form of betrayal, but to me, I feel I am being loyal to my new home country that welcomed me, educated me, and now sustains me.

    I was wondering what you guys have to say about this.

    Has anyone else switched allegiances, or is it more common to support the home team until death do you part?

    Have Your Say

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    The Crowd Says (96)

    • September 17th 2010 @ 5:39am
      CizzyRascal said | September 17th 2010 @ 5:39am | ! Report

      If you feel Australian and comfortable supporting them, then how can anyone say you’re wrong? Each persons nationality is their own and can come about in different ways. For most it’s where they are born and raised, but there is no set rule as every person is different.

      I was born in England, but moved to Ireland at 8 years of age. All my ancestors are Irish. I do now feel Irish, but until the age of about 12-13 felt strongly English. I still have a soft spot for the place and am actually moving back in a week for Uni. I do now know though that I will for the rest of my life feel Irish.

    • Roar Guru

      September 17th 2010 @ 5:52am
      Cattledog said | September 17th 2010 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      TF, your article on red cards was one thing, but you sure know how to set the cat amongst the pigeons with this piece! However, let me be the first to congratulate you for doing what all Australians feel is the decent thing. At a time when ‘asylum’ appears to be the buzz word of the year (decade perhaps), there’s nothing sweeter to an Aussies ears than hearing someone say they want to be a part of our culture, our lifestyle and even follow our sporting teams!

      I have wondered for many years why so many Kiwis (don’t get me wrong, great people and Gold Coast rugby wouldn’t survive without them) make Australia home and gain all the benefits living in our great country provides, but can’t seem to break the mould, so continually tell us how great NZ is and how wonderful the ABs are. OK, there a great team, but you get my point!!!

      It’s like the Muslims coming to Australia and telling us how we would be much better off under Sharia Law and that ‘white pointers’ on the beach is definitely a no no! Get a grip! Mind you, I work and live much of the year in a Muslim country and be assured that it’s only the radicals that try to impose such things.

      However, let me welcome you into the fold TF. I really wish more of you would do it. Seems the South Africans, in the main, are happy to change allegiance, but not the Kiwis. You, TF, are a rare breed! But it just goes to show, you can take the Kiwi out of New Zealand, but you can’t take New Zealand out of the Kiwi!

      • Roar Guru

        September 17th 2010 @ 9:53pm
        Mick Gold Coast QLD said | September 17th 2010 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

        I’m a bit concerned for the lad’s education, mate – the Kiwi says he “moved to Australia for university and it was meant to be for just three years.” I’m wondering if you’re edging closer to graduation yet, young Fields? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Oh, I’ve come across a half a dozen mature age NZers up here – a couple of them know about rugby, but the rest were backs. I don’t know that I like ’em that much at all, really, and I tell them so each Friday night.

        • September 18th 2010 @ 3:04pm
          Tarragon Fields said | September 18th 2010 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          Ha, yes, graduated quite a while back, thanks.

    • September 17th 2010 @ 5:54am
      warrenexpatinnz said | September 17th 2010 @ 5:54am | ! Report

      TF I have lived in NZ for 16 years, married my Kiwi wife here (met in WA) and have two beautiful kiwi girls born here, luckily they got their mum’s Maori beauty mixed with my Aussie height.
      I get asked more often now as I have been here so long if I ever will go for the All Blacks, with the answer always being no.
      To explain; I went to the test this year between Wales and the ABs and was going for Wales, not because I despise the ABs but watching a side go up against the worlds best they always get my support, I even felt happy, shoot me now as a traitor, when the Aussie cricket side got rolled at Lords after Simmo had one two many the night before.
      Now if the ABs make the RWC final, and it isn’t against the Wallabies I will support them, even cheer for them which will no doubt will be kept on film by my family for all eternity (if the ABs make it of course!).
      The funny thing is that I go for the Kiwi national league side and the Warriors in the NRL. This has come about because I was here when the Warriors first kicked off so I could bond with them, yes supported Western Reds allbeit briefly.
      However the reason I support the Kiwi league side is because of the arrogance shown by the Aussie NRL fraternity towards the Kiwis and the almost obvious bias in judicial calls against them, referee calls against them (tide is turning though) and because of that Peacock strut the Aussie league side has on most occasions they play, the holier than thou feeling.
      That other reason is part, maybe all the reason why I don’t support the ABs. The supporters and commentators that are so one sided their arrogance becomes obnoxious and their belittling of sides that face them does not do justice to the sport, a loss is very rarely acknowdledge as the other team playing brillanty and winning; Aussie League and NZ Union.
      The Welsh test I went to this year highlighted to me the non changiing attitude of certain, small but vocal base? of AB supporters who couldn’t appreciate the game without verbaly abusing (didn’t see the phsical intimidation reported) the Welsh supporters who added singing and with that a great atmosphere to the game. What did hearten me though was the ABs supporters I went with and a large group of the crowd applauded the Welsh when they scored a try or attacked with guts in the second half which really suprised me as never had I seen this at a test before in NZ.
      Now as I don’t get back to Aussie regulary, and never time it so I get to see a big sporting event such as a Bledisloe, TN test or RL Aussie-Kiwi test then I don’t know if the atmosphere is different from the Aussie supporters to the Kiwi’s or other international sides the Aussie’s teams may be playing and if we are, well I would be disappointed and very suprised.
      With that I love NZ, away from Rugby it is a beautiful country with top people, a little too laid back at times and in Rugby just a little over the top. I do miss Aussie at times, family and friends and the 8 months of warm weather so still very much a proud Aussie.

    • September 17th 2010 @ 6:12am
      Seiran said | September 17th 2010 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      TF, well done on making the change. God knows we need all the supporters we can get.

      My dad did the same when he immigrated to Australia from England. For as long as I can remember he has been supporting Australian teams.

      I on the other hand have been living in the UK for the past 11 years and I can categorically say that in this time, I have never….ever, supported the Poms and never will.

    • September 17th 2010 @ 6:13am
      bayboy said | September 17th 2010 @ 6:13am | ! Report

      You can get all the bits and pieces of paper in the world but you will never be a true Australian.
      You are for all counts a paper citizen.
      Unfortunately you can not change where you come from you will always be a New Zealander.
      Choosing to support New Zealand or not is entirely up to you and I have no problem with that at all when I lived in Australia I supported them too, just not when playing New Zealand of course.

      I’m not having a go at you here but it’s just the truth, you were born in and spent your entire formative years in New Zealand. I could possibly be swayed to think a little differently had you moved to Australia as a young child however you moved over there as an adult.

      I could move to China and get citizenship and support their teams but would it make me feel Chinese?
      Would it make me Chinese?
      No it wouldn’t!

      • September 17th 2010 @ 7:16am
        Seiran said | September 17th 2010 @ 7:16am | ! Report

        I disagree. If TF has the citizenship and trully feels Australian then he is Australian. A true Australian at that.

        The fact that he is willing to turn his back on his past and embrace the Wallabies only supports this.

        • September 17th 2010 @ 7:18am
          bayboy said | September 17th 2010 @ 7:18am | ! Report

          He is an Australian citizen he is not Australian there is a huge difference.
          I don’t care who he supports on the sports field but you can not change where you are from ever short and simple end of story.
          You can deny it yes but it will always be a big part of who you are.

          • September 17th 2010 @ 8:23am
            Mals said | September 17th 2010 @ 8:23am | ! Report

            Tarragon Fields, congrats mate! The easier option would have been to support the ABs & the Aussie cricket team.

            I see your point bayboy but don’t agree. That is a bit along the lines of the bumper stickers on cars “We grew here you flew here”. To that i say so what? I think it takes much greater courage & commitment to start a new life in a different country & embrace it rather than merely through an accident of birth be born & raised in a country & support it. I have friends who were born & raised in foreign countries & are now more passionately Australian than i am & for that i salute them!

          • September 17th 2010 @ 8:40am
            simon said | September 17th 2010 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            So what’s the difference bayboy? And where’s the rule book that says there is an objective difference?

            I don’t get your point. I don’t think he claimed to NOT be a New Zealander, but only asked if people thought it was appropriate that he now supports the Wallabies.

            You said he was still a New Zealander (as if he was doing something wrong by not supporting the AB’s) but then said it was OK for him to support the Wallabies. In the end, I take it you are supporting his decision after all?

            Having said that, I don’t think it’s a matter of right or wrong, but if I were in his position, I think I would still support the AB’s.

          • September 17th 2010 @ 10:38am
            soapit said | September 17th 2010 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            you clearly have no idea about the basis of australian culture. we welcome anyone so long as they’re happy to be here and pull their weight socially and economically.

            having said that it would take a long time of living away to not feel allegiance to oz but there are no rules. you can go for whoever you feel comfortable going for.

            • September 17th 2010 @ 11:03am
              bayboy said | September 17th 2010 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              See this is where you are all going off track.
              I don’t care for one minute that he supports Australia or feels allegiance to it.

              However he will always be a Kiwi you can not change where you are from end of story.
              It’s his choice ultimately who he supports and we all have that right. However until the day he dies he will have New Zealand blood running through his veins and he will have a piece of paper saying he’s Australian. You can get all the papers in the world giving you citizenship emphasis on the word CITIZENSHIP it does not make him Australian or a true Australian if anything it makes him an immigrant who has become a naturalized Australian he is not an Australian by birth.

              Simon I always supported what he was saying I was simply making a point that no matter how long you live in a country you can not change where you are from or your racial make up. This is what is sad in many countries people feel the need to deny their heritage to fit in. I supported Australia whilst I lived there except when the played NZ. I was and always be a Kiwi first and foremost before anything else.

              But ultimately it is the individuals decision and their reasoning behind it is theirs to make whether we like it or not.

              • September 17th 2010 @ 11:44am
                DelBoy said | September 17th 2010 @ 11:44am | ! Report

                I disagree with you bayboy. My son was born in the UK. He lived there for the first 18months of his life. His mother is Australian, I am South African born and bred with an Italian passport. He has no British papers, but has an Aussie and an Italian passport. Does that make him a Pom? Does it make him Italian? He’s a true blue Aussie, so your theory doesn’t hold.

              • September 17th 2010 @ 11:53am
                soapit said | September 17th 2010 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                mate new zealand is not a race so there is no such thing as new zealand blood. if you were talking about maori blood that may make sense.

                outside of our race and genetic history all any of us have its bits of paper saying where we are from (from birth certificates through to citizenship) so it’s all meaningless

              • September 17th 2010 @ 12:44pm
                bayboy said | September 17th 2010 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                He was 18 months old for gods sake would he even remember being in the UK?
                I’d wager a few hundred no he wouldn’t. Which now takes me back to above post I put up much earlier in the day surely you would have read that before trying to disprove my own opinion if not maybe you should.

                “Iโ€™m not having a go at you here but itโ€™s just the truth, you were born in and spent your entire formative years in New Zealand. I could possibly be swayed to think a little differently had you moved to Australia as a young child however you moved over there as an adult.”

                Your son has grown up in Australia one of his parents an Australia so that makes a huge difference where as said poster moved to Australia as an Adult.

                Also in regards to making your son a pom where did I ever allude to anything of the kind and what are you trying to make out here. You state it clearly yourself neither of his parents are British so of course not. He is a British born child of Australian and African decent.

                So before trying to insult my own opinion you should take a little more time to read before reacting!

              • September 17th 2010 @ 12:49pm
                bayboy said | September 17th 2010 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                It is not meaningless at all soappit you have your opinion and I have mine.
                So how about being a little less rude and accept it for what it is

              • September 17th 2010 @ 3:00pm
                simon said | September 17th 2010 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                I’m still not clear on how you objectively define what country someone belongs to bayboy.

                Who says it’s where you spend your first few years of life (that you can remember)?

                Where is the rule that says “no matter how long you live in a country [later in life] you can not change where you are from”?

                I appreciate that this is just your opinion as you state below. But you really are coming across as if it is somehow objectively wrong for someone to say they’re Australian if they grew up elsewhere. And I’m just wondering on what basis.

                If it’s got to do with what blood is in your veins, then why doesn’t it count if you move away as a baby? If it’s got to do with formative years, they surely it’s just about cultural up-brining, which can change for someone after they move to a new country.

              • September 17th 2010 @ 3:59pm
                soapit said | September 17th 2010 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                baybay, apologies for the upset. let me summarise simply to clear up anything that was taken as rudeness.

                1. yes we have a difference in opinion over whether there is a blolodline in all new zealanders unique to new zealanders that they carry within them whether they know it or not. my opinion is that is there is not, yours is that there is. i am right. jump on google and confirm as you like.

                2. you are the one saying the citizenship is meaningless because it’s a bit of paper and i followed your train of thought and said that everything except your genetic history (including your birth certificate) is equally meaningless as it is also just bits of paper. it was your idea which i developed. it was a bit of a liberty i know but it really isnt that much of an extrapolation so just give it some time to sink in.

                3. over time as people grow up they grow an affiliation with the land they are in and often it becomes very strong and can’t be removed. often its not as strong and is removed or overcome by living somewhere else for a while. your experience is not reflected in everyone and apparantly not even in everyone in new zealand.

                4. for the record once an immigrant passes citizenship he is considered to be a full and real australian (except by the inevitable ignorant minority)

                i hope this is all now clear and you are no longer displeased with me. avagoodweekend.

      • Roar Guru

        September 17th 2010 @ 1:17pm
        Bay35Pablo said | September 17th 2010 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        bayboy, I’ll go tell my Polish grandmother who’s been living here since about 1950 she’s no a true Aussie. She’s over 80 and she’d kick your a$$ down the street for suggesting that. your ears would bleed.

        you contradict yourself. first you refer to blood, then you talk about an 18 month old and being different.

        We’re a nation of immigrants. There is no Aussie blood, unless you are Aboriginal.

        TF welcome to the nation, first shout’s yours. Make mine a Coopers …. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • September 18th 2010 @ 7:50am
          bayboy said | September 18th 2010 @ 7:50am | ! Report

          You said it yourself your a nation of immigrants.
          You can never change where your from.
          Your piece of paper may say your an Australian citizen but you will always be from New Zealand.

          Bay if your Grandmother and yourself are so proud to be TRUE Australians why do you insist on referring to her as your Polish grandmother. You see because she is Polish first before she is Australian.
          Ironic MUCH

      • September 17th 2010 @ 10:00pm
        Jerry said | September 17th 2010 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

        Bayboy, you do realise that’s pretty much the same argument people use when they accuse the AB’s of poaching PI rugby players, right?

        • September 18th 2010 @ 7:53am
          bayboy said | September 18th 2010 @ 7:53am | ! Report

          No Jerry Isee you too have not read what i actually wrote either.

          If said person had moved as a child yes it is understandable that they can class themselve as Australian. However TF moved to Australia as a 21 year old well past his more formative years.
          I couldn’t give a rats who he supports or what is allegiance is.
          What I was saying you can scream black and blue for Australia, China or the USA but he will always be a New Zealander.

    • Roar Guru

      September 17th 2010 @ 6:16am
      mds1970 said | September 17th 2010 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      The bottom line is, it’s your decision and you’re not answerable to anyone else but yourself.

      In my situation, Aussie Rules is my sport of choice. I grew up in Victoria, and wore the black and red of Essendon with pride. In the 1990s life took me to western Sydney, and still I barracked for the Bombers from afar.
      But now my lifelong loyalty will be coming to an end. A new team is starting up in my area – an area that hasn’t traditionally had significant levels of support for my favourite game. A new team that will need start-up supporters to make it work, the expansion of the game being a cause I’ve always believed in. And so the emotionally heart-wrenching decision was made – and I’ll be defecting to GWS in 2012. Having the coach that I’d idolised for so long when he was the Bombers’ mentor on board sealed the deal.

      There’s a couple of clear differences in your case. One was that the Wallabies already existed, it wasn’t creating a new national team from scratch. The other is that yours is an issue of country rather than club.
      But only you know where your true allegiance lies. And the only way to truly test it is to follow your heart during the game. So get yourself to the Bledisloe Cup, and as the scrums pack down and the lineouts fly, the way you find yourself willing the ball to travel will tell you where your heart truly is.

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