New Zealanders have long been referred to as Kiwis, the flightless bird that they adopted as their national symbol. But, their infatuation with another animal menace, cats, now threatens their national identity.
Not only is New Zealand the most filmed country in the world by Peter Jackson (which makes it the most filmed in the world because every frame Peter Jackson directs is solid gold), it’s also the highest concentration of cat owners in the world. A full 28 percent of New Zealanders own one cat, while an additional 20 percent own two or more.
Unfortunately, that amount of cats are doing a real number on the native bird species, so much so that it’s got economist Gareth Morgan’s dander up. While Morgan isn’t suggesting that every New Zealander summarily execute his or her feline (yet), it is time to keep them permanently indoors.
It’s either that, or maybe next time New Zealand should pick a national symbol that can fly away from danger.