The Kiwi stars that Australia have claimed for themselves

Publish Date
Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 2:19PM
Photo / Instagram

Photo / Instagram

As Anzac Day demonstrates every year, there is much that binds New Zealand to its bigger, brasher cousin, Australia.

Even celebrities are interchangeable between the two countries, with Australians often claiming the best of New Zealand’s talent - and vice versa.

So let us take a look at the stars who have strong ties to both sides of the Tasman and decide which country has bragging rights over their respective talents.

Danielle Cormack

Born in New Zealand, Danielle Cormack is a favourite on small screens both here and in Australia.

She will forever be fondly remembered as an original cast member on Shortland Street, but much of her TV work of late has been across the ditch.

Cormack made a splash playing a notorious underworld figure in Underbelly: Razor and has starred as a lawyer in Rake. But it was her role as Bea Smith in prison drama Wentworth that really saw Cormack's popularity skyrocket in Australia.

All those juicy roles have seen Cormack nominated for several Logie Awards (and a win for Best Actress in 2015). She was a shining star at the awards again this week, dazzling everyone with a head-to-toe Louis Vuitton ensemble.

Who gets the bragging rights? New Zealand! Yes, she may spend most of her working life across the ditch, but the Aussies can't have her.

Golden Years @carlazampatti - getting my kink on @kinkybootsoz 📸 @_adamanthony

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Rebecca Gibney

Another Kiwi-born actress who has stolen the hearts of Australia's television viewers is Rebecca Gibney.

With starring roles in Australian shows like The Flying Doctors, Halifax f.p. and Packed to the Rafters, she is considered a national treasure on both sides of the Tasman and has won more awards (including the coveted Gold Logie) than you can shake a stick at.

Who gets the bragging rights? It's a tie. Gibney has lived and worked in Australia for a long time now, but moments she shared from her recent trip back to New Zealand proves her birth country still holds a special place in her heart.


Is nothing sacred?

Sometimes it feels like Australia tries to claim any Kiwi achieving big things on the global stage – and they certainly tried it on when Lorde began her remarkable ascent to superstardom.

Back in 2014, an Australian TV show described Lorde as 'Australasian' (although surely they were just trolling us), before a website listed one of her tweets amongst Australia’s best for that year. (That website did cheekily admit that "we know Lorde is from NZ, but in true Australian fashion, we’re claiming her.")

Who gets the bragging rights? New Zealand. Obviously.


A post shared by Lorde (@lordemusic) on

Stan Walker

Singer Stan Walker has been back and forth across the Tasman most of his life.

Born in Australia, he grew up in New Zealand until he moved back to his country of birth in his late teens. He shot to fame after winning Australian Idol and has since had steady success with his singing and acting.

Who gets the bragging rights? It's a tie. He might be Maori (and a judge on two seasons of X Factor NZ, thank you very much) but he was an AUSTRALIAN Idol.

Its not often when someone else takes my photo that i have a jawline hahahahaha ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾

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Russell Crowe

It’s a debate that has raged for years – is actor Russell Crowe a Kiwi or an Aussie?

He may have been born in New Zealand, but he's spent most of his life in Australia and calls the sunburnt country home.

When he was denied Australian citizenship in 2015, Crowe told Radio Times: "I've been voted one of Australia's 50 national treasures. I've even had my face on an Australian stamp, the only non-Australian to do so, apart from the Queen, of course."

Who gets the bragging rights? Australia. Russ is an Aussie, through and through.

Jane Campion

Jane Campion is often referred to as Australian (an easy mistake to make given she lives over there these days), but the director and screenwriter was born and raised in New Zealand.

Who gets the bragging rights? New Zealand. The nation even recently appointed her a Dame.

Keisha Castle-Hughes

Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes was born in Australia, but moved to New Zealand when she was four years old.

She made a beautiful debut in Kiwi film Whale Rider for which she was nominated for an Oscar at just 13 years old. But like most successful actors, Castle-Hughes spends much of her time in the US these days.

Who gets the bragging rights? New Zealand. That Australian birth certificate is a mere technicality – this star's a Kiwi!


19 years old in the middle of the Pacific. Ran away with the Earth Warriors 💚 #TBT

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Keith Urban

He’s considered one of Australia's more famous singing exports, but Keith Urban was born in Whangarei.

Although he's actually lived in Nashville, Tennessee, since the early '90s, he and wife Nicole Kidman still spend plenty of time in Australia.

Who gets the bragging rights? Australia. Does anyone really still cling to the notion that Keith Urban is a Kiwi?


Uncasville, Connecticut #ripCORDWorldTour

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  • This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.