From my home in New Zealand the rest of the world appears in a sorry state, the spread of radical Islam is a cancer that I have no idea will ever be beaten. The bombings in England, and various other parts of the world, innocent people being murdered, and for what? Some mythical god tells them to hate us? Seriously? Is this what the world is coming to?

Well, not all the world, down here in my small country paradise these troubles seem far away. New Zealand, or Aotearoa, the correct Maori name for it, is two small islands inhabited by barely five million people.

It’s where I was brought up and still live. Why would I want to live anywhere else?

No, we’re not Australian!

I remember the first time I traveled to the US where my unusual accent made me stand out as soon as I opened my mouth. ‘Oh wow, where are you from?’ someone would ask. ‘New Zealand, ‘ I’d say proudly. ‘Er, isn’t that up near Nova Scotia?’ ‘No we’re down the bottom of the Pacific, not far from Australia,’ I’d say. Then I’d have to explain we’re not part of Australia, we’re a completely seperate country. Sure, they’re our neighbours, only three hours away by air, but we are very different from that lot. We’re far ahead in social and Political development, consider our indigenous rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights - we’ve already had two women prime ministers - Australia had one for a short time and nearly had nervous breakdown as a result, our film industry, the All Blacks, our stable mid-right government, the list goes on.

One of our successful exports Flight of the Conchords have often parodied the difference between our two countries.

Sometimes the distance is too much

Tourists are blown away by the scenery and can’t stop raving about it. But there are some people who find the distance too much, my mother came out here from England after the war with her parents and she suffered terrible homesickness.

Hardly a day went by when I didn't hear her mutter under her breath, ‘this bloody country!’, but my dad, a Kiwi, took it in his stride, he was the typical laid-back Kiwi bloke. He’d gone to war and flown Lancaster Bombers, job done he came home and met mum, and that’s where I came in.

Our dark side

We have a dark side too, we all know it, but it’s hard to identify - it’s just there.

Kiwi writer Alan Duff nailed it in the story Once Were Warriors, we’ve read the book, seen the movie and we nod our heads, yeah that’s it. It’s a Maori tribal thing, going way back that’s still with us now. It’s just there. Some say it’s in the Earth and that’s something we all know about, we’ve had enough violent quakes lately to last us a lifetime.

This scares me

Now I watch the world changing and wonder where it’s going to end. The heartbreak fanaticism causes scares me. Many a time I hear other New Zealanders saying thank goodness we live here, out of the way. I’m glad too, and if ISIS decide to blow us up lets hope they get lost off the coast of Nova Scotia.