Music megastar Ed Sheeran has gone into bat for New Zealand.
"I do really, really, like New Zealand," Sheeran said, drawing a bemused look from interviewer Angela Cox on Channel 7's Sunday Night show, also aired on TVNZ's Sunday.
She simply asked, "Why?"
Sheeran wasn't sure what to make of the reaction "Why are you getting so uppity, do Australians not like New Zealander's or something?"
"You know we have a little bit of rivalry," Ms Cox replied, before Sheeran came back with a stinging rebuke that is sure to endear him to New Zealand fans.
"What, because they’re better at rugby?" he said with a cheeky smile to the camera.
"Ouch, he's coming out swinging today," Ms Cox responded.
Questioned about it, Sheeran then proudly pulled out his Maori necklace, carved in the shape of a whale’s tail, and said he hasn't taken it off since he got it.
"I bought loads of them and gave them all to my mates as well. Now they haven’t taken them off," he said.
Being more diplomatic near the end of the interview, Sheeran said he likes both Australia and New Zealand, just for different reasons.
He managed to squeeze in one parting shot at our Aussie neighbours though when he cheekily reiterated, "They are better at rugby than you though."
Sheeran visits New Zealand for two shows in Auckland and Dunedin in March next year.