Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud.
New Zealanders are reputed for their friendliness and welcoming nature and easy going attitude. A peaceful country, with a low crime rate, the two islands forming New Zealand are blessed with a natural beauty second to none offering an amazing quality of life and work life balance.
A melting pot of cultures, ideas and people, New Zealand supports a secular democratic society where freedom of thought, expression and religious beliefs are respected and supported by law. There is a genuine understanding and strong acceptance of everyone’s views and ideas.
New Zealand is lightly populated with 4.4 million New Zealanders (informally known as Kiwis). Approximately 69% are of European descent, 14.6% are indigenous Māori, 9.2% Asian and 6.9% non-Māori Pacific Islanders.
Geographically, over three-quarters of the population live in the North Island, with one-third of the total population living in Auckland. The other main cities of Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton are where the majority of the remaining Kiwis dwell. New Zealand has two official languages, English and Maori. English is the main language.
New Zealand has an economy dominated by the export-focused agricultural sector, together with significant manufacturing and service sectors. The mixed-economy is strongly trade-oriented with food and beverages representing a large proportion of exports. New Zealand has developed a world-wide reputation for top quality produce, from meat (New Zealand lamb is particularly renowned), to dairy products, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and boutique wines. Service industries, including tourism, consultancy and education, are also extremely significant to the New Zealand economy.
Surrounded by sea, New Zealand enjoys a temperate climate with relatively small seasonal changes. Winter lasts from June until August and summer is from December to February. In Auckland the climate does not get uncomfortably hot or unbearably cold. However, extremes will be found particularly in the mountain ranges in winter, which makes the skiers happy! In summer the average maximum temperature in New Zealand ranges between 20 – 30 degrees centigrade and in winter between 10 – 15 degrees centigrade. Expect rain in the winter months.
New Zealand’s weather is subject to change on a daily basis!
History of New Zealand
According to Maori legend, Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator came to the South Pacific around 1,200 years ago. His first sight was not of the land itself but of a long white cloud that hovered above it, and so he named it Aotearoa, which in Maori means the Land of the Long White Cloud. The country was later called New Zealand.
Today New Zealand is proud of its identity as a diverse and multi-cultural Pacific nation, based on a partnership between Pakeha, as New Zealanders of European origin are called, and Maori. At the heart of that partnership is the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement that lives on as a national symbol for unity and understanding between cultures.
Helpful Maori Words
|Maori word||English Translation|
|Marae||A Maori meeting house and the land around it|
|Hangi||A meal cooked underground|
|Pakeha||A person of European ethnicity|
|Kiwi||– A famous New Zealand bird that cannot fly
– Kiwi is also used to refer to people and things linked to New Zealand
|Aotearoa||Land of the Long White Cloud|
|Haka||Traditional Maori war dance|
|Hongi||Maori greeting by pressing noses|
|Jandals||Flip Flops, thongs or rubber sandals|
|Iwi||Maori tribal group|