Is the Kiwi Population Welcoming?
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- 1Meet the Kiwis.
- 2A Mix of Different Cultures.
- 3Peaceful and Proud.
- 4A Real Team Spirit.
- 5Welcome to Rugby Land!
1Meet the Kiwis.
For most Westerners, New Zealand's reputation is mostly if not exclusively associated to the Allblacks. It is true that rugby players are the first ambassadors of the country abroad, but the New Zealand culture remains unknown to the general public.
The Maori Haka performed before rugby games has long strengthened tribal and warlike image of this small nation of the Pacific. Nevertheless, those people who are nicknamed “kiwis” are among the most peaceful people in the world. After the darkdays of the colonization era, Maori and Westerners have managed to live together on a territory as big as the UK.
A multicultural society emerged during the centuries, and the country has experienced a spectacular economic boom during the last thirty years.
The New Zealand now ranks among the most welcoming countries in the world!
Just like the Allblacks going from one success to another, the quality of life of the Kiwis has steadily grown.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy has revealed the incredible beauty of New Zealand's landscapes to the public, but the country's population remains to be discovered!
You will have the opportunity to do so during your future stay, but let me give you a glimpse of the people who will welcome you in their beautiful country.
2A Mix of Different Cultures.
It was the Polynesian explorers who first landed on the beaches of the country more than a thousand years ago. Today, their Maori descendants represent 14% of the population of New Zealand.
If the tribal concept declines gradually, attachment to spiritual values, solidarity and respect for ancestors remain strong.
The relationship between Maori and Westerners who were so tense have improved significantly since the 1980s.
Formerly reserved for British settlers, the term “Pahekas” now applies to all people who are not of Maori descent.
A concept that tends to disappear after centuries of intermarriage.
The Pahekas account for 68% of the population. If they are still subjects of the Queen, the descendants of the settlers consider themselves primarily as New Zealanders.
Even the sacred tradition of the five o'clock tea begins to fade!
Latest arrived in the country, Asians represent 10% of the population.
Once treated with contempt, victims of racism, they are now fully integrated and are living predominantly in the Auckland region.
Finally, a small minority (7% of the population) originates from the Pacific Islands. An ancestry celebrated every year during the great Pasifika Festival
The mix of cultures did not happen without difficulties. The war between the British Settlers and the Maori left bad memories. The population has nevertheless managed to go beyond the resentment.
Pahekas, Maori and Asians now consider themselves as authentic New Zealanders, citizens of a same nation!
|Minorities from the Pacific||7 %|
3Peaceful and Proud.
The Kiwi word refers to both fruit and bird,... but is also the nickname of the New Zealanders! I honestly don't think the locals have much in common with the exotic fruit or the flightless bird. They are better known for their calm temperament and their legendary kindness.
The Haka of the All Blacks is intended to scare the opponent, but there is nothing to fear from a population with a crime rate known to be one of lowest in the world.
Another highlight, New Zealand is considered to be the least corrupt country in the world.
They are best known and admired for their legendary hospitality.
When a Kiwi crosses a road to salute you, this is usually because he thought you might need help.
One could almost sum up the New Zealanders to this character trait.
Some tourists may imagine that Kiwis are naive, but they are simply courteous, a virtue that is disappearing in the Western societies.
A Kiwi is not supposed to give too much importance to his appearance. If the quality of life has improved steadily during the past three decades, people have not changed their way of life and they are still honest and cheerful
The Kiwis are as nice as their country is beautiful. A country they defend, more and more (they even banned the nuclear power in 1987).
One must remember that Kiwis encourage the change, having been the first to grant the right to vote to women in 1893!
What is the magic formula for such temperaments? The answer lies in the values shared by Kiwis for many centuries.
4A Real Team Spirit.
The adage says that every Kiwi can get out of any situation with a barbed wire No. 8 (the one used for the cattle enclosures). And when it is not possible to succeed all alone, you can be sure that someone will come to the rescue.
Kiwis are a perfect illustration of the “Do it by yourself” spirit. They are known to repair their houses and cars alone, and they demonstrate a keen sense of responsibility. Children grow up with the example of Burt Munro who tinkered his car for 46 years before beating the world speed record! So do not be surprised to spot old cars in perfect condition on the road, this is just another proof that Kiwis prefer to fix stuff rather than putting them to the garbage.
The bungee jumping was born in New Zealand. Usually so reasonable, the Kiwi is the first to seek extreme sensations and the city of Queenstown was even renamed "world capital of adventure". The people of the province also have a reputation for being the most authentic. They hardly appreciate the arbitrary rules established by people of the north.
Even if Aucklanders are sometimes nicknamed Jaffa (Just Another Fucking Aucklander) by south people, Kiwis are nonetheless united and the 80% participation rate at the elections demonstrate that democracy works!
The solidarity of the Kiwis comes from the colonial era. It owes much to the learning of rugby (the second religion of the country) and sailing with the majority of New Zealanders who navigate and own a boat.
5Welcome to Rugby Land!
With such friendly people and breathtaking landscapes, New Zealand seems to be a real paradise on earth.
Community tensions between Maori and Pahekas are not fully gone yet, but people are now looking for the future.
Western and Maori values merged during centuries to form a genuine New Zealand's culture.
Yet the New Zealanders always seem anxious to know how their country is perceived abroad.
A complex that persists despite the international success of the Kiwis and the Allblacks since decades.
Even if Kiwis are great people, their society is not free from problems like everywhere else in the world. Health issues, retirement or low wages are among the main concerns of the population.
The million of expatriates (considering that the country only has 4.5 million inhabitants) reveals the problems of the labor market. The unemployment is low but the wages also!
This is essentially the proximity of Australia that attracts young people looking for a better income.
But most Kiwis return in their homeland as soon as their bank account is full or when it is time to raise children.
Now you have a better picture of the locals you'll meet in New Zealand during your stay.
No journey can be complete nor fully successful, without having forged ties with the Kiwis population. One can expect them to make the first step, but there is no reason to be shy!
Questions & Answers.
What can I do for you? Being a Kiwi myself, I am well placed to answer questions about my country. I can enlighten you on our traditions as well as on the behavior to adopt in our presence.
- All topics ... 13 answers in total
- Life in New Zealand 7 answers
- Hosting Quality 4 answers
- New Zealand and France 2 answers
Life in New Zealand
- How many people live in New Zealand?
In a few years, the population should have 4.5 million inhabitants.
- What should you bring to a New Zealand BBQ?
Ask your host, but he usually provides the meat. You can bring salads, chips, wine ... but do not come with empty hands, this attitude would be considered impolite.
- Are New Zealanders dangerous on the road?
Every traveler who stayed more than a few weeks in the country usually has some anecdotes to tell. Maybe because he sees nobody on deserted roads, New Zealanders have a bad reputation when it comes to driving.
- Should one talk about rugby with a New Zealander?
Do not be chauvinistic, and if you agree to say that they have the best team in the world, then everything will be fine.
- Is it true that all Kiwis own a boat?
It is an urban legend, but it is certain that the country has the largest number of ships per inhabitant in the world.
- Did the New Zealanders invent the bungee jump?
Difficult to be categorical, but there is a good chance that this is the case. What is certain, on the other hand, is that the New Zealanders were the first to make it a popular sport.
- Are there tensions between Maori and the Pahekas?
Difficult in the past, the relations between the communities are now appeased. But racism between the whites (Pahekas) and the Maori is still present in some regions.
- Are New Zealanders welcoming?
For many years, New Zealanders have acquired the reputation of being welcoming people. A recent poll gives them the second place of the podium behind Iceland.
- How to explain the legendary hospitality of the Kiwis?
Some will tell you that the isolation of the country explains many things. I personally think that the explanation lies in the relationship to the nature and practice of team sports such as rugby or sailing.
- Is gay marriage legal in New Zealand?
Gay marriage was legalized in 2013. Let us recall that New Zealand is also known to have been the first country to grant women the right to vote.
- Is it easy to converse with a New Zealander?
The Kiwis speak English with a pronounced accent, but you will have no trouble making yourself understood, especially since they are the first to make efforts with tourists.
New Zealand and France
- Is the Rainbow Warrior affair a thing of the past?
The New Zealanders have not forgotten the affair and do not deprive themselves to remember it to the French. However, resentment has largely faded and relations between the two countries are excellent.
- How are the French perceived?
The French are appreciated in New Zealand and respected for the quality of their Rugby.
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