New Zealand

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The kiwi capital! Energetic and creative, Wellington has been called the world’s ‘coolest little capital’. And Wellingtonians enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, thanks to its harbourside setting and 425 hectares of bush-clad town belt.

With reportedly more cafés, bars and restaurants per capita than New York, Wellington is known for its lively nightlife and world-class culinary scene. Already proud of its internationally - recognised coffee culture, Wellington has become the hub of New Zealand’s craft beer revolution, with experimental breweries and specialist bars popping up all over the city. Home to national museums, galleries and theatres, the city is at the heart of New Zealand’s arts and culture, and Wellington’s innovative film production and digital technology sectors have built a worldwide reputation.

The city combines the sophistication, cosmopolitan outlook and global reach of a capital city, along with the warmth and personality of a village.

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Other Important Cities

Wanna Join the Party?

In New Zealand there are two types of national public holidays: those that are 'Mondayised' and those that are not.

Christmas and New Year are "Mondayised" holidays, so if these fall on a weekend that employee does not normally work then the holiday is transferred to the following Monday or Tuesday. If the employee would normally work on the particular weekend then it remains a traditional holiday and the employee is entitled to that day off on pay. If they normally work on both days, they are only entitled to the traditional holiday and the Mondayised holiday is treated as a normal work day. Other public holidays are only taken on the day they fall and only employees who would have otherwise worked that day are entitled to a paid day off.

Are You Free?

One Rich Culture

The Maori

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. The Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages at some time between 1250 and 1300 CE. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture that became known as the "Māori", with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups, based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced, and later a prominent warrior culture emerged.

The arrival of Europeans to New Zealand starting from the 17th century brought enormous change to the Māori way of life. Māori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony. Rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s. Social upheaval, decades of conflict and epidemics of introduced disease took a devastating toll on the Māori population, which went into a dramatic decline. But, by the start of the 20th century, the Māori population had begun to recover, and efforts have been made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society and achieve social justice. Traditional Māori culture has enjoyed a revival, and a protest movement emerged in the 1960s advocating Māori issues.

In the 2013 census, there were approximately 600,000 people in New Zealand identifying as Māori, making up roughly 15% of the national population. They are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders ("Pākehā"). In addition, more than 120,000 Māori live in Australia. The Māori language (known as Te Reo Māori) is still spoken to some extent by about a fifth of all Māori, representing 3% of the total population. Many New Zealanders regularly use Māori words and expressions, such as "kia ora", while speaking English. Māori are active in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, with independent representation in areas such as media, politics and sport.

Disproportionate numbers of Māori face significant economic and social obstacles, with lower life expectancies and incomes compared with other New Zealand ethnic groups. They suffer higher levels of crime, health problems, and educational under-achievement. Socioeconomic initiatives have been implemented aimed at closing the gap between Māori and other New Zealanders. Political redress for historical grievances is also ongoing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do?

What Language Must I know?

There are several languages of New Zealand. English is the dominant language spoken by most New Zealanders. The country's de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Other languages are also used by ethnic communities. This includes:

  • Niuean
  • Tokelauan
  • Moriori language
  • Penrhyn language

Where Can I Go to Admire Nature?

Any Food Recs?