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The Kiwi and Māori culture 

Kiwis like to spend their spare time outdoors going on bush walks or enjoying the beach. The café culture is also big here, and there are many sports teams you can join.

Some Kiwi customs include shaking someone’s hand when you meet them whether they are male or female. It is also important to treat all people with kindness and respect regardless of their profession or gender. We have no class system here in New Zealand.

The Māori culture, including its customs, traditions and language, is an important part of New Zealand life. The Māori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, which means Land of the Long White Cloud. Auckland is known as Tāmaki Makaurau in Māori. English is the most widely spoken language in New Zealand, but you may see the common Māori words below from time to time.

 

aroha

love

awa

river

haere mai

welcome

haera rā

farewell

haka

tribal dance

hangi

traditional feast prepared in an earth oven

hongi

a formal greeting

iwi

tribal group

kai 

food

ka pai

good

kaumatua

elder

kia ora

 hello

koha

 gift

mana

 respect, prestige

manuhiri

 guests, visitors

marae

a gathering place

maunga

mountain

moana

sea

Pākehā

New Zealander of non-Māori descent, usually European

pounamu

greenstone, jade

powhiri

formal greeting

tamariki

children

tāne

man, husband

tangata whenua

people of the land – local / indigenous people

tapu

sacred

te reo Māori

the Māori language

wahine

woman, wife

wai

water

waiata

song

waka

canoe

whānau

family

whare

house

You might also hear locals using some unfamiliar and unusual English phrases here. Don't worry, you'll pick up the local slang soon enough. Here are a few informal phrases to get you started.

yeah nah maybe
BYO bring your own drinks
bring a plate bring a dish of food to share 
togs swimwear
bach holiday home
bro brother or good friend
jandals a type of sandal popular here
sweet as not a problem

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