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Kia Ora! Get to Know New Zealand's Culture

Whether you are looking for the perfect destination for your post-pandemic vacation or international study plans, New Zealand is definitely a place you should consider to put on your list. 

With an estimated population of 4,822,233, New Zealand is located in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean in the east of Australia. With an approximate 600 smaller islands, it is made up of two main islands namely the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and South Island. 

Its capital city Wellington is often called ‘Windy Wellington’ as it is the windiest city in the world by average wind speed. The most populated city in New Zealand is Auckland, taking up 1.6 million of its total population. Auckland topped the ranking as the Most Liveable City in 2021 due to its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much more than its picturesque landscapes and jaw-dropping sceneries, New Zealand’s rich cultural lifestyle will certainly amaze you! 

Indigenous Culture and Traditions  

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Before anything else, you should know that the influence of indigenous Māori, or tangata whenua, plays a vital role in the culture of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Before arriving in New Zealand over a 1,000 years ago, the Māori people are said to originate from a mythical place called Hawaiki.

Māori culture appreciates the arts, film and theater. Traditional art practices such as carving, weaving, kapa haka (group performance), whaikorero (oratory), moko (tattoo) and many more are passed down by generation.

Learning of the culture means that you are aware of its importance to the people. Its culture is embedded in the everyday life of every New Zealanders as most Māori practices are kept alive until contemporary New Zealand.

Lifestyle 

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Unlike most countries, New Zealand boasts of its relaxing sceneries and seemingly non-existent skyscrapers that tourists and residents may enjoy for free during their stay. With the growth of tourism, a lot of outdoor activities emerged for leisure, entertainment and etc.

New Zealand also houses a lot of great career opportunities, world-class healthcare systems and subsidiary benefits for citizens to enjoy. Since 2012, the country rated relatively high among the world's most peaceful and least corrupt countries for its heightened border and crime control.

With its vibrant and culture-rich community, New Zealanders are known to be one of the friendliest people around the world. With their down-to-earth personalities, accommodations will never be a problem. Either as tourists or migrants, the modern lifestyle in New Zealand is easy to adapt.

Politics and governance

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As a founding document of New Zealand, Treaty of Waitangi served as an agreement between Māori and the British signed on February 6, 1840 in the Bay of Islands. However, the Treaty is not institutionally recognized as part of domestic law. To this date, it is considered a public holiday in New Zealand.

In the present, the system of government practiced in the country is constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. A democratic election is held every three (3) years to determine seated officials.

Divided into sixteen (16) regions, New Zealand utilizes a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system. Their governmental working system flows through three (3) branches namely the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Language

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The two official national languages in New Zealand are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) as institutionalized by government policy. However, English is currently the most used language in the country that makes New Zealand a multi-language destination.

The Māori language became an official language due to the Māori Language Act of 1987. In these present times, the estimated number of Māori speakers ranges from 100,000 to 150,000 and are mostly located in Cook Islands and New Zealand.

In 2006, New Zealand became the first country to institutionalize sign language as an official language. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the language of New Zealand’s deaf community and is widely encouraged throughout the country. In commemoration, this is celebrated yearly by New Zealanders every May. 

Want to study in New Zealand? Fill in the inquiry form on this page and let IDP help you witness the beauty and experience the culture of New Zealand firsthand!

 

 

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 Written by: Trisha Angelika Ignacio

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