Customs and traditions
New Zealanders are usually called kiwis, and
their traditions have their roots in both Moorish and
European culture. The population is a mixture of pakeha,
New Zealanders of European descent, and Maori, the
country's indigenous population (see B
population and language).
Kiwis are often described as relaxed and informal,
with humor and kindness, and usually easy to get in
Overview of the capital city of New Zealand, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
You are happy to greet you with a firm handshake.
Maoris sometimes greet by touching each other with their
noses. Otherwise, handshakes, hugs and cheek kisses are
common, depending on how familiar you are.
Common greetings are Hello, How are you, Gidday (Good
day) and Kia Ora (Good health, Are you okay?), Which is
used especially in the north.
Many New Zealanders like to talk about sports, not
least rugby, and how their own sports ideas are
successful in the world.
The nuclear family dominates, but there are a growing
number of single parents. Maoris often live in a large
family, whanau, in neighborhoods or in households with
relatives. The clan (iwi) occasionally holds large
collections (hui). The European-chained New Zealanders
are also happy to hold large family reunions.
Class affiliation is not important in working life,
but there are clear differences in society.
European-chained New Zealanders, have better jobs, earn
better and live better than Maoris in general. In the
Maori society there are also inherited status levels,
built on kinship, and there is a marked respect for the
elderly and for men.
Business people should dress well, arrive on time and
keep an agreed deadline. Absence is usually strictly
observed. Highly valued is experience, leadership
qualities and, not least, ingenuity.
The daily diet for pakeha was long traditional with
meat, potatoes, vegetables, bread, fruit and fish. They
drank tea and beer. Nowadays, the food culture has been
broadened with more tropical fruits and a richer variety
of vegetables and spices. Wine has become commonplace.
But you can't speak of any typical New Zealand cuisine.
The Sunday roast is served in British tradition, and at
Christmas you eat turkey or ham and a special Christmas
Maori cuisine is more distinctive, based on seafood,
seabird, game meat, fat lamb and sweet potato. It is
common to steam cook the food in a ground oven, hangi,
where stones are heated with fire.
Important national holidays are New Year's Day,
Waitangi Day (February 6), Anzac Day (April 25), and
Queen's Birthday (first Monday in June). In addition,
Christmas, Easter and other Christian holidays are
Tornado hits Auckland
The suburbs of the country's largest city of Auckland
are hit by a tornado, which kills three people and
injures several people. Many houses are destroyed.
Lack of safety at mines
The Special Investigation Commission, appointed by
the government after the November 2010 mining accident,
submits its report. In it, the Commission notes that the
accident, which claimed the lives of 29 people, could
have been avoided, the safety at the mine was inadequate
and that several warnings about high methane gas levels
had been ignored.
Information is being circulated that the New Zealand
security service GCSB illegally intercepted IT
entrepreneur Kim "Dotcom" Schmitz before he was arrested
(see January 2012). Prime Minister John
Key, who is in charge of GCSB, says he did not know
about the operation but apologizes for it.
Five soldiers die in Afghanistan
Five New Zealand soldiers are killed on behalf of the
NATO-led Isaf force in Afghanistan. As a result, a total
of ten New Zealand soldiers have been killed in
Afghanistan. The government later announces that the New
Zealand force will be taken home in 2013.
The High Court announces that the police used an
invalid power of attorney when IT entrepreneur Kim
"Dotcom" Schmitz seized assets (see January 2012).
Police have also illegally handed the seized data to the
Increased US defense cooperation
The government signs an agreement with the United
States on increased defense cooperation.
Tightened asylum legislation
The government proposes stricter asylum laws to
prevent boat refugees from Asia coming to New Zealand to
the same extent as Australia. The proposal meets
opposition from the Labor opposition.
Sales of farms are stopped
The High Court stops the sale of dairy farms to a
Chinese consortium following a conflict over foreign
ownership of agricultural land.
IT contractor is arrested
IT entrepreneur Kim "Dotcom" Schmitz is arrested in
New Zealand by New Zealand police in collaboration with
US FBI. He is charged with copyright infringement on a
large file-sharing site on the Internet and for fraud
and money laundering. Billion assets in kronor are
estimated to be seized or frozen. The arrest will have
political consequences in New Zealand (see June
2012 and September 2012).