What is New Zealand Culture Like?

The culture of New Zealand defines its people. It affects the nature, temperament, language, arts and even accents of the people living there.

When you visit a country, it is important to at least know a few things about their culture and traditions. You need to learn it in order to understand people. If you plan to make New Zealand your next vacation destination, it is important to learn more about the kiwi people. New Zealand is a beautiful country and they always pride themselves with a clean, green and laidback atmosphere. Kiwis are very warm and welcoming people. They have a great pride over their Pacific heritage and culture.

What’s New Zealand culture like? The culture of this country is unique and dynamic. It is influenced by the British and European custom as well as the Maori and Polynesian tradition. You will find that people living here came from different variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Maori Culture

This made up the indigenous culture of the country. The Maori people are the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and first arrived in the country in voyaging canoes over 1000 years ago and developed a distinct culture. Today, the Maori people make up the 14% of the population and their language, tradition and culture has a greatly influence all facets of New Zealand life.

In the late 18th century, many Europeans migrated to New Zealand. They were able to destabilise the Maori society due to the weapons, technologies and diseases they brought to the country.

Pakeha Culture

This culture was brought by the British settlers who colonized New Zealand in the 19th century. Before 1815, Pakeha is a term used to define white people.  It is referred to the people who came from England and settled in the country. Later on, the term is used to define fair-skinned person who was born in New Zealand. It was later on that the term Pakeha was applied to all fair-skinned people in the country. This will include anybody with Anglo-celtic origin such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and even Americans. Although somewhat related to the British culture, the Pakeha they have a distinct differences. While the British culture includes higher form equality, the Pakeha culture is a sub-culture that is derived from the Irish, Italian and other European groups and non-ethnic subcultures.

Cultural Adaptation and Borrowing

During the early stages of colonisation, the Maori people are very receptive of the Pakeha culture. They converted to Christianity and in the process learned how to read and write. Because of this, many Maori people have become literate and successful. On the other hand, Pakeha have used many maori cultural practices also when they require something distinctively New Zealand.

Modern New Zealand

Today, the kiwi people are largely sophisticated and highly educated people. Many are members of unique and vibrant multicultural society who are ready to embrace the 21st century. Technology has greatly influenced the life of many people but the culture of its indigenous people is still very evident in the language, arts and even accents of all New Zealanders.


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