Before finding out all about New Zealand, let’s take a look around and test the knowledge you already have on the country!
New Zealand (or Aotearoa) is a beautiful island country with over 5 million residents. It consists of two main landmasses (North and South Island) as well as more than 700 smaller islands. The continent in which the country is located is Australia and the capital of New Zealand is Wellington, even though you probably know Auckland better. New Zealand has a varied topography so its never boring and you always get to know new things. You can say that New Zealand is made up of some of the worlds most spectacular landscapes (mountain, volcanoes, coastlines, etc.) and has also a great cultural offer.
15 Fun Facts that you certainly dont know all
- It is the first country to see the sunrise
- “Go save the Queen” is an official national anthem of New Zealand
- First country to give woman the vote in 1893
- Conquered Everest and discovered the Proton
- Volcano Country
- Clearest Waters in the World
- The Insects are Big
- The birds were big
- The dolphins are not so big
- A land of a lot of sheep
- A lot of cars
- Plenty of cheese and butter to go around
- The Force is strong with New Zealand’s people
- Hobbits rule
This is a brief overview of New Zealand’s history.
New Zealand is known for being multicultural. Due to its history it is influenced especially by European and Maori culture.
Role of English
With the Maori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand, the first language ever spoken was the Maori language. However, after the Second World War, the Maori were deterred from speaking their language in public and its existence got reduced to a community language, spoken only in a few secluded areas.
While having undergone a process of revitalization and being declared one of New Zealand’s official languages on 1987, it is still only spoken by 4.0% of the population, yet taught in numerous schools. One of the other two official languages is the New Zealand Sign language.
With 95.4%, the majority speaks English, more precisely New Zealand English or the so-called “Kiwi” English. The latter has its origin from the early European settlers reaching New Zealand (after the Maori), followed by colonization and the immigrants being predominantly from Britain, Ireland and Australia.
Being similar to Australian English, many speakers from other Northern English speaking areas are incapable of distinguishing between those two accents. The most striking differences between the New Zealand English dialect and other English dialects are the shifts in the vowels.
But people visiting New Zealand for the first time, find it quite challenging to understand the unique accent and pronunciation of the “Kiwi” English the locals speak.
Society and its challenges
Here are some of the biggest challenges in society New Zealand has to deal with:
New Zealand’s housing costs are very high and especially in Auckland unaffordable since Auckland gets the seventh place worldwide for its expensive houses. Connected with the mostly low incomes in many jobs and a gouvernment not being able to implement social housing as fast as it actually ist needed, many people live in substandarded houses that have issues like mildewed wallswalls which impair their health.
New Zealand is also popular for its high suicide rate under teenagers which is caused financial problems in their families and domestic violence but also in the insufficient possibilities to get psychological help. The number of young Maoris comitting suicide is way higher than white teenagers killing theirselves which leads to the next social issue New Zealand has to face.
Even today the Maori are discriminated and disadvantaged in society. Their culture is still more rejected than supported and when it is supported then only because of the tourists. Although there is the Waitangi Treaty from 1840 which dass that the Maori have the same rights the White have many Maori are still disadvantaged at the job market, in their education but also in the health System. This leads to a high criminal Rate and also the already mentioned high suicide rate. The number of people protesting against the discrimination of the Maori grows thought and also the gouvernment supports the Maori and tries to improve their status in society