What I Know About ‘Kiwis’

Many people know that New Zealand has beautiful nature and more sheep than people, but how about the New Zealanders and their culture? I notice it is very different from Asia, so I compile a list of my observations during my time spent here. It is a long list and I will keep updating it:

New Zealand Places

  1. New Zealanders call themselves ‘Kiwis’ – not after the fruit but after the national bird in New Zealand.
  2. They also use the word ‘kiwi’ to describe New Zealand, such as kiwi food, kiwi culture, kiwi slang, kiwi dollars, etc…
  3. Kiwis are very relaxed and laid back.
  4. Kiwis love coffee – whether it is discussing work matters or socialising with friends, they just like to do it over a cup of coffee. By the way, the coffee here is surprisingly good!
  5. They even have ‘coffee interview’ which is an informal interview. It feels strange to have such an interview for a professional job!
  6. Kiwis insist they invented flat white and pavlova (and may get upset if you said they are invented by Australians).
  7. Kiwis love small and sweet talks in shops, so sometimes you may see a long queue behind.
  8. Kiwis like to discuss the weather. I think this is because the weather and temperature in New Zealand can change dramatically within a day so it makes a good topic.
  9. Kiwis are crazy about All Black (rugby team) – this is what makes them proud!
  10. Most Kiwis do not carry cash because EFTPOS is so convenient.
  11. Kiwis love wine and cheese… they know how to enjoy life.
  12. Many kiwis sleep early. I think this is because most of the shops close early 5-6pm and there is nothing much to do at night except going to pubs.
  13. Kiwis are very friendly and helpful. Many of them are willing to offer help if they see someone in trouble.
  14. Yet, it takes time for foreigners to make friend with Kiwis. (Source: stuff.co.nz point#6)
  15. It is important to have a work-life balance for them. Most of them leave office before 5pm.
  16. Kiwis love outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, running.
  17. Kiwis like fish and chips.
  18. They have amazing kiwi dip and sausage roll! (my favourite)
  19. Kiwis put family first. They like to have family picnics or play rugby with their kids on the beach.
  20. Have a strong kiwi accent that may take a while for an Asian to understand what they are saying.
  21. Like to begin a conversation with “Hi, how are you?”.
  22. Leave clothes hanging outside even when it is raining (because the water is so clean).
  23. Kids in New Zealand are more outgoing (rather than just playing iPad).
  24. Kiwis trust people and they are honest.
  25. Kiwis respect consumer right. For example, if anything that you bought is broken and when you take it back to the shop, usually they will replace for you without asking any proof or question.
  26. Sometimes kiwis can be a bit indirect or passive. They won’t tell you straight at your face even though they do not like the way you did something.
  27. Kiwis use their driving licence as an identification card.
  28. Kiwis are punctual. If they set up the dinner at 6pm, everyone will be there before 6pm.
  29. Kiwis’ hair colour varies, e.g. some are blonde and some are quite dark.
  30. No one uses umbrellas in Wellington – because it is too windy!
  31. A bit of them (not all) do not like immigrants.
  32. Some of them walk on the street without wearing shoes.
  33. Kiwis emphasise behavioural interviews, as they like to work with someone who can blend into their culture.
  34. Quite some young kiwis have the interest to go overseas, such as Australia and the U.K.
  35. Kiwis like landed property.
  36. Many Kiwis think the Asians push up the price of houses.
  37. There is something called ‘smoko’ which means a tea break or a short rest from work.
  38. Many Kiwis are good at appreciating people.
  39. Many Kiwis cook at home and bring lunch to work (maybe because eating out is expensive).
  40. Kiwis do shopping on the street. There are less shopping malls as many shops are in the street.
  41. Kiwis love drinking.
  42. Kiwis are very strict at the alcohol age limit (legal drinking age is 18 years). If a group of people buy alcohol in a supermarket and if they suspect one of them is under 18 years old, they will not allow the whole group to buy it.
  43. Kiwis like to sit in the sun. I like the sun too but I don’t like direct exposure to sunlight – maybe it is something to do with Asian culture.
  44. Most Kiwis use dishwasher.
  45. Quiz night is popular.
  46. Kiwis are strict. If they saw you doing illegal things (such as accidentally parked your car in a wrong spot), they would just inform the officer and send you a fine rather than giving you a warning first.


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