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Welcome to your very own ‘meet the locals’ guide so you can take a deep dive into Kiwi culture!

New Zealanders pride themselves on being an accepting and social society. In the past, local communities only survived though remaining connected and helping each other out. People were there for each other in good times and bad.

Modern Kiwi culture is built on this same basis of social connection. We enjoy coming together at social gatherings and exchanges in many different forms. Today people often gather regularly for a summer BBQ and/or meetings at the pub or at the beach. Nationally we have a strong sports team culture with many Kiwi families involved with different sports teams and clubs throughout the country.

We host many cultural events where people can enjoy time together. Great annual events to attend and meet local people are Waitangi Day and Matariki (Maori New Year) celebrations.

There is no better way to form local networks and make new friends than to participate in some of these iconic Kiwi activities.

Check out our list of great ‘mate making’ ideas to make sure you become a true-blue Kiwi in no time at all.  

  • Join a local sports team or club. Check out these links and guides to help you find something that interests you. 
  •  Join a service group.  There are many to pick from so make sure you do your research online and even talk to other people who may be able to give you some feedback to make sure you pick the right one.
  • Go to your local pub or eatery. You will meet a variety of different people and this is a great informal way to meet local people.  Consuming different beverages and cuisine is something many locals enjoy on a regular basis. 
  • Become a regular volunteer. There are some great opportunities right here on Bekiwi or you can also check out Volunteering NZ. They will direct you to local organisations and projects that need assistance are a good fit for your needs and wants.
  • Visit your local community marae or on-campus marae.  You will be welcome at any time and it is a great way to gain a good understanding of Māori culture.
  • Visit the beach and local skate or bike park.
  • Host a dinner/afternoon tea or BBQ where you invite local people that you know or have met recently. It is a great way to break through barriers and form strong connections.
  • Keep an eye on eventfinda.co.nz to make sure you attend as many of the local food, art, and musical events as you can. This is a great way to meet up with local people, experience local entertainment and cuisine.
  • Some language classes offer time with local volunteers who take time to get to know you and teach you things about Kiwi culture.
  • Take a short course to learn some popular activities in NZ. Not only will this provide you with some common understanding with locals, but these short course and night classes are also often full of local people with different stories and experiences they will share with you.  Some ideas of great local things to learn are bone carving, surfing, pottery making, cooking or barista classes.

There are many great opportunities to learn about our way of life in New Zealand and meet awesome local people.  Remember to keep an open mind and give new things a go. If you are invited to experience something with a local, take the opportunity! Varied experiences will all assist you in your journey to live, work and play here in Aotearoa.

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