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New to New Zealand? Here's 10 fun facts about Kiwi (the people, not the bird or the fruit!)

  1. New Zealanders are the friendliest people in the world! If you need help, just ask (even from a stranger in the street!)
  2. New Zealand has a relaxed, informal culture, so you will find people don’t tend to dress up often and use formal behaviour when meeting
  3. We drive and walk on the left-hand side of the road or path
  4. We love the outdoors and are proud of our landscapes
  5. We like arts and music and outside activities of all kinds, including nature walks and beach trips, as well as fishing off rocks, the shore or on boats
  6. The culture of our indigenous Māori people affects our language and the accent we speak in. It also has a strong influence on the arts, making kiwi culture both strong and unique
  7. ‘Kia ora’ is a way to say hello in New Zealand – it comes from the Māori language and means to ‘have life’ or ‘be healthy’
  8. If you meet more formally you shake hands, kiss on the cheek or hongi if you are Māori
  9. New Zealand is world-famous for its rugby, manuka honey, sheep, kiwifruit, Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, wine and the haka (traditional Māori war dance)
  10. Kiwis don’t like to get confused with Australia as we consider ourselves two distinct countries. There is generally friendly rivalry between the two countries, especially when it comes to sports!

Life in New Zealand may seem daunting at first but just remember, you will learn new things day by day.  The key to success is to have courage, step out of your comfort zone and have fun along the way!

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