New Zealanders – or ‘Kiwis’ – are famous for their warm hospitality. We're friendly, welcoming, enjoy meeting people from other cultures and love sharing food and conversation. In daily life, we're relatively informal. First names are used, even in business.
New Zealand's multi-cultural society is a result of migration from many parts of the world, beginning over 1,000 years ago with the arrival of the Maori. The British began to colonise New Zealand from the mid-19th century.
New Zealanders today come from many ethnic backgrounds, including European, Pacific Island, Asian and African. Multi-cultural influences are very much part of our fashion, art and music.
Maori are known as 'tangata whenua' or 'people of the land'. In 2006, 1 in 7 New Zealanders identified as Maori. A resurgence of Maori culture and language in recent times has resulted in a new sense of national identity based on the idea of biculturalism - joint responsibility for achieving the ideals of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840.
English, Maori and sign language (for the deaf) are New Zealand’s official languages.
There are laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender, race or disability. If anybody's behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable, talk immediately to the staff at your institution. They are committed to providing a safe environment for you and are trained to deal with any difficulties.
Sexual harassment and gender discrimination are unlawful and unacceptable in New Zealand. Workplaces and education institutions have clear guidelines to prevent and deal with sexual harassment.