Amazing New Zealand
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New Zealanders have their own accent which is similar to, but less pronounced than the Australian accent. As in any country there is a wide diversity in the way individuals speak but in general terms New Zealanders are quick talkers who are able to achieve this increased pace by not fully pronouncing the vowels or, indeed, some of the consonants as well. Hence New Zealand becomes "Noozilan". If you can't understand what someone is saying just ask them to repeat what they have said more slowly.

New Zealanders naturally also have a few words all of their own, such as: howzit (how are you?) to be crook (to be ill); Dairy (a convenience store); a do (a party or occasion); bach - pronounced "batch"(a holiday home), bar-be (BBQ), chilly bin (cool box) and jandals (beach sandals). If you are fortunate to stay at a farm, you will quickly become acquainted to quite a few more, I'm sure!


Maori is the native language of New Zealand's friendly indigenous people (the Maori) and although it is not commonly spoken as a first language, Maori can be seen every day in place names and heard on the radio and television, in the marae (a Maori meeting house) and increasingly in schools. Many of the place names have a 'wh' in them, which are pronounced more like an 'f' but without the top teeth coming down onto the bottom lip. So Whakatane becomes pha-ka-tun-eh

Here are a few Maori words you may see or hear during your time in New Zealand :

haere-mai welcome
haere-ra goodbye
kai food
kia ora hello
kumara sweet potato
mana prestige, respect
pa fortified village
tapu sacred
wai water
whanau family
whare house
koha tip or donation
pakeha European white person



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