Getting to grips with the Kiwi lifestyle
We run through the cultures and customs of New Zealand to help you see what your life will be like when you make the move.
The New Zealand Property Guide has helped thousands of expats emigrate, and therefore we’re clued up on all you need to know about making the move to New Zealand. Adjusting to your new lifestyle is a fun part of the process, and here we run through a few lifestyle factors you might like to consider prior to hopping on that plane…
Just like their neighbours in Australia, New Zealanders are known to be very laid back.
Kiwi culture and customs
New Zealand is a very multicultural country, which means that there is a mixture of Maori and European influences, and many religions combining to create its unique culture. In Maori culture, family is of the utmost importance and most socialising will occur within the family unit. It will benefit you to research a little Maori history, and to understand how things operate within the community you’re in. Enjoy the opportunity to read up on the history of the country, as well as enjoy the works of the most famous New Zealand writers.
In general, you’ll find New Zealanders to be an incredibly affable group. Just like their neighbours in Australia, New Zealanders are known to be very laid back. They’re also a resourceful bunch and always want to give people a ‘fair go’.
Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day are the biggest national holidays. Waitangi Day takes place on February 6th and marks the day the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance, also acknowledged in Australia, when the nation commemorates all those who’ve fallen in conflict.
Food and drink
Food and drink in New Zealand is not too much different from what you have in the UK – although they are certainly a nation of meat eaters, and you can expect cuts of the finest lamb, beef and pork, and some truly delicious fresh fish and seafood on most menus. There’s plenty for the health conscious, and you can find pretty much all cuisines, especially if living in a bigger town or city.
Food and drink in New Zealand is not too much different from what you have in the UK – although they are certainly a nation of meat eaters, and you can expect cuts of the finest lamb, beef and pork, and some truly delicious fresh fish and seafood on most menus.
Be sure to try some traditional dishes, especially a hāngi, which is the traditional Maori way of cooking meat and vegetables underground. Outside of the UK, New Zealand is considered to have some of the world’s best fish and chips, and their pies aren’t half bad either! There are an enormous number of sweets that every Kiwi will tell you must try within five minutes of hearing you’re from elsewhere. There’s Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps, and Chocolate Fish, and then of course, pavlova, and the Lamingtons…
Sport plays a key role in the lives of most New Zealanders. If you’re a sports fan yourself, no doubt you’re excited to see the All Blacks play rugby, or to catch the New Zealand cricket team at their next test. Football is popular, as are activities like tennis, golf, horse riding, swimming, and sailing. As you know, New Zealand has the perfect terrain for outdoor adventurers. If you love cycling, hiking, orienteering, and so on, you’ll be spoilt for choice! You can scuba dive, deep-sea fish, play bowls…the list goes on. Somehow exercise doesn’t feel as much of a slog when you have a superb view to admire while you do it.
Shopping in New Zealand
Obviously your shopping habits will be dictated a little by where you’re located, but the good news is that the big cities will leave you spoilt for choice with their artisan markets, big name brands, and independent boutiques. You may be surprised by the prices of some items, especially groceries, so it’s important to buy items seasonally and to look out for deals. Also, if you’re planning on furnishing your house in New Zealand, we recommend ensuring you can source affordable furniture before you chuck out all your UK items. It could be more financially sensible to buy in the UK and have it shipped over with your belongings.
Most shops and businesses are open from 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, and the bigger stores will open on Sunday’s too. Banks close at weekends.
Over our years of helping expats to buy overseas we’ve developed a network of industry experts and in-the-know expats who are on hand to provide invaluable information about the process. To be put in touch, contact the Resource Team on 020 7898 0549, or download your free copy of the New Zealand Buying Guide.
Get all of the key information and advice you need in our online guide to buying a house in New Zealand. You can also download it in PDF format for offline reading or printing. Fill in the form to the right to get your copy.