Life at No.22, New Zealand

Titbits about NZ

There still seems an ongoing quest to know more information about New Zealand to visit or to live.  No doubt still due to the continuing unrest in many parts of the world.  We are after all at the arse end of the world.  It apparently seems rather beautiful and tranquil here in New Zealand to many who reside in other parts of the world. Indeed, with more politicians trying to do more damage than good, I shall not name names but mix that with a good dollop of global fear and the world has organised the best marketing campaign for moving to New Zealand since the Lord of the Rings.

So, with that in mind here are a few more Titbits about N.Z.

Who are we?

We are called Kiwis.

Kiwis are certainly birds.

Of course, we are not birds.

A kiwi is definitely not a kiwifruit.

To say that would be about as silly as saying passion and passionfruit or grape and grapefruit are the same.

We have three official languages.

With most New Zealanders speaking English.

The other languages are Maori and sign language.

As I have pointed out on a previous blog post a few unique slang words and a few Maori words would be of an advantage to you before arriving here.  They will become second nature to you before you even realise how many you have spoken in everyday conversations.

Check out a few more choice words to learn by heading to She’ll be right, mate!

Learning the vowels will put you a leap ahead of most when trying to say

Tauranga: Toe-rrang-gah 


Rotorua – Rrro-to-rru-ah


Whakatane – Fah-kah-tah-nei


Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu which happens to be the name of a hill near Porangahau in Hawke’s Bay on the North Island

We do have a thriving Art scene though you wouldn’t think so because of our nation’s obsession with sport.  The number one sport, being rugby.  Rugby is about as relevant as everything, and for many the All Blacks are superheroes.  Don’t even question that.

Keep to the Left

Heading up north 2018

We drive.

We walk.

On the left.

In fact, when I do my daily morning exercise, I can even be told off by people approaching to get myself over to the left.  With a smile or a grimace depending on my morning mood.  I oblige that person who loves order in their lives.  Not sure if I have encountered that as much in the UK and Europe compared to here?

We are not great drivers.

Our road statistics aren’t to be read by the fainthearted.

We tailgate like we want to see in the back seat area of the car in front.  At lights, they look right, give the other driver a look that says, “My car can beat yours”, as they both race to see who gets ahead of the other.  A slight exaggeration on my part, as you can no doubt tell.  Only the grey-haired retired drivers, drive like that.

Our cops are not armed.

Well not routinely.

Many have guns locked in the boot of their cars.  We have armed cops called the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) who are on call when needed, but our standard run-of-the-mill copper is not usually holstered and bolstered.


Vegetable Garden

We eat fresh food.

We have private backyard veggie gardens.

Right now citrus is lying on the grass of neighbours lawn.  The blossoms on the feijoa tree are a welcome sight as I peek at some hanging over from the neighbour’s tree.  They ripen after we leave.

We catch fish or buy it fresh.

Mussels on the shoreline, south island

Many a coastal family are inundated with raw kina, mussels, crayfish (Lobster) and many varieties of pelagic fish (Tuna, Marlin) during the hot months of summer.  The typical pork sausage is yearned for by the end of the BBQ season.  A sausage or two is likely to be on a kiwi BBQ than a big fat slab of beef or lamb in the form of a steak or chop.  Most, 99% of cows are fed grass.  We produce a lot of green grass. The only beef that may eat grain are ones that get massaged and called wagyu. We here in New Zealand have farms where wagyu are fed grass.  As I said, we have an abundance of the stuff.

Liquid Substance

Flat White

We drink coffee.

None of that drip or Starbucks stuff.

I am not a fan of either.  Some would say I am a coffee snob.  If Starbucks is here in New Zealand, I just chose to go elsewhere for a great cup of coffee.  We have numerous local coffee bean roasters.  A flat white is a New Zealand institution. I have tried countless times to explain a flat white to many a barista overseas, I now drink long blacks or espresso.  Might have to start acting like a local with the indulgence of a flat white on entering another local cafe.

Vineyard Marlborough

We make wine.

Numerous litres of wine.

The country is covered in 10 wine regions with a gazillion rows of vines. We drink the wine. But not until 5 o’clock. Unless it’s the weekend. Or use the excuse that it must be 5 o’clock somewhere else in the world.  Buy a motorhome, join a club and you will soon learn about the 5’clock concept rather fast as it is treated as an institution in the motorhome community.


We have a challenging political system.

“Who the heck voted for her/him”.

We rarely discuss our political leaning.

We do not do public rallies, well some of us do, though it is not a typical New Zealand thing to participate in. Never not ever. We get out and vote, sure, sports more than politics will be discussed at dinner parties.

You will be safe here.  I hope.

Life at No22 - Titbits about NZ

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