Currently, New Zealanders are
mostly sophisticated and highly enlightened city
dwellers. As part of a vibrant and unique society
which is multicultural, New Zealanders are espousing
21st century culture and technology in astonishing
numbers. But New Zealanders also have a reputation
of quiet but rough individualism, self-sufficiency,
and a head for invention. These qualities are still
seen in the locals today.
The population of New Zealand is diverse, but with
some unifying features that make it unlike any other
in the world.
Its relatively isolated location in the South Pacific and
rugged landscapes still induces many New Zealanders to be
independent and quiet, yet self-reliant and resourceful,
with a celebrated 'Kiwi ingenuity'.
More than 400 years before the famous explorer Christopher
Columbus and the rest of Europe debated about the shape of
the world and falling off its edge, the Maori who were the
first New Zealanders, traveled thousands of miles throughout
the vast Pacific Ocean which was then unexplored in small
canoes which were ocean-going. In order to make it to New
Zealand, these audacious adventurers formulated their own
system of navigation using the currents and the stars.
The European pioneers of New Zealand were also
rugged, brave, and independent.
Before setting up
farms and colonies, they first had to prepare the
land which was a grueling and oftentimes dangerous
Their exposure and isolation to the elements pushed
these early New Zealanders to become multi-skilled
and hardy. This ingenuity and resourcefulness has
greatly added to the character of New Zealand.
The same qualities can be witnessed today in the
present-day pioneers who are a generation of young
Kiwi corporate executive,
film-makers, computer software builders, sportspeople, and
fashion designers, all making a difference around the world.
Although frozen meat, the bungee jump, and the Hamilton Jet
boat are some of the country’s most famous inventions, there
are several others. New Zealanders also invented the
tranquillizer gun, electric fences, seismic 'base' isolators
(lead and rubber and blocks which lessen damage caused by
earthquakes), freezer vacuum pumps, the world’s fastest
motorbike, wide-toothed shearing combs, stamp vending
machines, and the electronic petrol pump just to name a few
Because New Zealand has a low density in terms of
population and awesome scenery, many New Zealanders
adore their outdoors and landscapes.
Mountaineering, hiking, and kayaking are savored by
the majority of New Zealanders, while still more
will explore their surroundings with a bush walk or
a trip to the beach. They are retracing the
footsteps of one the most Kiwi adventurers, Sir
Edmund Hillary, who scaled the highest peak in the
world, Mount Everest, in 1953.
A large population of immigrants from the Pacific
Islands came to New Zealand in the 1970s. In the
1980s and 1990s came the Asians, Europeans, and
These new immigrants added, together with economic and
technological changes, to a virtually unique national
New Zealanders in the past twenty years or more have
embraced the latest technology and the global economy. New
Zealanders are some of the most avid Internet and mobile
phone users in the world.