Our Language - New Zealand, Century Park Motor Lodge

English is the main written and spoken language in New Zealand. The ability to read, speak, write and understand English to a relatively high level makes living and working in New Zealand easier and more fulfilling. Our language is very informal and relaxed and, like you, we also use unique slang words to describe everyday things.

The Māori language, also officially recognised, is experiencing a significant renaissance, with over 4 percent of the population able to speak it fluently. Specialised schools, radio stations and a television channel dedicated to the language have all helped arrest a serious decline in its use. More and more we’re seeing Māori words becoming part of the general language used by all Kiwis, for example kapai ("kar pie") = good, whanau ("far know") = a family group, manakai("ky") is food.


Being in the Southern Hemisphere, our seasons are completely opposite to countries north of the equator. Winter lasts from June until August and our summer is between December and February.

Because we are surrounded by sea, our climate doesn’t get uncomfortably hot or unbearably cold in the areas where the majority of us live, although extremes will be found, particularly in our mountain ranges in winter. Overall, our temperate climate ranges from 20–30°C (68–86°F) in summer, and from 5–15°C (41-59°F) in winter.

Our Government

New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster parliamentary system. New Zealand’s Parliament is currently made up of 120 Members representing eight parties. New Zealanders go to the polls every three years, with the next election in 2011.

John Key is the current Prime Minister and he heads the ruling National Party Government. While voting is not compulsory, as a New Zealand resident or citizen you will be required to enrol as an elector.


New Zealand is a member of the British Commonwealth (along with Australia, Canada and 51 other countries) whose membership makes up 30 percent of the world’s population. New Zealand is also a member of numerous international organisations such as the OECD, UNESCO and WHO, as well as being party to a number of international agreements like the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol and Ozone Layer Protection.

Our Landscape

New Zealand has 14 national parks. In fact a third of New Zealand is protected in parks and reserves. In such a small country, you'll find incredible variety in our landscape and vegetation.

With majestic mountain ranges, sweeping plains, towering forests, azure lakes, and secluded bays dotted around its lengthy coastline, a recurring theme with many tourists and migrants is New Zealand’s stunningly beautiful countryside. In fact, the only natural landscapes in the world that New Zealand does not have are deserts and icecaps!
Aside from our people, the diversity and accessibility of our countryside are our greatest assets and they offer an enormous range of leisure and lifestyle options. New Zealanders embrace them all – from swimming and boating to skiing and hiking.

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