11 Reasons Why We Love New Zealand's People

A person walking through the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand
A person walking through the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand | © Aaron Birch/Unsplash
Thalita Alves

One of the best things about travelling is getting to know the locals. In New Zealand, that means meeting some of the nicest, friendliest people around. Don’t believe us? Here are 11 defining qualities that prove Kiwis are a lovable bunch.

Their easygoing spirit

If you spend enough time in New Zealand you’ll likely hear someone utter the phrase: ‘She’ll be right’. That’s pretty indicative of how Kiwis view life in general: they like to take things as they go, thinking that everything will work out in the end. This easygoing nature also resonates in the local lifestyle, with many people listing New Zealand’s relaxed approach as one of the biggest draw cards for moving there.

A person walking through the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand

A can-do attitude

Quiet night at Lake Hauroko, New Zealand


New Zealanders are quite humble people. They don’t like bragging about their achievements, and they equally hate hearing anyone being boastful about their own feats. Kiwis also expect their sports idols to stay grounded in the nation’s proudest moments. For instance, New Zealand rugby star Richie McCaw’s choice to decline a knighthood has been lauded as a model example of this much-valued sense of humility.

Silhouette of a person on Roys Peak, New Zealand

Innovative nature

One of New Zealand’s cultural icons is the number eight wire: a symbol of what locals know as Kiwi ingenuity. New Zealanders are quite creative and entrepreneurial, bringing a number influential pioneers to the world throughout its short history. On top of that, the local startup scene is always thriving and people know how to make great things out of very little (you could say this resourcefulness is a product of living in such a small, isolated country).

Steampunk Headquarters in Oamaru, New Zealand

Sense of humour

Flight of the Conchords. Taika Waititi. The movie What We Do in the Shadows. These are just some of the globally-renowned examples of New Zealand’s wit. Kiwis have quite a subtle, often self-deprecating sense of humour that historically carries a few strands of darkness and anti-authoritarian sentiment.

Their ongoing efforts to protect Maori culture

New Zealand has come a long way with Maori and Pakeha (New Zealand European) race relations since the 20th century. The country is commendable for its continuous pursuits to right past wrongdoings, from land ownership rights as stipulated in the Treaty of Waitangi, to language revitalisation and the preservation of cultural traditions.

Vice Admiral Robert L. Thomas of the U.S. 7th Fleet welcomed at the Royal New Zealand Navy Marae in Devonport, New Zealand

A sense of ‘mateship’

Usually attributed to the loyalty shared by the New Zealand and Australian soldiers in the First World War, the term ‘mateship’ has evolved to depict the local sense of comradeship on sports fields and in life in general. Simply put, New Zealanders are loyal and friendly when it matters most, be it in tragic times or otherwise.

An ode to mateship

Kiwis are very hospitable

Here’s an interesting factoid for you: an Immigration New Zealand survey from 2015 found that more than 90% of migrants found Kiwis to be ‘friendly’ or ‘very friendly’, identifying this as one of the reasons it’s so easy to settle into the country. Manaakitanga, which is a Maori word for hospitality, is seen as a sign of mutual respect for others – as such, hospitality and generosity are highly valued in New Zealand culture.

Welcome sign at Auckland Airport

And they love to lend a helping hand

New Zealanders are naturally quite generous, and you can generally rely on them to be willing to help out anyone who needs it. If your car breaks down in the middle of a rural road, for instance, it might not take that long for someone to pull over and pitch in to help. That’s not to mention the fact that any time there’s a news story of hardship or tragedy, the donations quickly come flooding in.

A helping hand

They’re naturally outdoorsy people

In a country that’s surrounded by beautiful landscapes, awesome hiking trails, snowy mountains and epic cycling terrains, it would be weird not to have a populace that relishes all things active. New Zealanders really do love the outdoors – you can find them planning a camping trip over the summer, out on the beach during Christmas, or simply getting out and about whenever the weather allows.

Two hikers on a trail in the mountains

Likewise, they care a lot about the environment

Kiwis know they have a good thing going on, and they don’t want to lose it. They care about the quality of their rivers, they want to see their mountains preserved and many even take time to volunteer in the country’s various conservation islands, community tree planting events or local pest control initiatives.

Smokefree sign at a park in Levin, New Zealand

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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