1. You can pronounce Whakapapa or Whakatane correctly.
Awkwardly, though, the correct pronunciation of “wh” in the Maori language is “f.”
2. You’re prepared to argue to the death that New Zealand — not Australia — invented the pavlova.
This is just one of our many arguments with Australia. The pavlova, or pav, was invented in honor of Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova during her tour of NZ and Australia in the 1920s. After much debate about who invented the meringue dessert, it’s been discovered that NZ was, in fact, the country that created it.
3. That being said, you can list all the things Australia stole from you. And you do list them. Often.
Phar Lap and pineapple lumps to name a few! To say there’s a rivalry between NZ and Australia is an understatement. Being stuck at the bottom of the world means we spend a lot of time in each other’s backyards, arguing about who’s better.
4. You can accurately predict an earthquake’s Richter-scale size.
New Zealand sits on two tectonic plates and can have several earthquakes a day. After the initial Canterbury earthquakes, there were tens of thousands of aftershocks. So we’re pretty good at calling a quake size.
5. You know all the words to the “Ka Mate” haka.
It’s the most recognized war dance of the NZ All Blacks, our national rugby team. We also have another version, but it’s a tad more controversial.
6. The Goodnight Kiwi tells you to go to bed.
And you listen. The Goodnight Kiwi was a cartoon that came on TVNZ every night to let kids know it was time for bed. You can remember him climbing to the top of his TV tower with his pet cat to go to bed in the dish.
7. The ‘underarm bowling’ incident of 1981 is still fresh in your mind.
You know things are getting serious in an argument between an Aussie and a Kiwi when the ‘underarm incident’ is mentioned. New Zealand and Australia were playing a game of cricket. To prevent us from trying to tie the score, the Aussie captain instructed the bowler to bowl underarm — which is “just not cricket!”
The bowler did as he was instructed and controversy ensued, even though technically it was a legal bowl.
8. Christmas means four things to you: barbecues, beaches, chilly bins, and jandals.
Christmas in NZ lands in the summertime. So every true Kiwi spends their Christmas holiday on the beach.
9. You can say “Keep cool till after school” in sign language.
Olly Ohlson would always end The After School Show by signing this phrase.
10. You call everyone “bro” or “cuz.”
Usually heard in Maori and Polynesian circles, it doesn’t mean you’re related.
11. You spend your vacations at your “bach.”
Pronounced “batch,” the bach is a holiday home or beach house. They’re small abodes. Some might not even have electricity or running water.
12. You probably have a photo with the giant L&P bottle.
Lemon & Paeroa is a lemony soft drink, which is “world famous in New Zealand.” It uses carbonated mineral water that comes from the small North Island town of Paeroa. It’s customary — even for locals — to stop and have your photo taken with it when you’re passing through.
13. You respond to most questions with “Yeah-nah.”
Despite the contradiction of the phrase, “yeah-nah” basically means “no.” For example “Do you want to go to the pub?” “Yeah-nah.” Translation: “No, thank you!”
14. You’ve been on a few too many “tiki tours.”
This is basically when you take the scenic route, except now you’re lost and just driving around trying to find your way again.
15. You say “JAFA” a lot.
Yes, this is a derogatory term. Basically, it means “just another f**ken Aucklander.” (Though it can be used for Australians too.)
Best Travel Credit Cards
Top offers from our partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
100,000 bonus points
The Platinum Card®
100,000 bonus points
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 bonus points