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New Zealand: Lifestyle

Author: rxpg, Posted on Thursday, April 03 @ 00:00:00 IST by rxpg  

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Total population is about 3.7 million. Over 70% of the population are in the North Island.

The largest center is Auckland (over 1 million), and the capital Wellington.

The official languages are English and Maori. 

English is more widely spoken. 

Maori language, so long on the decline, is now making a comeback due to the revival of Maoritanga. 
A mellifluous, poetic language, the Maori language is surprisingly easy to pronounce if spoken phonetically and each word split into separate syllables.

Pacific Island and Asian languages may be heard in cities.


The dominant cultural groups are the British and the Maori. 

Other smaller groups include Yugoslavian Dalmatians, Polynesians, Indians and Chinese.

A common thread that binds the entire population is its love of sport - especially the national game of rugby union - and outdoor pursuits such as sailing, swimming, cycling, hiking and camping. 

The secular aside, Christianity is the most common religion, with Anglicanism, Presbyterianism and Catholicism the largest denominations. 

An interesting religious variation is the synthesis of the Maori Ratana and Ringatu faiths with Christianity.

Business Hours

Banks 9:00am to 4:30pm - can vary slightly. Otherwise, Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm.

Late night for shopping is either Thursday or Friday. 

Changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act means that most shops are open for longer hours than this. 

Almost all are open Saturday morning, many are open on Sunday with some shops and markets remaining open later during the week.


Tipping is not unheard of in New Zealand. 

Employed people don't depend on tips for their income and service charges are not [usually] added to hotel and restaurant bills. 

Tip for service if you think it's deserved.

Phone Code

The international telephone access code is 64. 

Area codes for a few areas are as follows: 

  • For Auckland and surrounding area 09,
  • for the area in and around Wellington 04, and 
  • for Hamilton and the surrounding area 07.
  • The entire South Island uses the STD code 03.

To place an outgoing international call, dial 00 plus the country code and number.

To reach the local and national operator, dial 010; for directory assistance dial 018.

Time Zone

New Zealand time is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or 11 hours ahead of Berlin and Paris, 17 hours ahead of New York and Montrιal, 10 hours ahead of Cairo, and 3 hours ahead of Tokyo.

New Zealand observes daylight saving time from mid-March to early October, during which time the country is 13 hours ahead of GMT.


New Zealand's climate can generally be described as subtropical on the North Island—known for its beaches—and temperate on the South Island, known for its mountains. 

Temperatures on both islands are mostly mild year-round, with moderate seasonal and altitude variations, and there is never a time of year when the weather is likely to spoil your visit.

The average January temperature in Wellington is 6° C (43° F), in July, 20° C (68° F). In Auckland, those same months' averages are 8° C (46 ° F) and 23° C (73° F) respectively.

Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.


The basic monetary unit is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$), which is divided into 100 cents. 

Notes are available in denominations of NZ$5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Coins are denominated as follows: NZ$1 and 2, and 1 cent, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents


Current is 230 volts AC, 50 Hz, as in Europe and Australia. Three-prong plugs (like those used in Australia) are standard. 

Visitors from abroad who wish to operate personal small electronic items, should bring a plug adapter and a transformer.


Driving in New Zealand is notably easy for most visitors. 

Roads are well maintained and have plenty of clear signage. Traffic is rarely congested, and distances are relatively short.

Driver's licenses of a few countries are recognized in New Zealand, but visitors who wish to drive are advised to obtain an international driving permit (available from automobile clubs in one's home country) before departing for New Zealand.

The minimum age for renting a car is 21. Traffic proceeds on the left.

The New Zealand Automobile Association offers reciprocal services for members of automobile clubs in most other countries, and they are a good source of maps and guidebooks. 

Contact the 
NZAA at Level 17, AA centre, 
99 Albert Street or P.O. Box 5, Auckland 1, 
Tel. +64 (9) 377-4660/fax 309-4564.


Throughout the country, 111 is the number to call for any police, fire, or medical emergency. There is no charge for a call to 111.


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