• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of New Zealand


New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that truly embraces the history and culture of the indigenous people, the Maori, who still make up a small percentage of the people. Today many aspects of Maori culture have been integrated into general New Zealand culture, although numerous differences in culture, lifestyle, and occupation between the two groups still exist. The "kiwis" (as New Zealanders are often called) tend to be very forward thinking and liberal, with numerous political issues at the forefront of thinking and education, yet they remain casual and more concerned with maintaining their lifestyle than they are with money, possessions, or business.

Although there is plenty of land in New Zealand the people are primarily limited to the flatlands on the North Island and nearly everyone lives in cities today (most of which are on the North Island). For those who live in more rural areas jobs differ as farming is popular and the growing tourism industry is adding many service jobs in rural landscapes. In the cities there are jobs of all sorts as office jobs and additional jobs in the services industry are common.

On weekends the people love to get out and have fun. Swimming, hiking, and other sports are common during the nice summer months, while skiing is a favorite in the winter (although the mountains can be difficult to get to). Team sports seem to consume a great deal of time for the kiwis as rugby, soccer (football), and cricket are among the favorites. Pubs, bars, clubs, and movies are also popular for evening entertainment, but malls and other shops tend to close at about 5:00 or 6:00 pm. Long vacations are common as everyone gets four weeks of paid vacation so summers (about November to February) finds most people out of the country or elsewhere in the country instead of at work.


There are two primary identities in New Zealand; most of the Maori identify as such, but they, along with nearly everyone else in the country, also identify as New Zealanders or Kiwis. Many of the recent immigrants to the country also identify with their ethnicity, which may be Chinese, Indonesian, and numerous other ethnicities.

The Kiwi identity is one based on nationality as everyone who is a citizen of New Zealand is included in this identity, including the Maori and the recent immigrants to the country. Although this is a politically defined identity, it is also based on the culture of New Zealand, which includes food, sports, social issues, and many aspects of Maori culture that have become a part of the national culture.

The Maori identity is one limited in scope to those who are ethnic Maori. This identity is also a recent creation that has been established since the arrival of the Europeans, hence uniting the Maori. Despite the recent creation of this identity, it is rooted in the culture, history, language, and foods of the Maori people, which have existed for hundreds of years.

This page was last updated: November, 2013