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  • Writer's pictureClaire Freeman


Updated: Dec 5, 2017

I recently went on a trip to Europe to visit friends and my sister and her family. I’ve been to Europe a few times now (not that easy when the flight takes about 30-40 hours) but this time, I saw things in a different light due to studying philosophy and taking an active interest in the rights of disabled people. There is a lot to love about Europe, but I do love coming home to New Zealand. So here’s a wee list of some awesome things I love about my country - New Zealand.

1. THERE’S NOT MANY OF US. This means people are usually friendly, it could be that being unfriendly is a bad idea as chances are you’ll know someone and word would get around if you’re a dick.

2. PEOPLE ARE EASY GOING. A common saying here is ‘no stress’, and we mean it. Life is about living and kiwis maximize the good times. Life moves at a slower place… some would say a dead pace in some areas but hey, the housing is cheaper!

3. WE TALK TO STRANGERS. It’s common to have a chat with a stranger, someone walking their dog, the woman or man at the supermarket check-out, people on the bus. I did this a few times in Switzerland and got a few odd looks. We are also a trusting bunch for the most part.

4. WE LIVE IN HOUSES WITH BACK YARDS. Most kiwis live in a house, not an apartment. This means we can have a shower at 3am in the morning and not annoy the apartment tenants (in Switzerland, there was a 9pm curfew on the shower). The down side is that we make our houses out of cardboard and twigs so it’s very cold in the winter as we have no heating!!

5. WE ARE A MELTING POT OF RACES AND MANY OF US ARE COMBINATIONS OF ETHNICITIES. I myself am native Maori, Fijian, Danish, Irish and Scottish. It’s hard to be racist when you’re one of the races!

6. OUR SCENERY IS BEAUTIFUL. But more than that, you can appreciate the scenery by yourself. As children, we often had a beach to ourselves, white sand, warm blue water and no one around. New Zealand also has a huge variety of landscapes, deserts, tropical beaches, wetlands, forests, snowy alps, thermal mud-pools so there’s always something to see.

7. WE WILL TRY TO INFLICT OUR WEIRD SENSE OF HUMOUR ON YOU AT ANY OPPORTUNITY. Kiwis love making fools of ourselves, laughing at our expense. It’s part of our humble culture and I think it’s very funny. We like the lighter side to life. To see more, google ‘Flight of the Concords’.

8. OUR FOOD IS AMAZING. Due to millions of acres of random land in New Zealand, a lot of meat comes from happy, healthy animals that grow strong on grass and sunshine. There is a strong movement to have organic, healthy and happy animals and even McDonalds uses free range eggs from happy chickens. Other produce is also pretty good and kiwis do like clean, green and healthy foods. In saying that, we also have too much food so instead of letting it waste, we eat it… and many of us are overweight as a result.

9. FOR THE MOST PART, WE DO TRY TO CARE FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE. We also have a great nationwide free insurance system for anyone who has had an accident (including tourists), so many disabled people in New Zealand are supported to get back to their former lives as much as possible. Oh, and we have free healthcare.

10. KIWIS ARE A STROPPY AND ENTREPRENEURIAL BUNCH. We fought to come here, through perilous seas and often difficult circumstances, so we are very adaptable and have had to think outside the square to survive. We were the first country in the world to give women the vote and when we put our minds to something, we are pretty good at getting stuff done.

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As a child, I would talk to you through my toys. They were my children, and flea-markets were where I found the abused ones. The ones that smelt funny, musky pee with one button eye, they were my whan


Christoph Flaschner
Christoph Flaschner
Feb 12, 2018

Sounds really great ... :-)


David Butterworth
David Butterworth
Dec 07, 2017

Hope i will get to visit one day 🌏

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