Contemporary culture

World of Wearable Arts | Photo: Florence Dosdane,

Contemporary culture

Since colonial days, when New Zealand looked to Britain for cultural leadership, it has matured into a self-confident nation.

New Zealand is proud of its diverse population; while the majority of Kiwis are of British descent – often referred to as ‘Pakeha’ – many originate from the Pacific Islands or Asia. The largest non-European group is the Māori population. New Zealand’s blend of cultures results in a vibrant national identity; at its heart, it is about innovation, independence and celebrating diversity. Indigenous Māori culture is a strong element of cultural identity for all New Zealanders, Pakeha included. You only need to watch the haka being performed by the All Blacks before a rugby game to see how proud Kiwis are of their shared heritage! New Zealand’s Pacific location also lends a distinctive flavour to life in New Zealand; Auckland is informally regarded as the capital of the Pacific and colourful island culture is clearly evident at the Otara Markets, where you can buy tapa cloth and Cook Island donuts, and in events like the Pasifika Festival. And no trip to New Zealand is complete without experiencing the country’s unique, quirky Kiwiana.


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