New Zealand is a country of four million people that was regarded as the world's social laboratory for the first half of the 20th century. It pioneered many social and political innovations, including universal suffrage, state pensions and social welfare. But visitors would visit and discover the NZers didn't really have much of a theory about what we were doing, and tended to be kind of smug an insular. Living standards were very, very high, but variety was elusive and, despite having the world's finest natural ingredients, tended to boil all food to death.

By the early 170s, it was unravelling. We couldn't sell all our meat and wool to Briatin any more, oil shocks were crippling, national debt was astronomical and the economy was the most regulated in the western world. A disastrous cente-right government didn't act (but entrenched the problems) and it wasn't until a Labour government came in in 1984 and radically reformed the place along neo-liberal lines that things changed, as they had to. Unfortunately, unemployment soared, cowboys got hold of the markets and various other bad things happened.

Two other things happened in the early 80s. One was the tour by the South African rugby team, the Springboks, which split the country down the middle, challenging the sanctity of the national game. Tens of thousands protested in the streets, got beat up by cops, etc. It was an ugly time and most NZers now regard the tour as having been A Bad Thing. We got over it.

Another controversial but necessary event was the 1984 Labour government giving teeth to the tribunal that oversees the Treaty of Waitangi, the 1840 agreement between the British Crown and the native people, the Maori, which granted British subjects the right to live in NZ and saw the tribes swear allegiance to the Queen. Unfortunately, many of the rights and most of the property guaranteed in the Treaty were removed over the next 60 years, and the Maori predicament became worse with the drift to the citys. It was a simple matter of legal redress, which has been conducted without blood spilling in the streets, but it does remain a hot-button issue in politics.

These days, NZ has a remarkably unregulated economy (Top 5, Heritage Foundation Freedom Index; no.1 country in the world to do business in according to the World Bank; reliable Top 3 placing in Transparency International's annual non-corruption index) but has never recovered the prosperity of the mid-20th century). This is a constant source of fretting and anxious comparisons with Australia.

At one point recently, women held the posts of Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Solictor General and CEO of Telecom New Zealand. NZ women are staunch. Civil unions were passed into law last year and prostitution is legal and regulated; both on conscience votes in Parliament. The respective sides of the prostitution debate insist that things have either gotten better or worse since the law change.

Social indicators vary. Child abuse rates, especially among Maori, are terrible, but there may also be more reporting going on here. Youth suicide rates are globally bad, but have been steadily falling. High incidence of petty property crimes, low incidence of sexual offending (compared to Australia, Us, UK, etc). For many years we were the world champion per-capita consumers of LSD, and we still like a toke. Methamphetamine (smoked as "P") has been a serious problem in recent years.

New Zealanders, much as they ever have, function best at the apex of practicality and creativity. We're the roadies rather than the rock stars; and late, the directors rather than the movie stars. We still like rugby. But we eat and drink to a standard our parents never knew. Fresh food is remarkably good, the wine is sometimes sensational (and generally cheap) and you can get a decent coffee almost everywhere. New Zealanders are big on coffee (it's one of the things we hang out for away from home) and can't understand why no one else in the world makes our special coffee called a flat white.

Schools have a great degree of self-governance than those in similar countries, and the best of them are excellent. NZ kids repeatedly feature at the top of world rankings for maths and literacy - unfortunately, there's also a largely non-white cohort that regularly features near the bottom of those rankings. We're not such an egalitarian place as we used to be.

The land, sea and sky are wonderful. NZers have never been great church-goers, but most of us feel something mystical about the land, especially if we've been away from it. We get out and about a lot.

Worst thing about New Zealand? Annoying whiners who blather on about "political correctness" but can never really say what they mean, and insist on making cringeing, unfavourable comparisons with Australia. But I guess we have to own them too. They have doubt. Doubt is what distinguishes New Zealanders from Australians. They're all brash and confident - they're also *way* more racist than New Zealanders, but we do like them anyway.

Some of our best art, most notably that of Colin McCahon, is riven by doubt. And thus the greatest line ever uttered in a NZ movie (Goodbye Pork Pie - 1980?) is reproduced here (the characters were smoking pot on a road trip at the time):

"There's only one thing certain in life, Blondini, and that's doubt .. I think."
Doubt is what distinguishes the inhabitants of New Zealand from those of Australia.
by Russell Brown October 16, 2006
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An insignificant group of islands in the South Pacific inhabited by 55 million sheep, 4.5 million of which think they are human.
American: "Are you British?"
New Zealander: "Nah mate, I'm from New Zealand."
American: *blank stare*

English bartender: "What's it to be guv?"
New Zealander: "A pint of lager thanks."
English bartender: "I see your cricketers beat us in the Ashes again."
by Dunners_boi October 04, 2010
hey everyone leave new zealand alone, its a nice caring country that loves everyone. sure we may not be sophisticated or smart or diverse, but we make do with what we`ve got/. i myself am a plumber, my weekly pay packet is enough to feed my family of sheep and to buy a brush to keep the wool out of my eyes. i love new zealand. sometimes i stand on the west coast and cock my ear over towards them aussies to see if theyre talking about us lol but they never talk about us, i dont think theyre even aware that we exist. i love aussies. i wished i could hire a tug boat to tow new zealand across the tasman and join it onto the east coast of australia, then i`ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that i`m finally home. thankyou australia from the bottom of my heart.
please mrs helen clarke make new zealand an australian state.
by growingpains August 06, 2006
New Zealand

A land full of xenophobic, bad driving, stupid, one eyed, selfish, deluded, aussie hating twats.
The country is quite nice but none of the New Zealanders have any clue about it they all want to get out and go on ther OE. Once on their OE they rarely return because there is not work and any work there is will be better paid elsewhere.
'I live in a beautiful country full of friendly people here in New Zealand' !! yeah right it has the highest sucide rate of teenagers. A huge drug and alcohol problem. High chest problems because they live in wooden houses with poor heating. I rains constanly hence a green land under a long white cloud.
by 12345 lets go May 05, 2011
A crappy country where people are either idiotic risk takers like bungee jumpers or country hicks (most of the population), animals ruining scenery or causing roadblocks, nothing to praise but scenery, much of which is boring & repetitive, constant rain, constant freak weather nowadays, little American influence, everyone's so British even though it's not a British country anymore and hasn't been for a long time, everyone and everything seems strange down there, everything's expensive, not much to do, etc. Australia's a lot better
"Dude I'm going to New Zealand"
"Have you lost your mind?"
by danthompson September 24, 2011
country voted to have the least sexy accent in the world. the men's voices sound as if their voice box has been pushed to the back of their neck.

the people of new zealand get upset easily. they will often try to start fights, especially with australians who just laugh and wonder why new zealanders get so angry.

the reason new zealanders get angry is because it is a matriachal society and women are hypnotised by a small group of women to never have sex. the reason for this is power of course, but it has nasty side effects - everyone knows that a man who doesn't get any, is irritable and tries to pick fights with their neighbours.

the only men that do get sex, are the sons of the abovementioned small group of women, and they are fucked by their mothers from a young age. these guys are extremely proud as you can see from a lot of the posts here. just walk the streets of a new zealand city any time and you'll know what i mean.
australian tourist in new zealand: excuse me, sorry to bother you. do you have the time?

new zealander: the time? what the fuck did you say to me? new zealand would waste australia.

tourist: *sigh*
by Jed Sanders February 05, 2008
Country east of Australia, extending slightly further south than the Australian island of Tasmania. Has an extremely overrated reputation, especially for its physical beauty,
most likely spread by NZers themselves. To hear them speak you'd never know any other country has snow-capped mountains, beaches or fiords. In reality,
it's cities are uninspiring and boring, the landscape is monotonous, it has been horrible deforested, and all that green you see is sheep and dairy pastures, which are very hard on the land. There are mountains in the south, but the lanscape there is nothing compared to many other places in the world, for example southern Patagonia, which extends much further south and is much closer to Antarctica, a fact which would likely be a surprise to most NZers, as they believe they are furthest south. They may not teach much geography there, which would account for their thinking of their country as somehow special.
Very nice beaches, and there are lots of them.

Government: Not a democracy. Led by the ugliest head of state in the world (Helen Clarke). Now there's a superlative that is actually true! Horribly bloated government. MPs take the people's money and live the good life, robbing the citizens of the social services they should be getting. Probably way more corrupt than anyone is willing to admit.

Education: A University education is very expensive and not subsidized by the government, except as low interest loans. Despite a hugely taxed populace, the government provides no real financial aid for University.

Language: Extreme accent. Hard to listen to, hard to understand. Their language is peppered with Australian slang. Hardly any of it is homegrown.

Quality of life: Unless you are rich you can expect: A really small house, usually extremely ugly, unless it's old. No air conditioning. No central heating. No fly screens. Hardly any channels on the TV, unless you get Sky TV, then you pay for hardly any channels. Food is of extremely limited variety. The meat is sometimes of exceptionally poor quality, often tough and tasteless. It's the luck of the draw. Hardly any variety of vegetables. Awful bread. If you love to cook and try new things, would be hard place to live in. The standard size refrigerators are very small compared to the US. So are stoves and ovens. Unless you want to pay alot of money, you cannot own a clothes dryer.
All electronics are extremely expensive, so you have to make a good salary to enjoy modern technology. Unless you want to pay too much, forget about a really big tv. DVDs are expensive, and there's a limited range.
Salaries are lower than other western countries, and the mostly imported goods are more expensive. The clothes is expensive and it's hard to find non polyester blend items at a reasonable cost.
Unless you pay top dollar, the utility company may turn off your hot water, without warning you first!
Toilets are often kept in narrow rooms, apart from bath or shower, sometimes without enough room for a washbasin.
The only large bookstore in the entire Auckland area is Borders, a recent American import.
Rugby mania is so prevalent, it gives the place an odd feel, as if it really were a caricature of itself.

Governement services: Bloated welfare system, most everything else neglected and substandard.

Diversity of Population: Not really. Lots of Polynesian and Asians, a smattering of Brits and South Africans, and the occasional Eastern European.
The Americas, North and South, have hardly a presence there. Very few Africans.

Auckland: The most boring large city in the world, which is not surprising, being that it's in the most boring country in the world. Culturally backward, like the rest of the country. No particularly interesting architecture. No rich cultural life. Quite dirty and unsafe in it's southern suburbs. Some streets there strongly recall streets in third world countries.

Housing: Has some of the ugliest domestic architecture in the Western World. Older homes are charming enough, but anything built after around 1940 will be ugly as sin, and really small. Unless you're rich. Then it will probably be ugly too, but at least it will be bigger.
Most people do not have attics or basements, so no place to keep your stuff.

Internet: Because posting things to NZ from the outside world costs so much, wonderful things like eBay and Amazon
are virtually unknown here. Online trading sites within the country are a Mickey Mouse version of eBay.

Shopping: Most stores close by 6:00, including shopping malls, and home improvement and hardware stores (except for one day a week). This includes weekends. There are a few exceptions, and they're always full of customers until late.

Wood products are extremely expensive, so people commonly own cheap looking stuff. Kitchen cabinets are made of the same cheap materials used in dentists offices and vet clinics in the US.

Health care: A travesty. Long waiting lists for both routine and necessary procedures. Probably worse than Britain.

Attitude: Racist all around, make up for it with a nauseating PC attitude. Make a bit deal out of "Kiwi ingenuity." What this really means is they have so little in the country, they've often had to make do and improvise.
Terrible and embarrassing inferiority complex.

Country has not progressed much in the last 30 years or so. As the modern Western world is a more comfortable place, full of affordable high end goods, this country is trapped in time, for all the wrong reasons.
Many NZers leave and live in Australia, which is quite understandable.

Culture: TV, slang, dress, etc. all come from Australia.

Media: Few TV channels, substandard newspapers. To get well written intelligent news, must read the foreing papers. NY Times is not really available. Might find an a copy several weeks old selling in the airport for around $12.00 US.
I live in New Zealand, so I should know.
by t. russell rex January 12, 2006
(proper) noun.

A mythical place in the southern Pacific Ocean made of clouds, that was invented by Australians.

Legends that ascribe "New Zealand" to be the birthplace of a variety of Australian celebrities, including Ernest Rutherford, Edmund Hillary, Burt Munro, Russell Crowe, Keith Urban and Sonny Bill Williams, can be traced back to early social engineering attempts undertaken by radical left-wing political movements that are also responsible for a once widely circulated urban myth: that the British couldn't conquer "New Zealand" and so had to sign treaties with the original inhabitants.
Various popular musical bands also claim to be "from New Zealand", such as Crowded House, Fat Freddy's Drop and Flight of the Conchords, though this is usually not part of a crazy belief system, but a clever marketing ploy.
The famous poet and philosopher, Munter, sometimes describes his ancestry as originating in "New Zealand", though this is usually a reference to his earlier work where he disproved the theory of epiphenomenalism.

see also: New Zealander adjective derrog..
Rugby players that happen to be drunkards, sheep molesters and adults that have difficulty with shoes, as depicted in the Australian historical docu-drama "Footrot Flats", are also frequently referred to as New Zealanders.
High School Student (drunk): 'Wun ee grew oop, ee winna bi uhn Oozie, eh bro, ow'.

Teacher: 'Don't give up Jerome; you're nearly ready for steps...and please, just call me "Miss"; it will more than double your productivity rate'.

High School Student: 'Oo kah eh bro, noo woories ow bro, jest coz oo cull mi uh New Zealander, yis or stull oolright, yeh Oz- ut's chooiice izzzz, eh? Ow.'

Teacher: 'Any more talk of this, "New Zealand" nonsense, and I'll have you banned from Rugby'.

High School Student: 'Chooiice izzz broo'
by slotharisor July 28, 2010
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