Amelia’s Mum was born in New Zealand and lived there she married Amelia’s Dad in 2000. Amelia was born in Vermont in 2003 so she is part American and part New Zealander. Amelia has visited New Zealand but the greatest part of her is American as that is where she lives. Some things are the same and others are just a bit different.
The first flight is from Tauranga to Auckland on a small plane that takes about 25 people and flies for just 30 minutes. To drive in the car would take more than 2 hours. From Auckland a very big plane that takes about 300 people flies for 12 hours to the West coast of America, usually to Los Angeles or San Francisco. This plane usually leaves at night time and the passengers are given dinner, then the lights are turned down low so people can sleep. Some people choose to watch a movie on the small screen at their seat. When the flight gets closer to America it is daytime again breakfast is served before landing in America. After waiting for several hours at the airport a middle sized plane that takes about 100 people flies for 6 hours across America, sometimes to Chicago, Philadelphia or New York. After a short wait a small plane that takes about 25 people like the first flight from Tauranga flies for about 1½ hours to Burlington airport.
Katikati is a small town about half the size of Williston and it is right on the sea coast. Williston is not very far from Lake Champlain. Because New Zealand is such a narrow country the weather changes more often. In the summer we can have some quite cold days and in the winter the days are sometimes quite warm. It never gets as cold or as hot in New Zealand as it does in the US. The lower part of the South Island can get snow everywhere but it does not last for many days at a time. In the mountains in the south island and some of the higher mountains in the north island the snow will stay for about 3 or 4 months in the winter time. There is never snow in Katikati. Because the sea is quite close to most towns in New Zealand water sports of all kinds are a common activity in New Zealand. All of the children learn swimming in their school program.
The Maori people sometimes have elaborate tattoos on their skin, but mostly they are just like the white people. Maori cloak Maori greeting – headbands Keish Castle-Hughes – actor Politician
Woven flax skirt (piu piu) – flax is a plant that is dried, then has the flesh removed and the remaining strands are used to weave beautiful skirts and other items. Kapa haka – a dance performed by a group of women and men with lots of singing and action NZ Rugby team doing the haka – this is a different dance and is performed sometimes as a welcome and often by the NZ rugby team before a game to show the strength of the team. The same Maori patterns can be used in weaving, tattoos and carving. The patterns are often ‘mirror’ patterns.
The people gathered at the Marae are not in the traditional Maori costume. Mostly the Maori wear regular clothes and only wear the costumes for very special occasions.
Kiwifruit are picked from the orchard and transported to the packhouse for sorting and packing then stored in huge coolstores before they are trucked to the port for shipping all over the world. The port of Tauranga is very close to where we live and is a busy port for shipping all kinds of export products and also has many cruise ships visit in the summer time. The people from the cruise ships visit local sights to see the New Zealand culture. Many go to Rotorua to see Maori cultural performances and the boiling mud pools of that volcanic area.
There are several volcanoes in New Zealand, especially in the central north island. Mostly they are not active, but they create amazing hot pools, bubbling mud pools and sometimes a geyser when the hot water shoots up out of the ground. These are big tourist attractions but it is important to keep to the pathways for safety.
Mostly we eat the same food in NZ as you do in America. The pavlova served with kiwifruit and/or strawberries and ice-cream is a very NZ dessert. Roasted NZ lamb and roasted vegetables is a favourite meal. Fish and chips are traditionally wrapped in paper and taste best eaten from the paper at an outdoor picnic on the beach. Meat pies are either packaged or put into a paper bag and is best eaten from the packaging not with a knife and fork. Pies are great with tomato sauce added. Of course all the other fast food like McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Subway and more are in New Zealand too.
Here is Amelia 3 years ago when the family visited New Zealand. Playing at the beach with cousins and hiking in the woods with the family. This is a Kauri tree which is a native to New Zealand and grows very tall and straight. The Kauri is very useful for all kinds of wood projects and the Maori used to use it to make canoes over 100 years ago. Many people like to surf at the beach
Because so many people swim at the beaches in the summer nearly every beach has a surf life saving club. The club members work very hard to be strong and efficient at the work so they can be sure to save lives if anyone gets caught in the strong sea current. They have competitions between the clubs and this keeps the teams stronger.
Because the seasons in New Zealand and US are opposite the holidays are sometimes celebrated in different ways. Christmas and New Year are in the summer time, school is on the long summer holiday break and families are often away at the beaches on holiday. In the US there is snow and you may go skiing or ice skating. Many work offices close down for all of the Christmas and New Year days and people do not go to work at from December 24 until 4 January. All the shops and other services like doctors and hospitals stay open. Waitangi Day is a public holiday held on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840. This day would be equal to 4 July holiday in the US. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in New Zealand and Australia originally commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War I. Anzac biscuits are also a memory of this time as during the war they were sent by wives to soldiers fighting overseas because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Anniversary Day is a provincial holiday to remember when the original settlers first came to live in that area in NZ. New Zealand is divided into 13 different provinces and each one celebrates its anniversary on a different day, depending on when the settlers arrived and the government declared it a province. The Queen’s birthday holiday is on the first Monday in June. It is to remember the birthday of the Queen of England because New Zealand is part of the British Commonwealth, like Canada. This is not the actual birthday of today’s Queen. On November 5 1605 a man named Guy Fawkes was caught guarding explosives hidden under the House of Lords in England. Countries in the British Commonwealth now remember that day with fireworks displays. Mothers day and Fathers Day are not a holiday but they are a very special day to remember all the things our mothers and fathers do for us. They are always on a Sunday and the family gathers to have a special time with their Mum or Dad.
New Zealand has $1 and $2 coins. There used to be notes for this value but it was used so often that the notes became damaged too quickly and the coins were introduced. New Zealand does not have different names for the coins like America does.
New Zealand has less notes because there are more coins – the $1 and $2 coins. America has a new $50 note – can you see the difference?
The 4 stars on the NZ flag represent the southern cross which is a group of stars that can be seen in the sky in NZ. The Union flag in the top left corner recognises New Zealand connection with Great Britain. The 50 stars on the US flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America and the 13 stripes represent the 13 British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include the "Stars and Stripes", “ Old Glory“ and "The Star-Spangled Banner" (also the name of the national anthem).
Amelia’s cousin Kate at school – it was grand parents day, see the welcome sign on the wall. A group of student in class, all wearing the uniform – cousin Blake is in this picture. Each school has a different uniform – there are two different schools/uniforms shown in the pictures. Many of the schools in New Zealand have their own swimming pool. School buses are not all yellow, they can be different colours in different towns. Schools have a pedestrian crossing and students do road patrol before and after school to stop the cars while people cross the road. This way groups of people cross the road together and keeps the traffic moving better on the roads. A road sign close to the school warns traffic that there are children and buses to watch out for.
New Zealand ‘down under’New Zealand is a very small country at the bottom ofthe globe so people often say it is ‘down under’.It is far away from many of the big countries and manypeople do not get to travel to New Zealand. Thenearest big country is Australia.We will give you a look at just some of the culturalfeatures of New Zealand.
Where in the world are we? Williston near Burlington Vermont, US Katikati near Tauranga Bay of Plenty, NZIt takes 4 aero plane rides and about 30 hours to travel fromKatikati in New Zealand to Burlington Vermont.From when you get up in the morning, all that day, rightthrough the next night, and until lunch time the next day.
WillistonKatikati Here is a comparison of the size of New Zealand and USA. New Zealand is a very small country and our nearest other country is Australia.
A native person of New Zealand is aMaori. They are a dark skinned raceand live and work with the whitepeople who are sometimes known asPakeha.They do have a Maori language, butmostly they speak English .Here are some pictures showingsome Maori people.
Marae Maori meeting houseAn example of the beautifulMaori carving and weaving.The inside walls and ceiling ofa Marae are covered in these.
New Zealanders are sometimes calledKiwis, but we know that a kiwi is anative bird of New Zealand.The kiwi does not fly and has a verylong beak to dig into the ground to findfood. The kiwi sleeps in the day timeand comes out at night to play andsearch for food. If you visited NewZealand you could see a kiwi in a zoo orspecial park where they trick them byusing lights to reverse the day andnight.We also have kiwi fruit in New Zealandand people in other countries call themkiwis too. Kiwifruit is an important exportcrop in New Zealand and there aredifferent varieties.
We live in the Bay of Plenty and this is amajor kiwifruit producing area.
Here are some Maori words for youtahi 1rua 2toru 3whā 4rima 5ono 6whitu 7waru 8iwa 9tekau 10Kia ora – welcomeWhanau – family, cousins, aunts, unclesMarae – meeting housePiupiu – skirt made from flaxKapahaka – a group that performs Maori songs and dancesPoi – small soft white ball that swings on a rope and is used in dancesKai – foodPuku – stomach
The same but differentNew Zealand and America sometimes used different words for the same meaning:Mom Mum a motherTrunk boot storage space in the back of a carSidewalkfootpath walking space at the side the roadGarbage/trash rubbish waste items to be thrown awayKetchup tomato sauce a sauce made from tomatoesHike tramp a walk in the countryWoods bush many trees together in a large areaGas petrol the fuel for your carSwimsuittogs the suit you wear to go swimmingOther words are spelled the same but sounded differentlyDanceTomatoBananaOther words are spelled differently but sound the sameNeighbour neighbor colour colorHarbour harbor realise realizeFavour favor capitalise capitalize
Holidays and special eventsMany of our holidays are the same as in the US. Because the seasons are oppositethey are celebrated in different ways. Some of the different holidays are:Waitangi Day – also known as New Zealand Day – February 6.Anzac Day – April 25Anniversary Day – different dates in different provincesQueen’s Birthday – the first Monday in JuneChristmas Day and Boxing Day (the day after Christmas when boxes are put away)New Years Day and the day afterGuy Fawkes day – November 5Mothers Day and Fathers Day
Currency NZ and US both use $ and cents but the coins and notes are different.10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 $21 cent, 5 cents 10 cents, 25 centsPenny nickel dime quarter
GovernmentThe systems of governing the country are different in New ZealandNew Zealand has a Prime Minister – the US has a PresidentIn New Zealand the people vote for a party and the party members elect a leader.This leader becomes the Prime Minister if that party wins the elections.In the US the people vote for the President and the person with the most voteswins and becomes the President.The New Zealand Prime Minister has visited America several times and also meetswith the US President.In New Zealand voting for the government takes place every 3 years and in the USit is every 4 years.
SchoolsThe learning and activities in NZ schools is very similar to a US school. Thebiggest difference would be that students in NZ schools wear a uniform toschool.