New Zealand, A Must Visit

by Susana Becerra Martínez

Yesterday afternoon, we had the delightful opportunity to attend a talk about New Zealand. Geoff Stagg, from the Embassy of New Zealand, illustrated us about his astonishing country. Thanks to the Powerpoint presentation and the videos he brought, we soon found out about all the wonders that this land may offer you. To my surprise, the Chilautrum, where the event took place, was utterly full.

Should you decide to travel there, just bear in mind that it is quite far away from Spain. In fact, it will take you about 24 hours by plane. Then, we were advised to spend at least 2-3 weeks there in order to take advantage of both travel time and investment cost. It is located in the Pacific Ocean as well as in close proximity to Australia, which is a 3.5 hour flight away. It consists of 2 main islands and a big number of smaller ones. People only live in the big islands, though. It is about two times smaller than Spain with a population of around 5 million people. Geoff showed us a PowerPoint presentation, where we easily understood the big diversity of citizens in that country: round 70% of European origin, 14% Maori, and about 11% Asians.

Not long time ago, New Zealand and Australia gained full independence from Great Britain and now they both belong to the Commonwealth. Consequently, Kiwis do speak English as well as Maori and surprisingly Sign language. Their currency is the New Zealand dollar. It has a wealthy economy based on natural resources, services, tourism and first quality seafood, as well as lamb due to the fact that it is the land of the sheep. I would also like to highlight the wonders of natural breath-taking landscapes, green lands and spectacular forest apart from peculiar animals like kiwis and other species that you might not find them in everywhere.

A new concept of living was learned through Maori´s culture. You will be welcomed by “KIA ORA”, the world is small, but the meaning is great! It´s like Pura Vida in Costa Rica. They also have a special dance called “HAKA”, which might be carried out being a challenge before a rugby match takes place (All Blacks); it can also take place at any event, mainly at a wedding, a party and so on.

Last but not least, he told us about “KIWI”, whose name is seen as a symbol. It has different meanings: first it may be a nick name, and they use it to refer to themselves in a positive way; And then, the national kiwi bird which cannot fly at all; and also, the fruit, which is not originally from there but from China.

In conclusion, we did realize that it was a wonderful place to visit with such a beauty to discover and enjoy. Yes, it is far away from here, but I think it is a must visit.

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