New Zealand is a multi-cultural society first settled by the Maori people around 950AD but now with a population also consisting largely of European, Pacific Island and Asian people all known as "Kiwi's" or New Zealanders.
English is the most widely spoken language but the beautiful native language of Maori heavily influences the culture. This is particularly evident in many of the street or place names and many famous land-marks around the country.
New Zealand English also has some unique qualities with words often spoken quickly, with different vowel sounds or used as 'slang'. These are often known as "Kiwiana".
The smaller size of its cities and outdoor opportunities enable New Zealand and New Zealanders to enjoy both a relaxed and adventurous spirit. New Zealanders are generally very friendly people and have a reputation for a warm almost "country" welcome.
New Zealand has also gained an international reputation for some of the best seafood, meats and dairy products in the world. Combine these ingredients with local flavours like kumara (sweet potatoes) and a mixture of Pacific, European and Asian cooking styles and you have a choice of superb cuisine in New Zealand. The food is also well complemented with international award winning wines with the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varieties being the most recognized.