Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Is?

A recent visitor to my website read a reference to New Zealand and contacted me to ask just exactly where New Zealand is and what it - and we New Zealanders- are like.

Well that got me thinking – and I’m just so pleased she asked. It’s easy to become focused on your little part of the world and just assume your country, state, area, city, town is known on a wider scale.

So I thought I’d introduce my part of the world (both my City and my Country) in the hope that you will share yours with me as well :).

Where: Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Right about here … on the world map. New Zealand is a beautiful country bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean, and on the other the Tasman Sea. Comprised of 2 main islands – rather logically named the North Island, and the South Island! Various movies/series have been filmed here which showcase some of the beautiful scenery – Lord of the Rings probably the most well known, but there’s also been The Piano, Whale Rider, Xena – Warrior Princess, and more. These are just a few pics of the variety of landscapes in this fair land.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Mt Maunganui & Tauranga


Mitre Peak, Milford Sound

With a population of around 4 million – we’re a fairly multi-cultural bunch – three recognized main languages – English, Maori, and NZ Deaf Sign Language. We have quite a ‘flat’ accent and are often teased by our Australian neighbours for the way we say Fish and Chips (Fush and chups), ten (tin), sex (six) but that’s OK because their accent is a thousand times worse!!

We’re right up there with the rest of the world technology wise, and have a variety of housing from inner city apartments to suburban villas and modern houses to lifestyle blocks and farms.

Being a small country we are fiercely proud of anything that comes out of it – actors and musos particularly, think – Anna Paquin, Lucy Lawless, Flight of the Concords actors, Sam Neill, Cliff Curtis, Crowded House, Kiri Te Kanawa, Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race host), etc, etc.

We’re known for one of our native birds the ‘Kiwi’ and in fact are ourselves often referred to as ‘Kiwis’. Kiwiana is also a feature of New Zealand – jandals (aka thongs and flip flops in other parts of the world), buzzy bees (England’s Prince William had one as a young fella), and other recognized icons of NZ culture .
I must dispel a rumour… we do not all have sheep in our backyard although yes, we have a lot of them in the country (on farms!). Food wise – we are blessed with fresh fruit and veggies in abundance – Hawkes Bay being the ‘fruit bowl’ of New Zealand. Lamb, Beef and Dairy are our major exports. Apples, squash, wine, logs and timber are right up there too.

I sense I’m starting to ramble – so enamoured with my country am I! So I’ll cut to Napier – population 58,000 on the east coast of the North Island. Known nation-wide for our inner city Art Deco architecture, temperate climate, wineries (very, very good!). Fairly flat around the suburbs we also have sea-side townships and and an area known as ‘The Hill’ (actually 3 hills), a busy Port, a domestic airport and some wonderfully resourceful creative types .

Phew – I’ve only touched the surface but that’s the general overview of where I come from. Now – what about you? Whether you’re from NZ or another part of the world – what’s special about ‘your place’?


  1. Napier is a great city, I love all the art deco, and my new favourite yarn store is based there.
    Pokeno is known for it's bacon and Mercer for it's cheese and we're smack bang between the two. And right now we do have sheep in our back yard :-)

  2. Mel I think you have covered NZ and NZ'ers beautifully. I'm proud to live here and have never thought of living anywhere else in the world.

  3. Go kiwi's!
    your description is so lovely!
    makes me proud to be a NewZealander,

  4. Oh Gill - you did make me laugh - how great to have sheep in your backyard, beats mowing lawns!!

    Thanks Bobbie and Hannah - I'm a proud kiwi too :)

  5. Mel, you're done such a great job of describing NZ - well done :-)

  6. Great post Mel. Amazing how we still go under the radar isn't it.

  7. Great description of our little islands Mel, I have only been here 10 years, but NZ feels like 'home'. I had to smile when I read about someone asking you 'where' exactly NZ was, when we were about to move here a friend said 'have fun in Australia' I replied that we were going to New Zealand, not Australia. 'Isn't NZ a part of Australia?!' was their reply!


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