New Zealand People

New Zealand's people are renowned for their friendliness, their 'can do' attitude and their accomplishments. Some would almost say they have the character traits of certain small inhabitants of the Lord of the Rings. The population is mainly of European descent but the indigenous Maori and their culture is prevalent through out much of New Zealand society.

There are also large proportions of Pacific Island and Asian peoples as well, Auckland being classified as the largest Polynesian city in the world.
 
New Zealand has in recent years undergone a cultural renaissance, from the classical Dame Kiri te Kanawa to the urban South Auckland sound of Nesian Mystik. Karen Walker is our best known designer in the fashion world, who keeps up with the best of them in New York, Milan and Paris. Prominent film directors include Nicki Caro, director of Whale Rider and Jane Campion, director of films such as The Piano, Portrait of a Lady and Holy Smoke. Not to forget our man of the moment, Peter Jackson director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on the waterfront of the capital Wellington combines Maori, colonial and contemporary cultures into a unique experience reflective of New Zealand society.
 
Sport and outdoor pursuits plays a large role in New Zealand society. The All Blacks are New Zealand's world recognised national rugby team. They inspire fear and admiration in their opponents with the haka, a Maori war dance at the beginning of each match. The gold medal tally at every Olympic games is eagerly watched by thousands of Kiwis. Another famous New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first person to climb Mount Everest in the Himalayas.