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Snapshot of New Zealand – The official languages of New Zealand are English and Maori, though Maori is only spoken by about 4% of the population. About 50% of New Zealand’s population is Christian, with the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches being the largest denominations. Irreligion has been steadily increasing in the country. The majority of New Zealand’s population is of European descent (often referred to as pakeha), which influences much of the modern culture. Indigenous Maori culture is also present, as seen in performances such as the traditional kapa haka dance. Popular music in New Zealand is similar to that of the United States, with a variety of genres being present. Rugby, cricket, and netball are the most popular sports in New Zealand. The cuisine of New Zealand is influenced by both pakeha and maori traditions. The Maori boil-up combines pork, potatoes, dumplings, sow thistles, and kumara (sweet potato). Fish and chips, sausage sizzle (barbecued sausage on bread), and meat pies are also common dishes. Barbecues are popular social events in the summer.
Snapshot of Niue (part of the New Zealand Auckland Mission)
English and Niuean are the official languages of the Polynesian state Niue. About 75% of Niue’s small population of 1400 belongs to the Ekalesia Nieue (a Congregationalist church), with another 15% belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The traditional tame music and dance is used at many cultural and civic celebrations. Guitar and ukulele accompany dancing at these events. Modern music styles such as rap and reggae are also popular. Niue is also influenced by New Zealand’s culture, as it is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. Rugby is the most popular sport in Niue, though netball is also a popular women’s sport. Fish and other seafood dishes (including crabs, crayfish, and dolphin) are the staple of most meals. They are frequently used in soups and stews as well. Taro, yams, breadfruit, bananas, and coconuts are also commonly used in Niuean dishes.
Snapshot of the Cook Islands (part of the New Zealand Auckland Mission)
The official languages of the Cook Islands are English and Cook Islands Maori. Most of the population is of Maori descent. The Cook Islands Christian Church is the largest religious denomination in the Cook Islands, though other Christian churches are present as well. Christianity has influenced much of the local culture, as evidenced in the popularity of Christian music and religious holidays. Traditional aspects of Polynesian culture are still seen in woodcarving, weaving, and dances. Another popular festival is Maeva Nui, which celebrates the local culture with events such as drum competitions, traditional chants, and parades. The Cook Islands is in free association with New Zealand, and so it receives cultural influence from New Zealand as well. Rugby is the most popular sport in the Cook Islands, though cricket and soccer are also somewhat popular. Fish and seafood are staples of Cook Island cuisine; taro and breadfruit are also common elements in dishes. Tropical fruits such as mango, melon, citrus fruits, banana, and coconut are popular and often used as desserts.
Church membership in New Zealand: 107, 511
Cook Islands: 1, 862
Missionaries first came to New Zealand in 1854, arriving in Auckland. In the beginning, they focused on teaching mainly European people, but President Joseph F. Smith later told the missionaries to focus on the Maori people. Before the missionaries came, the Maori people were told by some of their spiritual leaders, called tohungas, and wisemen that a true religion would come. What the missionaries taught was similar to what the Maoris already believed, and many were converted.
With so many cultures, you’ll be trying a variety of food and dishes:
Fish and chips
Seafood (mussels, oysters, fish)
Maori hangi- Meat and vegetables cooked in an underground ovens
Most common fruits and vegetables are available like apples, broccoli, lettuce, peaches, plums, oranges, etc.
Cars for missionaries with leadership positions, and for those with large amounts of area to cover.
To stay safe, missionaries stay in lighted areas.
Talk to members for more specific advice on areas to avoid at night.
When riding a bike, buy a neon vest so that drivers and pedestrians can still see you in the dark.
New Zealand has a lot of fleas. Use calamine lotion to protect yourself.
People in the Auckland, New Zealand mission are very proud of their culture, family, genealogy, religious beliefs and their traditions.
There are many different cultures in New Zealand because there are people from all over the world. There are the native Maoris, and then there are other Polynesian people as well, like Tongans and Samoans. Many people come to New Zealand from Asian countries, such as China or India. Much of the population also trace their roots to Europe, and more specifically to the United Kingdom.
A very iconic image in New Zealand is the Maori warrior. As a custom, Maori warriors (or even sports teams like the All Blacks) will perform the haka, a war dance traditionally meant to intimidate and warn the enemy (or rival).
Sweet as- Awesome, or that’s good.
Aye- Said at the end of the sentence, it is similar to “Right?” or “Agree?”
Far out!- No way!
Heaps- A lot of
Honest to who?- Used when you hear something amazing about someone else
Nek minit- Next thing you know
True?- For real?
Mail is dependable in New Zealand. You just might not see it for a while as it takes longer to arrive.
PO Box 33-840 [letters only]
North Shore City 0740
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Everything in New Zealand is expensive compared to the US. Good shoes for tracting were hard to find there. Winter and rain coats are extremely expensive there so I suggest buying it from the US. For sisters, mascara is expensive (around $20 for a bottle) and I could not find hairspray at all.”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Meat pies. I ate that everywhere and they also sell it almost everywhere. At first I thought it was disgusting and I hated it but by the end of my mission I loved it and I ate it everywhere.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Craziest thing I ate would have to be rotten corn and pork bones with dough boys”
“Horse, dog, fish eyes, sea cucumber, sea snail, and some people had bat.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The culture is rich and people are very dedicated to it. You need to be comfortable in the culture and respect it. Surprising is the warrior nature of the cualture and the amount of respect within.”
“The surprising thing about the people and their culture was how slow pace it was as opposed to us in the US where we have to be constantly up and doing something. But with the kiwis, everyone is just chill, relaxed and easy going. To sum it all up, their their philosophy is akuna matata!”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Auckland, New Zealand Mission?
“My advice would be to first llearn to love your companion and the everyone else. When you do this, you’ll invite the spirit between you and your companion and by doing that, things fall into place. I can testify to that!”
“I would recommend you go with the attitude to be grown, learn from the people, they are very humble and will teach you how to be as well. You will leave a better person.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Try to stay warm in the winter, the flat insulation is bad, careful with bed bugs in South Auckland.”
“One special experience I had was in the North shore, Harbour/Henderson zone serving in the Albany and sunset ward…one day tracting in the summer in what had to be the most hilliest area. I admit I was tired and hungry, but because the faith my companion had, we knocked on one more door and we found some of God’s elect families from Chile! A less active and his wife and children. There was a bit of language barrier, but through the spirit we’re able accomplish miracles.Through the gospel and His teachings, we were able to see God’s love for His children and baptize this choice family.That was a testimony builder.”