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We are still collecting information on the New Zealand Wellington Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Church is quite strong in the New Zealand Wellington Mission area. The south island has two districts and one stake (the Christchurch stake), while the part of the north island covered by the mission has 6 stakes. The Church also has a large Polynesian population in the area, with Samoan-language wards and a Kiribati-language ward present on the north island. Other Church resources in the are include a CES Institute in Christchurch and an Employment Resource Center in Hastings. The area is serviced by the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, located in the neighboring New Zealand Hamilton Mission.
Popular foods in New Zealand include fish and chips, meat pies, hamburgers, various seafood dishes, and pavlova (a type of meringue cake). Much of the cuisine is similar to that of Australia, though New Zealand has its own distinct dishes as well, such as the Maori boil-up (a stew made with boiled pork, potatoes, and other vegetables). Barbecues are also common during summer months and are popular social gatherings. Wellington is also home to a large number of cafés.
Missionaries in leadership positions or who have larger areas are generally assigned cars for their personal transportation. Missionaries in other areas will usually get around either by riding bicycles or walking. Wellington also has an extensive public transportation system that includes busses and trains.
The Wellington area is prone to earthquakes from time to time, and though most are fairly mild, missionaries should still be prepared and know what to do when earthquakes occur. New Zealand’s official slogan for what to do during an earthquake is “Drop, Cover, and Hold,” More detailed information can be found at: http://www.getthru.govt.nz/web/GetThru.nsf/web/BOWN-7GY5TP?OpenDocument
The maori culture has its own unique customs and traditions. It is important for missionaries to respect these customs and never be disrespectful towards the maori culture. Several maori expressions are used in day-to-day conversation by all New Zealanders.
The iconic haka dance was traditionally performed before battle to intimidate enemies, and today is often performed by New Zealand teams before sporting events, most famously by rugby teams such as the All Blacks.
The kiwi (New Zealander) slang is very unique in that some of it is similar to Australian slang, while many terms come from Maori and other Polynesian cultures. A few examples include:
“Kia ora” – “hello”
“aye” – often said at the end of a sentence to affirm what was just said
“half pie” – poor performance
“heaps” – a lot of
“sweet as, choice as” – cool
The website http://www.newzealandslang.com/ includes more examples!
It’s a good idea to bring a well-lined rain jacket, as rain is frequent in New Zealand. It may also be a good idea to use calamine lotion to protect your skin, as some areas have lots of fleas and other insects.
Wellington has several interesting and unique sites to visit! Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary located within the city that is open to visitors year-round. Other popular sites include the Museum of Wellington City & Sea and the Wellington Zoo.
The Wellington Cable Car connects the suburb of Kelburn to the main shopping center of the city, and is considered by many to be a symbol of Wellington.
324 A The Terrace
Te Aro, Wellington 6011
President and Sister Kezerian’s mission blog – http://wellingtonnewzealandmission.blogspot.com
Straight from the New Zealand Wellington Mission field:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Hot dogs, Reese’s”
“Mexican restaurants, Peanut Butter candy (Reese’s), otherwise, they have most things!”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Fish and chips”
“Meat and potatoes”
“Sausages (lots of different kinds), Boil ups (Variations of cabbage/greens, meat, and veggies boiled together), Raw Fish, Potatoes, Taro root, Chicken, Corned Beef.”
“Two minute noodles”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Fried eel, pig tail, muscles”
“Fish eyes, BBQ horse”
“Horse meat cooked in coconut cream.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“It was very common to see people at the store or in town not wearing shoes.
“How diverse the culture is! I taught and baptized people from New Zealand, but more people from Tonga, Samoa, Nepal, Malaysia, Egypt, Zimbabwe and more. We often had to find translators to help up teach.”
“Funerals on maraes with uncovered caskets”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the New Zealand Wellington Mission?
“Learn to love the rain!”
“Get ready to get rained on!”
“Love the people and they will love you. Know Preach My Gospel and your scriptures so well that you can focus on the needs of the people you are teaching and patterning your lessons to them.”
“Love the people”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“It goes by so fast, enjoy every second!”
“That I would see only a few baptisms”
“Not to waste too much time with people that are not progressing. People know about the church in New Zealand, and many are happy to just hang out with missionaries. That’s not how you want to spend all your time though. Focus on finding people that are keeping and receiving commitments.”
“Nothing could have prepared me. It was a wonderful experience.”
“This is an amazing missionary. Get to know the culture, people love to teach you about it, and when you show genuine interest in them, they will open up to you and the spirit will be able to carry your message much deeper into their hearts.”
**Did you serve in the New Zealand Wellington Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at email@example.com**