Observations, Slang and Facts in New Zealand

Taking the day off from vacation. Doing laundry, catching up on e-mail, cursing the poor connectivity between here and some web sites. Picked up the last book in the Hunter Games trilogy, started reading that. Finished the night with pizza (see below) and a sampling of New Zealand dark beers.

Some Kiwi’isms that I have noticed the last week:

  • They pump gas before they pay.
  • They can park outside the airport while waiting to pick people up.
  • The police do not carry guns.
  • There are no speed traps and very few police on the south island. I saw a single cop between Queenstown and Christchurch.
  • New Zealand has a population of ~ 4.3 million spread over 103,483 sq miles. Compared to the Denver/Boulder metro area with ~ 3.1 million in close to 250 sq miles.
  • When they pronounce the letter ‘z’, it is said as “zed”.
  • Their pizza is more adventurous than ours. For example, Hell Pizza!
  • Everything is rounded up to the nearest 10th cent. That is the smallest coin they have, NZ$2.00 is the highest.

Kiwi slang that gets me every time:

  • “How you going?” instead of “How you doing?”
  • “Want a lolly?” Not just a lolli-pop, any kind of candy.
  • “Sweet as!” .. short for “sweet as pie”, but essentially means ‘fantastic’. Slang, can be used in just about any situation.
  • Jandals .. not sandals. Originally the brand was ‘Jandals’ which became slang for any type of flip flops / sandals.
  • If it looks really ‘flash’, that means upscale / high-end.

Odd facts:

  • The ‘Remarkables’ mountain range outside Queenstown is one of two ranges that run North to South. The other? the Rockies…
  • Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand is almost 400 meters deep, putting the floor below sea level.

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