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Pacific students

Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud

New Zealand's beauty is spectacular and unforgettable.

There are high snow-clad mountains, volcanoes, fiords, rainforests, lakes, beaches, and rolling green pasture. Most tourist and recreational areas are only one or two hours' drive from major cities.

New Zealand is a multicultural South Pacific nation. Aotearoa is its Māori name. Māori, New Zealand's indigenous population, migrated from Polynesia around 1000 years ago. They comprise 16.5% of New Zealand's population. The majority of New Zealanders are of British and Irish heritage, but other European influences are noticeable. In more recent years a large number of Pacific Islanders have come to live here from countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. There are also large numbers of other nationalities, including recent Asian and European immigrants, who make up New Zealand's population. New Zealand covers approximately the same area as Great Britain, making it one of the least crowded countries in the world and a haven for peace and relaxation.

New Zealanders are friendly, easy-going people. They welcome visitors warmly and are interested in meeting those from other cultures who come to enjoy what New Zealand has to offer.

New Zealanders share a passion for the great outdoors.

They love going to the beach, swimming, surfing and whale watching in the Pacific Ocean. Many New Zealanders spend time sailing and windsurfing and the more adventurous enjoy the thrills of white water rafting, jet boating and bungy jumping. "Kiwis", as New Zealanders are often known (not to be confused with the luscious brown furry fruit of the same name), also love hiking and walking in the many forests and mountains, fishing, skiing and snowboarding.

New Zealand is a sports-oriented country. New Zealanders are renowned for their sporting prowess and passion for rugby, yachting and netball. Most New Zealanders take part in or watch a wide variety of games including cricket, soccer, golf, squash, basketball, badminton, hockey, tennis, cycling, athletics, skiing and snow boarding.

New Zealand has a broad-based economy. Our major export products include meat, fish, fruit, dairy products and timber. We also produce an increasing number and range of manufactured goods and are at the forefront in many areas of information technology and in biological and medical research. Tourism and education are also becoming increasingly important to the economy.


New Zealand's seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August. In Dunedin, Spring and Summer days can become quite warm with temperatures ranging from 58 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (14 to 26 degrees Celsius). It is generally cool in the winter months, averaging 52 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) from June to September. There are sometimes frosty mornings, usually followed by clear sunny days, and occasional snowfalls. Generally, garments purchased for use in the warmer climates of Asian or Pacific countries are not quite warm enough for New Zealand winters.


The New Zealand dollar is a stable currency. Tourists and new residents find a very favourable exchange rate which gives them high purchasing power. All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand and travellers' cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs).


New Zealand is a secular society generally based on Christian beliefs, but there is a wide variety of religions practised among its population. Freedom of worship is guaranteed by law in New Zealand.


Most visitors arrive in New Zealand at either Auckland or Christchurch International Airports. There are regular direct flights to Dunedin from both airports. The Airport minibus from Dunedin Airport to the city costs approximately $NZ15. Students arriving in Dunedin for the first time will be met at the airport by University staff. There are air and bus services to other towns and cities and an inter-island ferry operates between the North and South Islands.

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