Journey to NZ Citizenship. Part 2 - Blending in with the locals

In the second of three blogs, British expat Lizzie Brandon considers a few of the quirks of settling in to a new Kiwi life.

If you’ve just made the move from the UK to NZ, I hope you’re settling in well.

Having emigrated from Bedford to Auckland in 2008, it’s easy to forget the “novelties” of when we first arrived.

For example, when you go shopping, you may enjoy nice chats with checkout assistants as you relax and “the bagger” packs your groceries for you. It’s one of life’s little luxuries, for sure.

You’ll be delighted and stunned by the plethora of decent coffee shops and sushi bars.

People wandering barefoot everywhere, not just on the beach, will quickly not bother you.

Only being allowed to park kerbside in line with the traffic flow might seem strange now, but it’ll soon be normality. In fact, during a recent trip back to Blighty, I was genuinely freaked out by cars parked in different directions!

You probably weren’t expecting any language barriers. However, Immigration New Zealand has a page of its website dedicated to helping Kiwis communicate with expats. Entitled “Keeping it clear” it advises locals to avoid the ‘sweet as’ language that is unique to New Zealand!

Think they’re making a mountain out of a molehill? Why not give this NZ Herald “How good is your Kiwi English?” quiz a go? If you didn’t score too well and you’d like to swot up on your Kiwi slang, this NZ Herald article could be of help.

Before you know it, you’ll be popping down the dairy in your jandals to buy Pineapple Lumps for the whanau. Easy as!

Of course, these things swing both ways, so to speak. It’s fair to say that we Brits can baffle our Kiwi pals too.

Very British Problems (on Facebook and Twitter) highlights that there’s often a big difference between what a Brit says and what we actually mean.

It’s not quite what I had in mind.
What the hell is this?

Anyway, it was lovely to meet you.
Please go away now.

I tried to call you.
I let the phone ring twice and then hung up.

It could be worse.
It really couldn’t.

And we have to stop apologising for no reason.

Keep calm and have a cup of tea

The other day in our local café, I overheard an English lady placing an order and explaining that she needed to have her poached eggs cooked until the whites were opaque. Then she said sorry.

I feel her pain. The struggle is real. But we really need to be less contrite all the time! That’s my opinion anyway. (Sorry.)

By the way, if you’re a New Zealander reading this blog, I recommend that you check out the Very British Problems TV programmes. The shows are presently on Netflix and there are clips available on YouTube. You could even invite your British friends round to watch them with you – and monitor their reaction as the excruciating truths come to light.

Who knows – an evening in front of the telly could bring you closer to your Pommie mates than you ever thought possible!

This blog was written by Lizzie Brandon in her personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed within this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of GBPensions. GBPensions or the author does not access any information provided by each of the named parties and takes no responsibility for any advice or services provided by those parties.