Contemporary Culture in New Zealand

The culture in New Zealand has undergone massive changes since it gained its independence from Britain. In recent years New Zealand has done its best to integrate the many cultures that call the island home and create a singular national identity for all Kiwis. Contemporary New Zealand is innovative, inclusive and independent, full of colourful diversity and progressive ideas.

A great example of the cultural togetherness of New Zealand is the haka. Kiwis perform the haka in the many ceremonial contexts, mostly from Maori tradition. The dance can mean many things, but it is popularly known as a type of warrior’s challenge performed before a sporting event. The haka grew in fame after being conducted by the All-Blacks, the New Zealand national rugby team; a highly successful team from diverse backgrounds, and a significant source of pride for the nation. The passion and togetherness of the players, the exotic Maori language and the intimidating movements of the dance enthralled viewers from around the world.


Another concept in New Zealand’s contemporary culture is Kiwiana. Kiwiana describes iconic, unique and sometimes incredibly quirky things in New Zealand’s culture. These items provide the people of New Zealand with a shared sense of nationhood. No matter your background, if you know New Zealand, you will know these iconic Kiwi objects.

Here are some examples of Kiwiana.

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