Kiwi (people)

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A Kiwi holding a kiwi Kiwi holding kiwi.jpg
A Kiwi holding a kiwi

Kiwi ( /kw/ ) is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, [1] [2] as well as being a relatively common self-reference. [3] Unlike many demographic labels, its usage is not considered offensive; rather, it is generally viewed as a symbol of pride and endearment for the people of New Zealand. [4] The name derives from the kiwi, a native flightless bird, which is a national symbol of New Zealand. [5] Until the First World War, the kiwi represented the country and not the people; however, by 1917, New Zealanders were also being called "Kiwis", supplanting other nicknames.

New Zealanders ethnic group

New Zealanders, colloquially known as Kiwis, are people associated with New Zealand, sharing a common history, culture, and language. People of various ethnicities and national origins are citizens of New Zealand, governed by its nationality law.

A term of endearment is a word or phrase used to address or describe a person, animal or inanimate object for which the speaker feels love or affection. Terms of endearment are used for a variety of reasons, such as parents addressing their children and lovers addressing each other.

Kiwi genus of birds

Kiwi or kiwis are flightless birds native to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae. Approximately the size of a domestic chicken, kiwi are by far the smallest living ratites.



Representing the nation

The kiwi has long had a special significance for the indigenous Māori people, who used its skin to make feather cloaks (kahu kiwi) for chiefs. [6] The bird first came to European attention in 1811 when a skin ended up in the hands of a British Museum zoologist, George Shaw, who classified it as a type of penguin and portrayed it as standing upright. [7] [8] After early sightings by Europeans the kiwi was regarded as a curiosity; in 1835 the missionary William Yate described it as "the most remarkable and curious bird in New Zealand". [9]

Indigenous peoples Ethnic group descended from and identified with the original inhabitants of a given region

Indigenous peoples, also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples or native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original settlers of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region. Not all indigenous peoples share this characteristic, as many have adopted substantial elements of a colonizing culture, such as dress, religion or language. Indigenous peoples may be settled in a given region (sedentary) or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but they are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.

Māori traditional textiles

Māori traditional textiles are the indigenous textiles of the Māori people of New Zealand. The organisation Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa, the national Māori weavers' collective, aims to preserve and foster the skills of making and using these materials.

In the early 1900s cartoonists began to use the kiwi as a representation of New Zealand. For example, in a 1904 New Zealand Free Lance cartoon a plucky kiwi is shown growing to a moa after a rugby victory of 9–3 over a British team. [10] The next year, The Westminster Gazette printed a cartoon of a kiwi and a kangaroo (representing Australia) going off to a colonial conference. [10] Trevor Lloyd, who worked for The New Zealand Herald , also used a kiwi to represent the All Blacks rugby team, but he more often drew a moa. [6] Other symbols for New Zealand at this time included the silver fern, a small boy and a young lion cub. [10] But until the First World War the kiwi was used as a symbol of the nation rather than the people of New Zealand. [6]

Moa order of birds (fossil)

Moa were nine species of now-extinct flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). It is estimated that, when Polynesians settled New Zealand circa 1280, the moa population was about 58,000.

The Westminster Gazette was an influential Liberal newspaper based in London. It was known for publishing sketches and short stories, including early works by Raymond Chandler, Anthony Hope, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, and Saki, and travel writing by Rupert Brooke. One of its editors was caricaturist and political cartoonist Francis Carruthers Gould.

Kangaroo сommon name of family of marsupials

The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus: the red kangaroo, antilopine kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, and western grey kangaroo. Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia. The Australian government estimates that 34.3 million kangaroos lived within the commercial harvest areas of Australia in 2011, up from 25.1 million one year earlier.

Representing the people

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) roundel, featuring a red kiwi in silhouette Roundel of New Zealand.svg
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) roundel, featuring a red kiwi in silhouette

In the early-20th century New Zealanders, especially soldiers and All Blacks players, were referred to internationally as "En Zed(der)s" [6] (in reference to the initials of the country's name) or "Maorilanders" (alluding to the Māori people and their historical contribution to the country). [11] These terms were still being used near the end of the First World War of 1914-1918. However, although New Zealand soldiers were often described as "Diggers" or as "Pig Islanders", [12] by 1917 they were also being called "Kiwis". [6] [13]

Digger (soldier) military slang for Australian or New Zealand soldier

Digger is a military slang term for soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. Evidence of its use has been found in those countries as early as the 1850s, but its current usage in a military context did not become prominent until World War I, when Australian and New Zealand troops began using it on the Western Front around 1916–17. Evolving out of its usage during the war, the term has been linked to the concept of the Anzac legend, but within a wider social context, it is linked to the concept of "egalitarian mateship".

The image of the kiwi had appeared on military badges since the South Canterbury Battalion used it in 1886, [14] and several regiments took it up in the First World War. "Kiwis" came to mean the men of New Zealand regiments. [6] The nickname is not thought to have originated as a reference to the physical attributes of the New Zealand servicemen (i.e. implying they were short and stocky or nocturnal like the bird). It was simply that the kiwi was distinct and unique to the country. [6] Its prominent use on the New Zealand regiments' insignia also made for easy association. [4] [15] The nickname eventually became common usage in all war theatres. [6]

Regiment Military unit

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

Theater (warfare) Area or place in which important military events occur or are progressing

In warfare, a theater or theatre is an area in which important military events occur or are progressing. A theater can include the entirety of the airspace, land and sea area that is or that may potentially become involved in war operations.

Chalk kiwi above the town of Bulford, executed in 1919 Bulford, England. Chalk Kiwi from Postcard, c.1919.jpg
Chalk kiwi above the town of Bulford, executed in 1919

After the end of the First World War in November 1918, many New Zealand troops stayed in Europe for months or years awaiting transport home. At Sling Camp, near Bulford on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, New Zealand soldiers carved a chalk kiwi into the nearby hill in early 1919. [16] [17] The New Zealanders' presence popularised the nickname within Europe. [6]

Sling Camp was a World War I camp occupied by New Zealand soldiers beside the then-military town of Bulford on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.

Salisbury Plain Chalk plateau in England

Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 square miles (780 km2). It is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and largely lies within the county of Wiltshire, but also stretching into Berkshire and Hampshire. The plain is famous for its rich archaeology, including Stonehenge, one of England's best known landmarks. Largely as a result of the establishment of the Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain, the plain is sparsely populated and is the largest remaining area of calcareous grassland in north-west Europe. Additionally the plain has arable land, and a few small areas of beech trees and coniferous woodland. Its highest point is Easton Hill.

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

A can of Kiwi shoe polish Kiwi polish black.jpg
A can of Kiwi shoe polish

An Australian boot polish called Kiwi was widely used in the imperial forces. William Ramsay, a developer of the product, named the polish in honour of his wife's birthplace, New Zealand. [6] Beginning in 1906, Kiwi Shoe Polish eventually became widely sold in the UK and the US, and the symbol became more widely known. [18] The Australian National Dictionary [19] also gives the first use of the term "Kiwi Kids" and "Kiwis" in 1917, to mean Australian army recruits who had kiwied up; in other words, they had highly-polished boots. [20]

Following the Second World War of 1939-1945 the term gradually became attributed to all New Zealanders, and today throughout the world they are referred to as Kiwis, as well as often referring to themselves that way. [2] [3]

Current usage

Spelling of the word Kiwi, when used to describe the people, is often capitalised, and takes the plural form Kiwis. The bird's name is spelled with a lower-case k and, being a word of Māori origin, normally stays as kiwi when pluralised. [21] Thus, "two Kiwis" refers to two people, whereas "two kiwi" refers to two birds. This linguistic nicety is well exemplified by the BNZ Save the Kiwi Conservation Trust, which uses the slogan "Kiwis for kiwi". [22]

It is not usually considered to be a derogatory term. [4] In an official context, "Kiwi" has been used in the name of government services and state-owned enterprises, such as Kiwibank, KiwiSaver and KiwiRail.

See also

Related Research Articles

Culture of New Zealand

The culture of New Zealand is essentially a Western culture influenced by the unique environment and geographic isolation of the islands, and the cultural input of the indigenous Māori people and the various waves of multi-ethnic migration which followed the British colonisation of New Zealand.

Māori culture culture of the Māori people of New Zealand

Māori culture (Māoritanga) is indigenous to New Zealand and originated from, and is still part of, Eastern Polynesian culture. Māori culture also forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture and is found throughout the world, due to a large diaspora and incorporation of motifs into popular culture. Within the Māori community, and to a lesser extent throughout New Zealand as a whole, the word Māoritanga is often used as an approximate synonym for Māori culture, the Māori suffix -tanga being roughly equivalent to the qualitative noun ending "-ness" in English.

Huntly, New Zealand Minor urban area in Waikato, New Zealand

Huntly is a town in the Waikato district and region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is on State Highway 1, 95 kilometres (59 mi) south of Auckland and 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of Hamilton. It is situated on the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) railway and straddles the Waikato River. Huntly is within the Waikato District which is in the northern part of the Waikato Region local government area.

Lake Wanaka lake in Otago Region, New Zealand

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Te Awamutu Town

Te Awamutu is a town in the Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the council seat of the Waipa District and serves as a service town for the farming communities which surround it. Te Awamutu is located some 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Hamilton on State Highway 3, one of the two main routes south from Auckland and Hamilton.

<i>Cyathea dealbata</i> species of medium-sized tree fern

Cyathea dealbata, commonly known as the silver fern or silver tree-fern, or as ponga or punga, is a species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand. The fern is usually recognisable by the silver-white colour of the under-surface of mature fronds. It is a symbol commonly associated with the country both overseas and by New Zealanders themselves.

<i>Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand</i> online encyclopedia

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is an online encyclopedia established in 2001 by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The web-based content was developed in stages over the next several years; the first sections were published in 2005, and the last in 2014 marking its completion. Te Ara means "the pathway" in the Māori language, and contains over three million words in articles from over 450 authors. Over 30,000 images and video clips are included from thousands of contributors.

Kauri gum

Kauri gum is a fossilised resin extracted from kauri trees, which is made into crafts such as jewellery. Kauri forests once covered much of the North Island of New Zealand, before Māori and European settlers caused deforestation, causing several areas to revert to sand dunes, scrubs, and swamps. Even afterward, ancient kauri fields continued to provide a source for the gum and the remaining forests.

Ngāti Rongomaiwahine Māori iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngāti Rongomaiwahine or Rongomaiwahine is a Māori iwi (tribe) traditionally centred in the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island of New Zealand. In the 2006 census, 4,254 people identified as Rongomaiwahine; by the 2013 census, this has increased to 4,473 people. It is closely connected to the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.

In Māori tradition, Tauira was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes that was used in the migrations that settled New Zealand. Tauira was captained by Mōtataumaitawhiti and landed at Te Kaha in the eastern Bay of Plenty. Panenehu and Te Whānau-a-Apanui iwi trace their ancestry back to Tauira.

In Māori tradition, Te Wakatūwhenua was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes that were used in the migrations that settled New Zealand. Te Wakatūwhenua is said to have landed at Cape Rodney, its crew suffering a mysterious illness.

Muka prepared fibre of New Zealand flax

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The Kiwi Concert Party was a group of New Zealand entertainers. They were originally called N.Z. Entertainment Unit, formed in 1941 within the 2nd N.Z. Expeditionary Force.

National symbols of New Zealand are used to represent what is unique about the nation, reflecting different aspects of its cultural life and history.

Surveying in New Zealand

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  11. Phillips, Jock (March 2009). "The New Zealanders - Maorilanders". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  12. The Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English (1997) records the use of "pig-islander" from 1909.
  13. "Kiwi - A kiwi country: 1930s–2000s". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  14. Phillips, Jock (24 September 2007). "South Canterbury Battalion badge". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  15. Jock, Phillips (24 September 2007). "RNZAF Harvard". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  16. Kiwi Chalk Figure above Bulford Camp "Members of the Canterbury, Otago and Wellington Battalions under Captain Harry Clark created a chalk figure of a kiwi bird in the nearby hillside in April-June 1919 by removing 12in of top soil and replacing it with chalk pebbles. The kiwi was designed by Sergeant Major Percy Blenkarne, a drawing instructor in the New Zealand Army Education Corps."
  17. Compare: "The White Horses". Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  18. Brooks, Miki. Lessons From a Land Down Under: Devotions from New Zealand. Lulu. pp. 3–4. ISBN   9780557098842.
  19. Ramson, Bill, ed. (2008). "Australian National Dictionary". Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand.
  20. Franzen, Christine; Bauer, Laurie (1993). Of Pavlova, Poetry, and Paradigms. Victoria University Press.
  21. "Plurals in te reo Māori". Statistics New Zealand. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  22. "Kiwis for kiwi". New Zealand Department of Conservation. Retrieved 4 June 2017.