The Kiwi Way – Openness and Helping Each Other

Thursday, March 21, 2019

In this blog, we outline why Aotearoa/New Zealand is a nation that supports human beings to love one another and embrace diversity. We have also listed some places where you can find advice and support following the recent events in Christchurch.

1. Aroha – Love
New Zealander’s capacity for love and empathy is something that is celebrated by Kiwis and non-Kiwis alike. Aroha is about giving with no expectation of return. This is the Kiwi way.

2. Mana - Prestige
For Māori, when someone is thought to have a large amount of mana, it means they are someone with great prestige, authority and charisma. Mana is known as a supernatural force in a person, place or object. Mana is affected by, and directly affects tapu, which is a sacred, protected or forbidden thing. Violation of tapu means that a person’s mana is reduced. While respecting tapu increases a person’s mana.
In the Kiwi society of today, individuals with a large amount of mana are recognised and revered. If mana is mishandled it becomes the bearer of shame. Mana reminds us of the importance of humility. Kiwis are still guided by the principles of respect for sacred things and the attempt to succeed and do good by others, thus enhancing their mana.

3. Whanaungatanga - Community
Whanaungatanga is a sense of belonging or community. Kiwis have a unique whanaungatanga, kinship and relationship with each other and with visitors to our shores. Kiwis can quickly develop close friendships and often these friendships will develop into familial relationships. Kiwis are known for our outgoing nature and friendliness. The sense of community that we have in this country is second to none.

4. Whānau – Family
Used to refer to ones close or extended family, in today’s context whānau is often used to describe friends or groups who may not actually be blood-related to the referrer. Rather, the ties with that person/group are so strong that the person considers them part of their family.

5. Kotahitanga - Togetherness
Kotahitanga means unity or togetherness. In difficult times, Kiwis come together in solidarity for peace and prosperity at the bottom of the globe. We are a country that has been migrated to and colonised repeatedly. We are a young nation with a patchwork quilt of diverse cultures and people. Today, of the 4.4 million New Zealanders (informally known as Kiwis), approximately 69% are of European descent, 14.6% are indigenous Māori, 9.2% Asian and 6.9% non-Māori Pacific Islanders. Yet we always unite as one for good when tested by the bad.

Following the tragic and terrible events of Friday 15th March 2019, we wanted to show why Kiwi culture is welcoming, unique and good, to refute the hate by one evil inhuman being on the 15th March 2019. We created this week’s blog to show that even in the aftermath of an unforgivable event, New Zealander’s attitudes highlight the good and great parts of humanity. As a nation we mourn the loss of 50 innocent lives and pray for the injured. As a community we come together and help our fellow Kiwis through the worst of times, and the best of times. Kia kaha Christchurch. Stay strong New Zealand and our Muslim community.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or shaken following the terrible events in Christchurch, you can call talk to someone by calling or texting the following numbers for free:

  • 1737, Need to talk? – Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
  • Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (for under 18s)
  • What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18-year olds 1pm–10pm weekdays and 3pm–10pm weekends)
  • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666
  • OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116

The NZ Mental Health Foundation has compiled a full list of organisations that you can talk to, email or visit the websites of. Click the link above.

Education NZ has also released a message of unity to students and their families. In their article they also provide a list of services available to those that need support, and a reminder that New Zealand remains committed in ensuring all international students feel safe and well in NZ.


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand.
As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.