Kiwi Connect is bringing together global impact ventures in New Zealand.
New Zealand is the kind of place where you know your neighbours, strangers smile, and people are genuinely happy for other’s successes. The friendly Kiwi spirit makes the country a community of 4.5 million people.
New Zealand’s business culture is built upon strong sense of values, trust and groundedness. You’ll notice a distinct lack of fancy cars, flashy fashion, or conspicuous consumption. Status and respect here don’t come from having money, they come from integrity and making a difference.
After centuries at the edge of the map, Kiwis have developed an innovative attitude towards solving problems. They are resourceful and humble in their achievements, quietly working away in the background.
As one of the world’s youngest countries, New Zealand has also become a trendsetter. New Zealand is 100% nuclear-free, it was the first country to grant women the right to vote and recently legalised same-sex marriage.
New Zealand is also a leader among developed countries in the way that indigenous culture is embraced here. Māori culture is ingrained in everyday life in many parts of New Zealand, from news anchors opening their newscasts with a Māori greeting and sports teams opening their games with the haka, to national anthems being sung in both English and Māori, and the odd informal ‘Kia Ora’ between friends.
In the Māori worldview, humans are connected physically and spiritually to land, water, air and forests; people are an integral part of ecosystems and ecosystems are an essential part of people’s heritage or geneology (whakapapa). Increasingly these values and learnings are being embedded into decisions on how New Zealanders manage land, regenerate ecosystems and developments, restore wetlands and watercourses and support indigenous biodiversity.
While in some regards, the country is still healing from the past relationships between Māori communities (17% of the population) and early European settlers, in many ways New Zealand leads in respecting and celebrating indigenous culture. The Waitangi Tribunal has made good progress settling land claims arising out of historic grievances. The Māori Party has representation in Parliament, making up part of the reigning Government, and Māori language is taught in many primary schools.