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Easy Text: An introduction to New Zealand

New Zealand is considered one of the world's best places to live.

Mt. Cook, New Zealand. Foto.

Mt. Cook, New Zealand

Pre-reading: Watch the video below to get to know New Zealand.

Which city does Larry visit? What places and activities is he interested in? Which one of the places/activities would you have liked best?

New Zealand - Introduction



The population of New Zealand is 4.3 million and is mostly people of European descent; the native Māori are the largest minority. The most commonly spoken language is English. Maori is also an official language.

Geographically Isolated

Map of New Zealand. Illustration.

New Zealand

New Zealand is isolated, geographically. It is about 2000 km southeast of Australia, across the Tasman Sea, its closest neighbours are: New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington, though most people are more familiar with Auckland, which is the largest city.

Building an Economy

Economically, New Zealand is now better off than in the 1970s and 1980s. Earlier, New Zealand exported a lot of meat and dairy products to Britain. When Britain joined the European Union in the 1970s, part of the deal was that Britain should import from the other EU countries. This was bad news economically for New Zealand.

Many people left New Zealand to settle in Australia, so political changes were made to help the situation. Now things look better. Agriculture continues to be the main export industry in New Zealand, and in 2007 a New Zealand dairy cooperative controlled almost one-third of the international dairy trade. Other export items of New Zealand are meat, wood, fruit and fish. New Zealand also has a good wine industry.

Difficult words
  • descent = herkomst/opphav
  • native = innfødt/innfødd
  • commonly = vanlig/vanleg
  • dairy = meieri
  • trade = handel
  • agriculture = jordbruk
  1. Who are the Maori?
  2. Describe the location of New Zealand.
  3. What are its neighbouring countries?
  4. What is the capital city?
  5. What are the main exports from New Zealand?


Three women jumping in the air. photo.

What a feeling!

Tourism plays an important role in New Zealand’s economy. About two million tourists visit every year. New Zealand is marketed as a "clean, green" adventure playground, with typical destinations being nature areas such as Milford Sound and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, while activities such as bungee jumping or whale watching are typical tourist attractions.

Fragile Wildlife

New Zealand has amazing nature and wildlife. However, the country has suffered a lot of wildlife extinctions. This is because of human activities like hunting and importing non-native animals, such as weasels, cats, goats and deer.

Several islands are now wildlife reserves, where common pests such as possums and rodents have been removed to allow the reintroduction of endangered species.

Watch Out for the Kea Parrot

On the brighter side, the Kea Parrot of New Zealand is alive and well and is probably the rudest bird on earth! It is not afraid of humans, and nibbles at car’s tires or windshield wipers, or even people's fingers, if it gets close enough.

Difficult words
  • extinction = utslettelse/bli utsletta
  • hunting = jakt
  • weasel = røyskatt
  • reserves = reservater/reservat
  • pests = skadedyr
  • rodent = gnager/gnagar
  • endangered = truet/trua
  • rude = uhøflig/uhøfleg
  • nibble = småbite
  1. New Zealand is popular with tourists. What are some of the things they go to see and do?
  2. What is New Zealand doing to restore the native animals and plants?
  3. What nasty habit is the Kea Parrot known for?

Tasks and Activities

Find Out

  1. New Zealanders are often called Kiwis. Search the Internet and find out why.
  2. Today, Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud) is the Maori name usually used for New Zealand. The Māori also referred to the North Island as Te Ika a Māui ("the fish of Māui") and the South Island as Te Waka a Maui (the canoe of Maui). The South island can also be called Te Wai Pounamu ("the waters of greenstone") or Te Waka o Aoraki ("the canoe of Aoraki"). Search the Internet and find the story behind one of these names.

Tourist Advertisement

Make a brochure or advertisement for New Zealand to lure tourists to these beautiful islands. Watch New Zealand a Dream on YouTube. Base your information on what you can see in this video, or find your own information.


Watch the YouTube video in the introduction once more, and write a letter back home or an entry in a travel blog based on what this guy experiences. Find a suitable title and time span.

Sist oppdatert 28.01.2019
Skrevet av Wikipedia, Catharine Ruud og Engelsk for videregående (Vega)


New Zealand