Why are new zealand are called kiwis?

Why are new zealanders are called Kiwis

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verification Verified Expert

    New Zealanders are affectionately known as 'Kiwis,' a term that carries pride and is far from being derogatory. The moniker originates from the kiwi, a distinctive flightless bird native to the country. It was during World War I that New Zealand soldiers first earned this nickname, a label that has endured for over a century. 

    Today, the majority of New Zealanders embrace 'Kiwi' as a term of national identity, though it's noteworthy that some in the Māori community do not identify with this nickname. The term 'Kiwi' not only symbolizes the unique wildlife of New Zealand but also reflects the nation's heritage and the camaraderie of its people.

    What is the connection between the kiwifruit and the Kiwi nickname?

    Contrary to popular belief, the kiwifruit, often associated with New Zealand, does not have a direct link to the nickname "Kiwi." The kiwifruit, originally known as the Chinese gooseberry, was renamed for marketing purposes and does not influence the nickname of New Zealanders. 

    The term "Kiwi" is solely inspired by the native bird, symbolizing the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the country and its inhabitants.

    Kiwi nickname

    Why are New Zealanders proud to be called Kiwis?

    New Zealanders embrace the nickname "Kiwi" with pride and affection. It represents more than just a moniker; it embodies the national character of resilience, ingenuity, and a close connection to the land and nature. 

    The kiwi bird, being a national symbol, reflects these qualities, and its association with the people enhances a sense of national identity and unity. This pride is evident in various aspects of New Zealand life, from sports to cultural expressions.

    How does the nickname "Kiwi" affect New Zealand's international reputation?

    Internationally, the nickname "Kiwi" has become synonymous with New Zealand and its people, often evoking images of a nation rich in natural beauty and adventure. It has helped shape New Zealand's reputation as a country of friendly, down-to-earth people who are closely connected to their environment. 

    This positive association benefits not only the country's tourism but also its global standing in various sectors, from trade to sports.

    New Zealanders

    What are some other nicknames for New Zealanders?

    Before "Kiwi" became the predominant nickname, New Zealanders were referred to as "Enzedders," derived from the pronunciation of 'NZ,' and "Maorilanders," a nod to the indigenous Māori culture. However, these terms have largely fallen out of use, with "Kiwi" now being the most recognized and embraced nickname both domestically and internationally.

    Banner CVNZ

    Discovering New Zealand: A Journey Beyond the Nickname

    New Zealand, often referred to as the land of the long white cloud, offers a tapestry of experiences that go beyond its nickname. From the breathtaking landscapes to the rich cultural heritage, there's a world waiting to be explored. And what better way to immerse yourself in this adventure than by renting a campervan? With Campervan New Zealand, you have the freedom to traverse this beautiful country at your own pace, creating unforgettable memories along the way.

    People from New Zealand Called Kiwis


    The nickname "Kiwi" is more than just a term; it's a symbol of New Zealand's unique identity and the characteristics that define its people. As you embark on your journey through New Zealand, remember that you're not just visiting a place; you're experiencing a culture, a way of life, and a community that takes immense pride in being called "Kiwis." 

    So, pack your bags, rent a campervan, and get ready to explore the wonders of New Zealand, where every turn brings a new adventure and a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Kiwi.

    Banner CVNZ

    Let’s go on an adventure!

    Unbeatable prices. Premium customer service.

    Book now
    Campervan New ZealandBook now