Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
(Recent Entries Here)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Kiwi Culture - "Number 8 Wire" and "Tall Poppies"

Two aspects of Kiwi culture emerged during conference discussions, Number 8 Wire culture and tall poppy syndrome.

Last first, the idea with tall poppies is that nobody wants to be a tall poppy, which is synonymous with being a high achiever, because tall poppies are the ones that get cut down. This is perhaps another dimension of our perseption that Kiwi's are pretty big on understatement.

Number 8 Wire is in fact fencing wire often used on farms. You can use it to fix just about anything. And, given that Kiwi's seem to be able to fix just about anything for themselves, sometimes it seems to be referred to as Number 8 Wire culture. Or a number 8 wire thing. You really do see a lot of very old cars on the road here, which in the UK people would be unlikely to have gone to the trouble of fixing up. Kiwi's also seem to often make things for themselves that others wouldn't, like welding themselves up a bike carrier to secure to the towbar of their car, or indeed the towbar itself!

And of course, Duck Tape (or Duct Tape) is called Bear Tape in New Zealand, a fact which seemed to have been missed by quite a few speakers - I wonder if people knew what they meant?


Post a Comment

<< Home