Maori English
broad New Zild
* vulgar

With thanks to Kiwi Munka - on whose web-site the original of this first appeared.


In New Zealand you may hear some different usages of English words and some unique words and phrases. Here are some of these:

Most are standard New Zealand English. Pronunciation is given as close as possible in Hungarian spelling to that of a cultivated speaker. Some words are questionable in formal settings. These are marked with a *.

There are also Maori words which are used commonly by English speakers. Pronunciation is given in official Maori although many New Zealanders (both Maori and Pākehā) say them with an English accent.

NB strictly the long vowels in Māori should have a macron - a line above them. But you will also see them without or with some other indicator.

There are also some Maori English phrases and a few examples of broad New Zild. Both of these are considered low class and uneducated but without them you might miss what people are saying.

ACC -sz-sz National insurance scheme to treat accidents
ATM -ti-em Machine for getting cash from your bank account (common in NZ since early 1980s)
Barbie b-bi Australian slang for BBQ
BBQ b-bi-ku Barbeque - method of cooking in the open air. Traditionally sausages and meat patties.
Bottle Store bat-tl sztor A shop that sells only alcohol for drinking off premises.
Bring a Plate breng a plt Request for people to bring food to share to a party.
Bro bru "Brother" - used for anyone the speaker feels connected to.
Business Days besz-nesz dz same as Working Days
BYO bi-wi-u Bring Your Own - usually alcohol. In restaurants usually restricted to wine only.
Cheers csersz When drinking: Good Health
Otherwise: Thanks or Good Bye/See You.
Creek krk A (very) small river.
CV sz-v Curriculum Vitae ie rsum or nletrajz. Used to get jobs.
DoL d-u-el What was the Department of Labour - now replaced by by MBIE
doncha dncs informal New Zild for "don't you".
For example: "doncha know?" = "Do you not know?"
EFTPOS eft-pasz Paying for goods directly from your bank account without using cash
Fish and Chips fes end csepsz Fried and battered fish with fried potatoes cut like fingers. Traditional cheap NZ/English food.
Fish'n'Chips fes en csepsz See Fish and Chips
Jandals dzsen-delsz Footwear usually made of rubber with no upper - only a strap between the toes.
kai kai food
kiwi ki-wi New Zealand nocturnal flightless bird

A New Zealander; something belonging to NZ eg "the Kiwi" is the NZ dollar.

NB the brown furry fruit is never referred to as a "kiwi" in NZ - rather it is a "kiwifruit" (or occasionally a "Chinese gooseberry").

kūmara k-ma-ra sweet potato
Ladies a Plate l-dsz a plt Same as Bring a Plate (old fashioned ie women were to bring food, men alcohol)
Māori ma-o-ri Original Polynesian settlers in NZ or their language (te reo)
MBIE mu-b Ministry of Building, Innovation, and Employment - a government department that handles work, immigration and much more.
MoBI mu-b see MBIE
New Zild n zld New Zealand English ... more information
NZ en-zed Abbreviation for "New Zealand"
NZer n zel-en-d A person who lives in New Zealand
Pākehā p-ke-h New Zealander of European descent
* Piss pisz Urine (hgy)
* Pissed pisz-d Drunk (American usage of "angry" or "annoyed" used in the phrase "pissed off")
Te Reo te reo The Language ie Māori
Tramping trm-peng Walking (often in the mountains) carrying your bedding, food and other supplies on your back.
Wee w Small or little - used mostly in Southland and Otago (from Scots)
Working Days wr-keng dz days traditionally worked in an office or bank
Whare fa-re A Building.
Wharenui fa-re nui A meeting house (ie a big whare).
Bring a Plate
Cash - NZ currency
Central Otago.
Central Otago
Creek - (small) river or stream
Fish & Chips.
Fish & Chips
NZ Kiwi
Wine - best buy in supermarkets