What makes New Zealand unique?


ESOL learners signed up to find the answer to this perplexing question on English Language Partners’ Kiwiana course.

The big idea is a close look at our culture and all things Kiwi: Waitangi Day, hangi, buzzy bees, kiwis, tangihanga, our silver fern, marae, L&P –  things peculiar to Aotearoa!

The four-day intensive in Whanganui also gave these Kiwi learners, originally from China, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong, a taste of Kiwi favourites, like pikelets, banana loaf, cheese scones and more scrummy local edibles.

Class members sang Aotearoa’s national anthem in Māori and English and, entering into te ao Māori (the Māori world), everyone wrote their own pēpeha to introduce themselves and explain where they’re from.

“Yes. I love classes like Kiwiana! I really enjoyed it. It’s lively, practical and you can use it as you go along”. James Duan.

pepeha from ELP student

Jeanne Sung,  who was born in Hong Kong, says learning Maori language was a highlight.

“Though I just learnt a bit, I can greet others. If I have a chance, I will try to learn Maori!”

Field trips included visits to the museum to view whakairo and other Maori artwork and to Bushy Park Homestead.  Naomi Harvey, who’s originally from Japan, says: “I really liked the visits to the museum and Bushy Park because our teacher Louise has so much knowledge to share.”

Bushy Park is full of native birds and trees and people were excited to learn about the natural environment and volunteering. Jeanne Sung says she now knows the Saddleback, New Zealand pigeon (Kereru) and the Hihi.

“Walking in the park, I can breathe fresh air and feel the quiet. What a lovely place!”

ELP learners and teacher

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