New Zealand Communication


The country code is 64. There are currently three major mobile carriers: Spark operates a 3G (UMTS) network, Vodafone NZ operates a 4G LTE network, 2degrees operates a UMTS (3G) network. You can hire or buy mobile phones or SIM cards in New Zealand.

The main phone company, Telecom, claims (as of 2009) to have about 4000 payphones in NZ which can be easily identified by their yellow and blue colours. All of them accept major credit cards and a variety of phonecards available from retailers. You may have to look hard for a payphone that accepts coins.


The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant. English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 98 percent of the population. The New Zealand accent is somewhat nasalised with flattened vowel sounds and vowel shifting. The Māori language is spoken by some, but by no means all. Many place names are in Māori and for the traveller some knowledge of Māori pronunciation is very useful. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is used by about 28, 000 people. It has its roots in British Sign Language (BSL), and is also closely related to Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Users of BSL or Auslan may find NZSL intelligible, as they share a large portion of vocabulary, plus the same two-handed manual alphabet.

Māori common phrases:

Hello (informal or answering the telephone) / Kia ora

Hello (to one person) / Tēnā koe

Hello (to two people) / Tēnā kōrua

Hello (to a group of three or more) / Tēnā koutou

Welcome / Haere mai (Literally means Come towards the speaker)

How are you? / Kei te pēhea koe?

I'm good / Kei te pai ahau

I'm great / Ka nui te ora (Literally Life's great)

What is your name? / Ko wai tō ingoa? (i ngo a)

My name is. . . / Ko . . . tōku ingoa

What is his/her name? / Ko wai tana ingoa?

His/her name is. . . / Ko . . . tana ingoa

Good-bye (to the person staying) / E noho rā

Good-bye (to the person going) / Haere rā (Ha e re raa)

Please / koa (Homai koa he kaputi = Give me a cup of tea, please )

Please / Tenā (Tēnā homai he kaputi = Please give me a cup of tea)

Thank you / kia ora (is pronounced kee-a o-ra) (Literally, this phrase means Be well. It is more often used as a greeting than as a way of saying Thank you. Remember to try to do the flap sound.

Yes / ae

No / kāore

Slang expressions:

Barbie / Short for barbecue

Bro (pronounced more like "bru") / Short for brother but used by males to address other males.

Bush / Forest. Usually meaning a native forest as opposed to a plantation forest.

chicks / girls.

Choice! / Cool, great.

Chur / Thanks or Choice. Sometimes used as Chur Chur, which can also mean Christchurch.

eh? / sometimes used at the end of a statement to change it to a question, similar to Canadian usage.

Gumboots / Wellington Boots or Rain Boots

mint / in tip top condition.

oi / hey. Can be meant as a warning or jokingly, derives from punk usage.

pash / french kiss.

Sweet as! / Cool, good thing, No problem. Often abbreviated to just 'sweet'.


Many public libraries have public Internet access. Vouchers for Wi-Fi access can be bought from many Starbucks cafes, and many McDonalds have free Wifi for paying customers. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Both the airport and CBD in Wellington have free Wi-Fi but the airports at Christchurch and Auckland both charge a fee for wireless service in their terminals. Many i-SITE Visitor Information Centres provide free WiFi service.

It's available in cyber cafes and there are many of these in the major cities but avoid cyber cafes without using a trusted and reliable Anti-virus application. Hourly rates are usually in the range of $4-8, with cheaper rates of around $2-4 at cyber cafes within the main city centres.