Category Archives: nzcentrepoint2

Maori Language Comeback

The Maori language is making a well-deserved comeback in New Zealand. The language is also commonly referred to, or known as, “te reo” which translates to “the language”. It is a Polynesian language that has, for ages, been spoken by the Maori people. The Maori are the native people of New Zealand. This language has been so significant in the history of the country, that it has been an official language since 1987. Despite its importance, the number of people who speak, or are fluent in, the language has been steadily declining since about World War II. New Zealand, however, was not about to let the language die, and therefore a language revitalisation effort came to fruition and has been on the radar, and in the forefront, since about 2015.

In 2013, only about 3.7% of New Zealand’s population could actually speak conversational Maoriabout ordinary things. In 2015, however, 55% of the population indicated some knowledge of the language. Of this 55%, over 64% speak it at home, and about 50000 can speak it (self-proclaimed) very well. This indicates that these restoration and revitalisation efforts have been successful thus far.

There was no real writing system established when the Maori language originally came to fruition. Various missionaries brought the Latin Alphabet around 1814, which was adopted and systematised around 1820. Phonetic spellings were the result, which proved successful, and since then the written Maori language has not changed, with short and long vowels being differentiated using a macron.

The efforts to revitalise the language have come in different forms. Schools have implemented the language into their learning and curriculum at an elementary age. Adults can access learning through programmes and classes offered by experts and locals. There is also access to learning not just the language, but why it is crucial.

Geology and Geothermal Activity in New Zealand

New Zealand does not lack in the geology and natural landscape department. From glaciers to fjords, tall mountains and flat, vast plains, you will find what you’re looking for, regarding Mother Nature’s best work. Don’t forget the volcanoes, beaches, and tropical forests.

The North Island has, what is known as a spine of mountains, that runs almost entirely down the centre, with farms and plains on either side. The centre of the North Island is consumed by the Volcanic Plateau, which is an active volcano, surrounded by thermal land.

The South Island is known best for the Southern Alps, which form the core of this island. The South Island also features the agriculturally rich Otago farmland, and Southland, as well as the Canterbury Plains.

So where did all of this start? It has been discovered, and documented, that the oldest rocks in New Zealand date back over 500 million years. They made up Gondwanaland, which was a giant supercontinent that broke up over 160 million years ago, and New Zealand separated over 85 million years ago. Currently, New Zealand actually sits on two of the Earth’s fifteen tectonic plates; both the Pacific and the Australian. Given that these two plates are almost always shifting, there is a lot of geological action in New Zealand. This includes the fantastic geothermal hot springs which supply electricity and heating. For those seeking to explore the best of the geothermal action, visit Rotura, as it is the central spot for this activity. Rotura features mud pools and geysers, as well as hot springs, and a smell that is unlike anything else, leading to its name of Sulphur City. Traditionally, these thermal springs were used by the Maori people for bathing and cooking.

The geothermal activity and the geology of New Zealand are indeed one of a kind.

All About Pokies

Gambling in New Zealand is the responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs. The interesting part of gambling in New Zealand is that in the case of public gambling, a portion of all profits made by operators are required to go back to the community. With that said, most of the industry is owned and operated by state owned organizations or institutions. Billions of dollars are spent by players on gambling each year both online at places like JackpotCity and offline at physical pokie machines.

One big part of the industry is what is known commonly as “pokies” which to the rest of the world are known as slot machines. These pokies are normally found in hotels and bars and are operated by charities or charitable organizations. The jackpots and amount of money that you can win on these machines is regulated. The ratios are relatively favourable. For example, in 2008, of the 10.1 billion dollar turnover, 9.1 billion was returned as prizes. Pokies are accountable for almost 50% of gambling expenditure. The expenditure has decreased overall.

New regulations have now laid out requirements that all machines must include Player Information Displays which tells a player what they have spent, how long they have been playing and also offer healthy reminders like when and how frequently to take breaks. This helps keep players gamble in a healthy and productive way and mitigate risks associated with gambling such as addiction, financial loss, and mental health issues.

These slot machines or pokies actually have been linked to crime levels and rates and therefore can be considered a contentious or controversial topic by some. Despite this however, since 2013, SkyCity Auckland has been given the green light by the government to install over 230 pokie machines as well as 40 new gambling tables with the hefty price tag of a convention centre worh around $400 million dollars.

Seasons and Weather in New Zealand

If you are traveling to New Zealand but wondering what to wear, what to pack or even when to go, then look no further! We have all the information on all of New Zealand’s seasons and what to expect :

Winter

From June to August you will find snowy mountains and crisp days. This is a great time for winter sports lovers to enjoy the ski, taste wine or see the winter festivals in action.

Spring

Spring takes place in New Zealand from September all the way until November, which may be completely backwards from what North Americans are used to. Spring is a great time to visit if you are interested in seeing the wildlife and nature as it is when everything comes to life; from baby animals to fresh flowers, there is new life everywhere. This is also waterfall season which is relatively self explanatory. In terms of temperatures, Spring temps range from 4.5 all the way to 18 degrees, which is the same as between 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer

Summer months are from December all the way to February so yes, that means Green Christmas for the kiwis! This season is when most people visit, especially from North America, to escape their own winter which may not be as warm and sunny. This is a great time to visit if you are looking for a sun and sand type vacation. Temperatures range from 21 to 32 degrees on average, which is about 70-90 degrees Farenheit

Fall

March to May is when you can find autumn. This is when the leaves turn golden but the sun stays warm. It is many locals’ favourite season and is a great time for nature and adventure lovers as the hiking, biking and kayaking is at its prime. These activities are great in the fall because it isn’t too hot, as it only ranges between 7 and 21 degrees or 45-70 Farenheit.