New Zealanders open their hearts to newcomers. It's in our DNA.
For one thing, we know what coming to new places is like. We’re great international travellers and nearly a quarter of us were born outside New Zealand anyway. In fact over 90% of us say we have some connection with another country through family, friends or interests.
But our warmth and hospitality runs much deeper. It comes in large part from being a part of a small country. People in New Zealand don’t have to stay aloof to protect their private space. Quite the opposite - living on the edge of the world as we do, we prefer to reach out and make connections with people from other places.
The diversity of New Zealanders and our backgrounds also creates a good deal of respect for one another, and integrity in our dealings. We’re laid back, but making sure everyone gets a “fair go” is something we take very seriously.
It all means we're naturals at welcoming strangers and developing friendships. In fact, nine out of ten migrants find that the welcome they receive when they first arrive meets or exceeds their expectations, according to a recent Immigration New Zealand survey.
New Zealanders operate with an easy informality and openness that makes it easy for new arrivals to fit in - although you may have to make the first approach. We’re a bit shy about imposing ourselves on people we don't know - we’re not the types who share their whole life story in the first five minutes of meeting you.