New Zealand Mt Cook

 Language in New Zealand

Official Languages in NZ

English and Māori are the official languages of New Zealand. Māori became an official language in 1987. In April 2006, New Zealand became the first country to declare sign language as an official language, alongside Māori and English. New Zealand Sign Language, or NZSL, is the main language of the deaf community in New Zealand.

Would you like to improve your English?  

We'd like to help you do that!

In the language section of this website, we've got some great information to help you improve your English.

To begin, we've got vocabulary words and New Zealand English "Kiwi" slang words to help you improve your understanding of what's being said. That way, you will be “sweet as” when at a supermarket and the cashier asks you, “is that the lot?”

Many local everyday words have been borrowed from the Māori language, including words for local flora, fauna, place names and the natural environment. The everyday use of Māori words, usually colloquial, include words like "kia ora" ("hello"), or "kai" ("food") which almost all New Zealanders know.  Māori is ever present and has a significant conceptual influence in the legislature, government, and community agencies (e.g. health and education), where legislation requires that proceedings and documents are translated into Māori (under certain circumstances, and when requested).

ISMNZ workers throughout New Zealand are involved in helping students build their vocabulary, practice conversational English, and connecting students with volunteers from our local communities who have a heart to help international students.We can also give you tips on New Zealand body language. For example, what does "personal space" mean? Do you look people in the eye, or avoid eye contact? What is the standard greeting?