Blog Posts - People And Culture



My First Christmas in New Zealand

When you’re an immigrant, that first Christmas hits you hard. The rest of the year, you’re distracted by work and house hunting and getting on with life. Then Christmas arrives and everything stops. You realise what’s missing: family. My first...
by POMS AWAY! on Dec 19, 2016

I Finally Visited a Cat Café!

Can you believe cat cafes have only been a thing in New Zealand since last year? Rather predictably, they’ve become really popular, popping up in more and more places. Not Hamilton, unfortunately, which is why I, self-confessed crazy cat lady, only...
by POMS AWAY! on Dec 5, 2016

Hilarious Misconceptions about New Zealand

Originally posted on POMS AWAY!: Over the years I’ve heard some pretty funny things about New Zealand. A worrying amount of these things were said in all seriousness. By adults. The following list of Common Misconceptions about New Zealand comes fr...
by POMS AWAY! on Aug 30, 2016

Having a (Jane Austen) Ball in Hamilton

Originally posted on POMS AWAY!: It is a truth universally acknowledged that man dressed in Regency clothing is sure to make a woman swoon. Well it works for me anyhow. This is one of the reasons I was so excited about attending Dance Folkus’ Jane...
by POMS AWAY! on Aug 22, 2016

A New Zealander’s View of Britain

Originally posted on POMS AWAY!: Hello, everyone! I just got back from my Grand Tour of Europe, so I’ve finally got time to write some new posts. As you may know, I spent the last three months travelling with my Kiwi boyfriend, starting in my nativ...
by POMS AWAY! on Aug 15, 2016

Is New Zealand Backward?

One thing you always used to hear about New Zealand was how backward it was. Behind the times. “It’s like how England was in the 1970s,” people would say. This, apparently, was a good thing. New Zealand was a country living in the past, when li...
by POMS AWAY! on Aug 9, 2016

Our Street

I grew up in a small, brick house at the end of a terrace of small, brick houses at the end of a street of terraces of small, brick houses. It was kind of a dull street. Cramped too. Late-nineteenth century houses all jammed in shoulder-to-shoulder;...
by POMS AWAY! on Aug 1, 2016

What We Did in Rarotonga

If you live in New Zealand, you’ll probably end up having a holiday in Rarotonga. Last week, I began the story of my own Rarotongan holiday. (You should probably read that before reading this. Here it is.) This week, the relaxing adventure continue...
by POMS AWAY! on Jul 25, 2016

Where New Zealanders Go On Holiday

If you’re wondering why I didn’t post anything last week, it’s because I was in paradise. And in paradise, Internet access is eye-wateringly expensive. I was also too busy drinking cocktails on the beach. Poor me. I was in Rarotonga, one of the...
by POMS AWAY! on Jul 18, 2016

How Brexit Looks from New Zealand

Last week, out of the blue, I was asked to “appear” on Radio NZ. They needed a British expat to talk about Brexit, and I can only assume Google led them to this blog. Okay. I wasn’t exactly an expert, but I agreed. I figured it would be the mos...
by POMS AWAY! on Jun 28, 2016

The Otuataua Stonefields

When you’re an immigrant, you spend a lot of time at the airport, picking up visiting relatives. I’ve been to Auckland Airport many times, but I never knew about the important archaeological site right next to it! The Otuataua Stonefields are a p...
by POMS AWAY! on Jun 14, 2016

Battle of the National Symbols – New Zealand vs. England

The national animal of New Zealand is the kiwi, a small, flightless bird that thinks it’s a mammal. The national animal of England is a lion, a majestic, sharp-toothed hunter that, really, has nothing whatsoever to do with England. At least the kiw...
by POMS AWAY! on May 30, 2016

Road to Perdition

I don’t know where to begin this story. I could begin in media res, with a familiar yet disturbingly alien landscape trundling past a window. I could begin with the provocatively dramatic image of a nun aiming a revolver at a sheriff. I could begin...
by POMS AWAY! on May 9, 2016

The Ultimate New Zealand Comedy

I went to see Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople the other day. I won’t beat around the bush. It was bloody brilliant. I haven’t laughed so hard at the cinema since… well, since Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows, probably. Bu...
by POMS AWAY! on May 2, 2016

Top 10 English Foods an Expat Misses

Originally posted on POMS AWAY!: Ask any expat in any country to list what they miss about home, they’re guaranteed to include items of food. While British immigrants to New Zealand are luckier than most (in that New Zealand cuisine is practically...
by POMS AWAY! on Apr 26, 2016

The Cult of New Zealand Infallible – healthy patriotism or sinister brainwashing?

Here’s a story from when I first moved to New Zealand. I’m interested to know what people think about it. Am I making something out of nothing, or is it representative of an underlying issue in Kiwi culture? First of all, let me say that I love N...
by POMS AWAY! on Apr 11, 2016

Jazzing It Up for Easter

Every Easter since 1963, the sunny city of Tauranga has hosted New Zealand’s National Jazz Festival. My parents live in Tauranga, so, of course, they always go. This year, I went with them. Despite the bad weather warnings, Easter 2016 was scorchin...
by POMS AWAY! on Mar 29, 2016

All the World’s a… Globe

How does Auckland’s ‘Pop-Up Globe’ compare to Shakespeare’s Globe in London? People are raving about Auckland’s ‘Pop-Up Globe’ – a replica of Shakespeare’s seventeenth century theatre right here in New Zealand. It’s only temporary...
by POMS AWAY! on Mar 6, 2016

Proof That New Zealanders Really Are Hobbits

On my first day of school in New Zealand, I was shocked to discover that no one was wearing shoes. I was ten years old, a recent immigrant, and my classmates were actually laughing at me for wearing shoes. I found it strange to say the least. Where I...
by POMS AWAY! on Feb 28, 2016

Stratford-upon-Patea: Town of Pioneers, Players and Peaks

A Tudor-style clock tower isn’t what one expects to see when driving through a small New Zealand town. When one realises the town’s name is Stratford, however, it makes perfect sense. The Stratford Clock Tower is unique in New Zealand. It houses...
by POMS AWAY! on Feb 21, 2016


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