New Zealand - To What Extent Unknown in Poland


If you ask the average Pole, with what do they associate New Zealand, the most probable response would be: Hob- bits, sheep, All Blacks or the kiwi. Interestingly, most Poles imagine the country as exotic islands with a tropical climate, where residents rest on sandy beaches under palm trees. Images from the Internet don’t put this straight, showing such meccas for tourists as the Bay of Plenty or Kapiti Island. In addition, the place of New Zealand on both geo- graphical and political maps of the world will most likely defined it as ‘next to Australia’. However, it is the Maori homeland which is becoming the unrivalled dream destination of Poles. New Zealand is also perceived in Poland as a welfare state which in world economic rankings ensures the highest standards of both work and life.

I academically deal with New Zealand (its legal system and relations with the South Pacific states) for over seven years. From the beginning, friends were asking me: “Do we really have any relations with New Zealanders?”. Such discussions have simply confirmed how unexplored this subject is in Poland. An example of this is the moving and in- deed beautiful story of the Pahiatua Children which appears to be unknown to the larger public in Poland. Such unawareness, however, gives a wide field to promote New Zealand in Poland and to strengthen the already good relations between Wellington and Warsaw.

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