Take a Polynesian naming convention, add in the European dialect and influence of the 1600s, a dash of contemporary-dipped architecture, wildlife one finds in the zoo, some rainforest glaciers and the ease of traveling in English and what do you get? A tour though the last discovered landmass on earth… New Zealand.
While no clear dates can be given for the island’s first inhabitants, the mythical Polynesian navigator, Kupe, was estimated to have arrived in 925AD. European settlers “discovered” Aotearoa (Maori name for the islands) in 1642, lead by explorer Abel Tasman and later Captain James Cook in 1769.
Modern day natives include stars of the silver screen as well as the racetrack. Peter Jackson’s adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings have put NZ in the worldwide spotlight. And more importantly, the late Christchurch-born John Britten made history for gearheads around the world with his mechanical engineering prowess and two wheels.
Today, the islands are under British rule. Native Māori chiefs (literally translating to local or original people) and the British Crown signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, creating a diverse and vibrant concoction for governing the land and it’s culture. A place where you’ll find breathtaking scenery, more sheep than people and 98 octane at the pump, despite the national speed limit being a meager 100/KPH. Borne and bred in the vacuum of the South Pacific, ‘En-Zed’ is a gem in creation.