داستانهایی با هزار کلمه-۲

تعداد کلمات هر یک از داستان‌های زیر ۴۰۰ است.


The famous Irish writer, George Bernard Shaw, visited New Zealand in 1934. When people asked him what

he thought of the country, he replied, “too many sheep”.
Sheep farming has played a very important part in New Zealand’s history since the first sheep were brought here in the late 18th century. Captain James Cook, the first European to set foot on New Zealand, brought sheep here in 1773. However, it wasn’t until the middle of the 1900s that sheep farming became the most important farming industry. Wool from sheep was the number one export for the next 30 years. When a system for keeping meat as cold as ice was invented in 1882, meat became the main New Zealand export to Britain for the next 100 years.
After the 1980s, as milk products such as butter and cheese became more profitable, cows took over from sheep as the main kind of farming. Sheep numbers were recorded at 70 million in 1982 but today that number has dropped to around 30 million. Even so, New Zealand still produces about half of the international trade in sheep meat.
Nowadays, for every person in New Zealand, there are seven sheep. However, unlike the human population which mainly lives in the North Island, most sheep are found in the South Island. The dry weather in the South Island is exactly right for sheep farming and very large sheep farms were set up. Some of these farms have several thousand sheep, although the average number of sheep per farm is around 1,300 animals.
There are many different kinds of sheep. Some sheep produce very good wool, but not very good meat. For example the Merino, which was first brought here from Spain. Other kinds of sheep produce very good meat, but not such good wool. Romney sheep are especially suitable for New Zealand conditions because they provide very good quality wool and meat. They also seem to like New Zealand’s changeable weather.
A very good way to take part in a New Zealand farming experience is to visit the Agrodome in Rotorua. You can go on a farm tour, watch sheep being shorn (given a haircut) and see farm dogs working with sheep. You can enjoy a sheep show where you will see the different kinds of sheep, and if you are lucky you can feed a baby sheep from a bottle of milk.

How the kiwi lost its wings

One day many years ago, Tanemahuta, the god of the forest was walking under the trees. He looked up and noticed that many of the trees, who he called his children, were getting ill and some of them were dying. He was very sad and he looked around to see what was causing his children to get ill. He saw that there were many different kinds of insects on the ground and they were eating the tree roots and this was the reason why the trees were dying. He was very worried and knew he had to do something to stop the insects from eating the trees. If the trees died, the birds would have nowhere to live, so he told his brother Tanehokahoka (the god of the birds) to call a meeting of all the birds of the forest.
Tanemahuta spoke to the birds and said, “Something is eating my children. I need one of you to come down from the trees and live on the forest floor to save my trees.”
All was quiet. None of the birds spoke. Tanemahuta said, “How about you, Tui?” Tui looked down and saw that the forest floor was dark and said, “No, I won’t come down because I‘m frightened of the dark.” Tanemahuta turned to Pukeko and said, “How about you, Pukeko?” But Pukeko said, “No I won’t come down because the forest floor is very wet. I don’t want to get my feet wet.” At last, Tanemahuta turned to Kiwi and said, “How about you, Kiwi? Will you come down and live on the forest floor to save the trees?” Kiwi looked around at the trees and the sunlight and said, “Yes I will.” Tanemahuta turned to Kiwi and told the little bird, “If you come down, your legs will get very big and your wings will get small and you will never see the sunlight again.” “I will come.” said Kiwi sadly.
Tanemahuta turned to Tui and said, “Because you were too frightened to come down, you will always wear two white feathers to show you are not brave.” Then he turned to Pukeko. “Because you did not want to get your feet wet, you will forever live in wet places.”
Then he turned to Kiwi and said, “Because of your good heart, you will become the most loved of all the birds.” And that is exactly what happened.

New Zealand Pets

Pets are very popular in New Zealand where about 70% of homes have at least one pet. The most popular kinds of pets are cats and dogs, with about 50% of people owning one or more cats, while 29% of homes are dog-owning. There are also many other kinds of pets such as fish and birds.
There are many wonderful things about keeping a pet. They are lovely, loving and lovable. They make great friends and often become family members. The average life of a dog or cat is 14 years. However, some live to 17 or 18 and the oldest cat on record was 23. It is no wonder they are treated as part of the family. The death of a pet is a very sad experience.
Before you decide to get a pet you need to think very carefully, especially if you are planning on getting a baby animal like a kitten or a puppy. Often people visit a pet shop and fall in love with a puppy or a kitten. They are so lovely, it’s hard not to. However, before you buy a pet you must consider three things. First, who is going to look after it? A puppy grows into a dog and a dog needs regular exercise. Can you take it for a walk twice a day? A kitten grows into a cat and cats love to attack furniture. Are you prepared to have your cat destroy your favourite furniture? Second, young animals need to be toilet-trained and this takes a long time, hard work and patience. Are you prepared to deal with accidents inside the house without getting angry? Also remember that having a pet is a long term duty, perhaps fifteen years or more. The oldest dog that ever lived was 29 years and five months old!
In New Zealand, one place to get a pet is the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). This organisation takes in homeless animals and finds people to give them a home.
Once you have your pet, there are services to help you if you have enough money: puppy schools, dog walkers, pet hotels, doggy day care, and special animal doctors called vets. Animal medical services are almost as good as human medical services, and many pet owners spend thousands of dollars to make sure their loved pet has the best life possible.


Hangi is an old Maori way of preparing food. The food is cooked on heated stones under the ground which gives it a special smoky taste.
Many kinds of food can be cooked in a hangi. The most common ones are meat such as pork, fish and chicken, and vegetables such as potatoes and kumara (a kind of sweet potato with a red skin). Each area has its own way of ‘putting down’ a hangi but the basic way of doing it is as follows.
First the food is prepared for cooking. The pork is cut into large pieces. The chickens are cooked whole. The vegetables are cut into pieces and washed ready for cooking. All the food is placed into baskets and put to one side until the hangi is ready. A large hole is dug in the ground and when this is done a fire is lit in the bottom of the hole. It has to be a big fire that will burn for a long time. Once the fire is going well, stones are placed in the fire so that they get hot. This can take up to three or four hours. After the fire has died down and all the wood has burned away, the baskets of food are placed on top of the hot stones. Some water is thrown on top of the food to make steam and then the baskets are covered with cloth. In earlier days, the food was completely covered with leaves. The last step is to cover the leaves or cloth with earth. After the hangi hole is covered, it is left for two or three hours to cook. After this time, the hangi is uncovered, the cloth or leaves are carefully lifted away and the food is ready to serve.
A hangi is ‘put down’ when a large group of family and friends come together for a party or a special occasion.
The hangi has changed over time. In the 1900s metal baskets became widely used to hold the food. Before this, the food was placed directly onto leaves on top of the hot stones. Recently some clever person invented a hangi machine which looks like a square box, and operates like a barbeque with red hot iron or steel instead of stones. Now it is much easier for anyone to enjoy a hangi in their own back garden.

New Zealand Food

Because New Zealand is a country of immigration, you can find food from all over the world here. The first people, the Maori, had their own ways of cooking and if you are lucky you may be asked to join a ‘kai’, the Maori word for a meal or food.
Meals in New Zealand usually follow a Western pattern. Breakfast is tea or coffee with toast and butter. Weet-Bix and Corn Flakes are also popular breakfast foods. They are served with milk and sometimes with sugar or fruit. In the middle of the morning people have morning tea or coffee and something small to eat. For lunch, Kiwis eat sandwiches, salads or fruit, and then in the middle of the afternoon it’s time for another cup of tea or coffee. For most people the main meal of the day is dinner, which is eaten at about 6 or 7 o’clock after people get home from work. The evening meal is usually some kind of meat such as chicken, pork or fish with potatoes and vegetables, or maybe a rice dish. Some people follow the main course with dessert which is fruit or something sweet.
At the weekend, Kiwis often go out to a café with friends for breakfast or lunch. Brunch is very popular. It is a mixture of breakfast and lunch and is eaten at about 10 or 11 o’clock. For brunch you might have eggs, French toast or pancakes, and you will probably have some kind of coffee with your meal: cappuccino, flat white, long black, short black or Americano. So many choices!
Eating out in restaurants is increasingly popular for people who have enough money. There is a wide variety of restaurants. You can eat Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, French, Ethiopian, Thai or Middle Eastern food, to name only some. There is also a wide variety in prices. You can get a wonderful plate of chicken, vegetables and rice for under $15 and feel full after eating it. On the other hand, you can pay $50 a plate at some expensive restaurants, and then you have to pay extra for vegetables or salad.
There are Asian and European supermarkets where you can buy almost anything you need to make your own country’s food, and there are weekend farmers’ markets where you can buy naturally grown fresh fruit and vegetables as well as special home-made produce.


New Zealand is a land of immigration which means that people from countries all over the world have moved here and made New Zealand their home. Even the first people of New Zealand, the Maori, came to this country about a thousand years ago from somewhere else, most likely from islands in the Pacific Ocean. They travelled across the Pacific Ocean in boats called canoes.
The next group of people to come to New Zealand were from countries on the other side of the world, such as Holland and Britain. They came in ships that sailed the seas trying to discover new countries that were unknown in Europe. They made maps and tried to claim the new countries for their own governments. They didn’t stay long, but when they returned to their own countries with news of new places, other people followed.
The next group came for the whales and seals which lived in the seas around New Zealand. They came to catch these sea animals for their oil which they took back to Europe. Some of these men stayed, married Maori women and started families.
In the early 1880s, many people from Britain started immigrating to New Zealand to make a better life for themselves and their families. As more people arrived, they bought or just took Maori land to start farms. This is when trouble began between the local people and the new arrivals. In 1840, an agreement was signed between many Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Government. It was called the Treaty of Waitangi.
After that, people began to arrive in New Zealand in increasing numbers. Gold was discovered on the West Coast and people came to find the gold and get rich. The gold fields needed services and more people came to build towns. In the 1890s, the British Government started a programme to help people to come to New Zealand. People came to farm, to trade and to do business.
Since then, people from all over the world have made New Zealand their home. Today, according to the 2013 Census (a study of the population), the top five groups of people are as follows: European 74%, Maori 15%, Asian 12%, Pacific 7% and Middle Eastern 1%. This adds up to more than 100% because some people belong to more than one group. Because of immigration, New Zealand is a country of many cultures.


What is a kiwi? In the beginning, kiwi was the Maori word for a native bird. However, over time, the word kiwi has come to have two other quite different meanings.
First, let’s look at kiwi the bird. The kiwi is about the size of a chicken. It is brown, has long legs, very small wings and it can’t fly. Kiwi come out at night to look for food and they sleep in the day. When Maori first arrived in New Zealand about 800 years ago, kiwi were everywhere. In fact, there were many kinds of birds that couldn’t fly throughout the country. Why were there so many birds that couldn’t fly? The answer is that before people came to New Zealand there were no land animals at all. This meant that the birds had no enemies so they didn’t need to fly and therefore they lost the use of their wings. It was bad news for kiwi and other flightless birds when people and their animals started to arrive in New Zealand because the birds were easy to catch and they were very good to eat.
The second meaning of kiwi is the people of New Zealand. New Zealanders are called Kiwis both at home and overseas. You can say, “She’s a Kiwi. Do you like Kiwi food? That’s the Kiwi Prime Minister.” The word Kiwi was first used in the army by New Zealand soldiers fighting in wars overseas. The name seems to have started in the early 1900s. The Oxford English Dictionary first included the word in 1918.
The third meaning of kiwi is kiwifruit, often shortened to just ‘kiwi’ overseas. There are several varieties of kiwifruit but the most common one is about the size of a very large egg. It has a rough brown skin and a soft green sweet centre. Kiwifruit is a native of northern China and was brought to New Zealand in 1904 by a visiting school teacher. At first it was called Chinese Gooseberry. The fruit grew very well in New Zealand and when it began to be exported they were named kiwi because they looked something like the kiwi bird. In the late 1960s to the early 1970s kiwifruit exports increased quickly and they have become increasingly popular since that time.
The main thing to remember is that the word kiwi has three different meanings. Don’t get them mixed up.

Arriving in New Zealand

Culture shock is what happens when you arrive in a new country and everything is different and strange. People come to a new country for many reasons: for a holiday, to study or to live forever. If you are only coming to a new country for a holiday, it’s not so bad because the main reason for travel is to experience new and different things. However, if you have come for five years of university study or to live here forever, then culture shock can make you feel terrible. Some people think, “Oh my God, what have I done?!” What are some of the things that surprise or shock people when they come to New Zealand? Many people experience culture shock when they realise they have left everyone and everything they know behind: family, friends, home and culture. It may be years before they can visit their home country and some may never go back. People who come from non-English speaking countries may be shocked by the language. They can’t understand what people are saying and they can’t read the road signs. Many new arrivals are shocked or surprised by the weather. It’s colder, or maybe hotter. There’s more rain and the weather is more changeable. Many people are surprised that the weather can change so suddenly and you that can experience summer, autumn, winter and spring in one day. It can be difficult to decide what to wear if it’s sunny in the morning but windy and cold in the afternoon. Sometimes people get bad colds because of this, and feeling unwell doesn’t help them to accept their new situation.
What about the food? Getting used to New Zealand food can be difficult, especially for students who live with homestay families. Missing your own food can make you homesick. Getting used to a new culture is difficult too. Everyone has a story about feeling stupid because they made a mistake or did something which is right in one culture but wrong in another.
The good thing is culture shock is a recognised feeling which usually goes through four different stages. At first, everything seems new and exciting. This is followed by a feeling of not understanding anything and being angry and worried. Next, there is a period of time when you are getting used to the new situation. In the end, you become a New Zealander – a Kiwi.

Inter-island Ferry

New Zealand is an island country. It is made up of hundreds of small islands and two main ones, the North Island and the South Island. The area of water between the North and South Islands is called Cook Strait and at its narrowest point it is only 22 kilometres wide. If you travel from one end of the country to the other you have to cross this water on a boat called a ferry. The ferry goes between Wellington at the bottom of the North Island and Picton, a small town at the top of the South Island. Of course, you can fly between the two islands, but going on a ferry is good because you can take your car with you.
The ferry journey is a great experience. When the ferry leaves Wellington, you can stand outside and enjoy views of the hills and the city. Tourists are often surprised when they see many houses built on the sides of the hills. When you enter Cook Strait, you will notice that the water starts to get a little rougher and the wind may get a little stronger. Now you are in the open sea and it will take about an hour before you reach the calmer water near Picton. From Cook Strait you can see the mountains of both islands and in winter they will be covered in snow. When you reach the South Island, you enter the Marlborough Sounds. Sounds are like fingers of water that reach far into the land. As you sail up the sound you may be lucky enough to see dolphins following, leading or racing the ferry. They love to play with each other and jump into the air around the boat.
The ferry takes three hours so you have plenty of time to stand outside and look at the water, take photos, or make yourself comfortable with a good book inside. You can have a coffee or a meal at the café or watch a movie. There is a play area for children and a TV area as well.
Travelling on the ferry is a great experience but try to choose a fine day. Cook Strait is known as one of the most dangerous areas of sea in the world. If the weather is bad, it will be a rough ride. Either way, it’s a New Zealand experience not to be missed!


New Zealand people sometimes eat fruit or something sweet after the main meal, especially on birthdays, at a dinner party, or on Christmas day. This sweet food is called a dessert. In earlier times, people had dessert most days. However, now that people are more interested in healthy food, desserts are usually enjoyed on special days.
Pavlova is a popular special day dessert in New Zealand. It is shaped like a large round cake but it is made out of the white part of eggs and sugar. It is very important that none of the yellow part of the egg gets into the mixture. If it does, you will not be able to make a pavlova successfully. First, you separate the whites from the yellow. Don’t throw away the yellow part. It can be saved to make other kinds of food.
Put the egg whites in a very clean dry bowl and use an electric beater to beat the mixture hard. This takes about five minutes. When the egg mixture stands up in little points, it is time to start adding sugar. Do this very slowly until all the sugar is used up. Some people like to add a little salt to the mixture. Every family has its own way of making a ‘pav’.
When the mixture is ready, pour it onto a flat oven dish in a nice round shape. It should be about four or five centimetres high. It is very important that the temperature is not too hot. Pavlova has to cook at a low heat and for quite a long time. When it is done, the outside should be a little hard, while the inside should be very soft. The outside should be white. If the outside has turned brown, it is cooked too much and you will have to start again. Let the pavlova get cold, put it carefully onto a beautiful plate and then put cream and fruit on the top. Strawberries or kiwifruit are very good.
Pavlova is thought to have been first made in honour of the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova when she visited New Zealand and Australia in the 1920s. Since that time, both New Zealand and Australia have claimed ownership of the pavlova and continue to argue about it.
Whichever country is the true owner, pavlova tastes very good and you should try some while you are in New Zealand.

Te Papa

A museum is a building in which interesting and valuable things are kept and shown to the public. The things may be of historical, artistic or scientific interest. Te Papa is the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand and it is full of wonderful treasures relating to New Zealand’s past, present and future. The full name of the museum is Te Papa Tongarewa which means ‘the place of treasures of this land’, but everybody calls it Te Papa which means ‘our place’.
Building started in 1992 and Te Papa was opened to the public on 14 February 1998. In its first five months of operation the museum had one million visitors, and since then over a million people have visited every year. It is on the top of the list of things to do for visitors to Wellington.
Te Papa is situated near the sea in the capital city, Wellington. It is a very large building covering 36,000 square metres. There are six floors of beautiful and interesting old and new things, meeting spaces, offices, work rooms, cafes and a cinema. There is also a gift shop where you can buy quality souvenirs of your visit to the museum and to New Zealand. When it was completed in 1998, Te Papa cost $300,000,000.
The museum is divided into five areas: Art, History, Pacific, Maori and Nature. A good way to start your visit is to take a tour. Tours last an hour and are given in several different languages. A tour will give you an introduction to the museum and then you can come back and look around in your own time. It will take a few days to see everything there is to see, but don’t worry. Entry to the museum is free so you can come back as many times as you want.
As you walk around the museum, you will see a lot of people in blue T-shirts. These people are there to help you so you can ask them questions about anything in the museum, or for directions if you have lost your way.
As well as the serious side of the museum – history, art works, and Maori culture – there are also many other enjoyable things to do for children of all ages. Children can spend hours playing science or nature games and everyone can discover more about New Zealand’s past present and future.

Seeing New Zealand by Train

One way to see the country is to take a train. However, don’t expect the fast trains that you find in Japan,

Italy, China, France and many other countries. You will not be flying along at 300 kilometres an hour! To travel from Auckland to Wellington covers a distance of about 650 kilometres and it takes all day. Seeing New Zealand by train is slow. If you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible, don’t take the train. However, if you want to really experience the beauty of the New Zealand countryside, the train is the way to go. There are three long not-to-be-missed train journeys.
Let’s start in the north and head south. Climb onto the Northern Explorer in Auckland at 7.45 in the morning and be prepared to spend the day experiencing a wide variety of new sights. You will see farms, animals, forests, high dry desert country, small country towns and wild sea.
The train stops for lunch at a small town half way between Wellington and Auckland, and from there you can see the high mountains in the centre of the island. In winter you will see plenty of snow. Travel on to the capital, Wellington, and arrive at the station in the early evening.
The Coastal Pacific Railway travels along the East Coast of the South Island from Picton to Christchurch. The train travels between the wild seas of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the high snow covered mountains on the other. The journey takes about six hours and the train times are planned to meet up with the inter-island ferry to Wellington.
The third journey is the TranzAlpine which travels from Christchurch on the East Coast to Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island. This has been described as one of the world’s most famous train journeys. You will follow fast moving rivers and cross high bridges with the water far below. You will cross the southern mountains and along the way you will see farms and forests.
Many tourists only come for a very short stay and don’t have time to spend a day getting from A to B. However, if you can slow down, and accept a much slower speed of life and a much older way of travelling, seeing New Zealand by train may turn out to be the journey of a lifetime.

Middle Earth

Have you seen the Lord of the Rings movies? How about The Hobbit? These movies were directed by

world-famous Kiwi director, Peter Jackson, and set in beautiful New Zealand. Middle Earth is the land where the story takes place, and for a while New Zealand was known as Middle Earth and Wellington was called the Middle of Middle Earth.
The movies were based on books written by J. R. R. Tolkien in the 1930s and 1940s. However, while The Lord of the Rings movies were made first, The Hobbit was written first.
It tells the story of a group of people and other strange characters like dwarves, elves and a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins. This strange group sets out on an adventure to find the gold and treasure that Smaug, a terrible dragon, stole from the dwarves many years ago. Bilbo Baggins, like most hobbits, would rather stay at home and enjoy regular meals, and quiet afternoons sleeping. However, on their journey, they meet many dangers and fight many terrible enemies. At last they reach the mountain where the dragon, Smaug, is sleeping on top of the treasure. The treasure is unbelievable: gold and silver as far as the eye can see! And Smaug doesn’t want to lose a single thing. In the end, the dragon is killed and the dwarves get their treasure back.
Along the way, Bilbo Baggins has a secret adventure all his own. He finds a gold ring near a river under a mountain. When he puts the ring on his finger, he disappears and nobody can see him. The ring is very useful but Bilbo doesn’t tell anyone about it and when he returns to his home he keeps the ring secret for many years.
The Lord of the Rings takes up the story many years later. It is discovered that Bilbo’s ring has terrible powers and evil forces want to get it so that they can control the world. Again, a group of adventurers set off through Middle Earth to return the evil ring to Fire Mountain. If they can destroy the ring, the world will be saved. But that is another story.
Tolkien’s stories have been popular for over 70 years and the books can be read in almost fifty different languages. Now, the movies are renewing interest for young people and attracting lots of tourists to New Zealand to visit Middle Earth.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is one of the most famous tourist places in New Zealand and Taupo is the town on the edge

of the lake. Each year over two million people from around the world visit Lake Taupo to enjoy the natural beauty and the many activities such as fishing and water sports. The most popular time to visit is Christmas and New Year, and even though there are hundreds of places to stay, they are often all full over the holiday period.
Lake Taupo is situated in a large area in the middle of the North Island which was formed by volcanoes (see picture). If you drive from Wellington to Auckland you will go along the Desert Road. The Desert Road crosses a very high flat desert area which was formed by volcanic activity. It is not a desert like in Saudi Arabia or Africa; it is a high cold dry desert and nothing much grows there. On your left you will see the three high volcanoes that formed the desert. After you have driven past these three mountains you reach Lake Taupo.
The lake was formed 26,500 years ago by an ‘eruption’. That means that part of the earth blew up like a bomb. It was the biggest eruption experienced in the world in the last 70,000 years. The eruption made a very large hole in the earth which slowly filled with water over time. Lake Taupo covers an area of 616 square kilometres, almost the same size as Singapore. At its deepest point it reaches 186 metres.
One of the activities you can do at Lake Taupo is fishing. You will see people in boats, standing at the edge of the lake or even standing in the water trying to catch a fish for dinner. There are many kinds of adventure sports on and around Lake Taupo. You can go skydiving, bungy jumping or swimming. You can take a flight over the lake and the mountains for a bird’s eye view. In November, you can take part in the Lake Taupo bicycle race. Last year about 8,000 people completed the 200 kilometre race around the lake.
On New Year’s Eve a big party is held in Taupo, and at midnight thousands of people count down to the New Year. 10, 9, 8 . . .
Young or old, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Lake Taupo.

Interesting facts about New Zealand

 There are seven sheep for every person in New Zealand. That’s over 30 million! Sheep meat and sheep wool have been exported from New Zealand since the mid-19th century and today sheep products make up 30% of exports.
 The longest place name in New Zealand (and also in the world) is:
It means the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who climbed and ate mountains, known as the land-eater, played music to his loved ones. It is the name of a hill on the East Coast of New Zealand and it has 85 letters.
 New Zealand is an island nation. There is sea all around us. Wherever you go in New Zealand, you will never be more than 120 kilometres from the sea.
 New Zealand has no dangerous wild animals, snakes or insects. There is one dangerous spider, but it is not seen very often and not many people have seen it or been bitten by it. This makes New Zealand a very safe place to go walking in the forest.
 Because the International Date Line is directly to the east of New Zealand, we are the first country in the world to see the sun rise and begin each day. If we travel to the USA we lose a day, but don’t worry. On the return journey we get it back again.
 Before people came to New Zealand there were no land animals at all. This meant that the birds had no enemies to fly away from. Because of this, many native birds lost the ability to fly. One of these flightless birds was called the Moa. It was a very large bird standing 3.6 metres tall and weighing up to 300 kilograms. When people first came to New Zealand about 1000 years ago, it was bad news for the Moa. By the end of the 1600s the Moa had completely disappeared from New Zealand.
 New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote. This happened in 1893.
 In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, and Sherpa Tensing, who came from Nepal, were the first two people to climb the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. A picture of Sir Edmund Hillary appears on the New Zealand $5 note.
 Except for the North and South Poles, New Zealand was the last large land area to have people living on it.

Shortland Street

Shortland Street is New Zealand’s most popular home-grown television programme. It is also the longest running show ever produced in New Zealand. Shortland Street was first shown on 25 May 1992 and since then it has run continuously. There have been thousands of programmes. You can watch it five nights a week at 7 pm on TV2. The show is repeated in the weekend and you can see it on TVNZ OnDemand as well.
Shortland Street is set in a hospital in Auckland and when the programme started in 1992, it was not very popular. In fact, it would probably have been dropped if TVNZ had not decided to try it for one year and had already paid out money for production. After one year, the show’s popularity had increased greatly and TVNZ decided to continue making the programme. Today, Shortland Street is often included in the top five TV programmes of the week.
In the early 1990s there were not many New Zealand programmes on TV. Most of the programmes that New Zealanders watched came from the UK, the USA or Australia. These countries all had their own ‘soap operas’ (programmes about ordinary people’s lives). For example, England had Coronation Street which had been running since 1960 and Australia started producing Neighbours in 1985, and of course the USA, the home of television, had many programmes that were about the daily lives of a group of people. Friends is a good example. It was felt that New Zealand should have its own programme, and this led to the making of Shortland Street, now popularly known as Shorty.
As with any programme about people’s lives, the Shortland Street story has included a variety of subjects from work, play, illness, love, relationships, friendships and marriage. People have died or been killed, babies have been born, people have got ill or done bad things. Some people have left to travel overseas, others have tried to steal medicine from the hospital. There have been poor people, rich people and ordinary people, mothers raising children on their own, gay and straight relationships, young and old, families and people living alone, and many nationalities from Australian to Zimbabwean.
To get an idea about New Zealand life, maybe you should watch Shorty. It’s a good way to study because you are regularly listening to New Zealanders speaking. It’s also a very nice break from real homework.

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are a very popular fast food Kiwi meal. There is nothing better than eating hot fish and chips with your fingers straight out of the paper, especially on a cold winter day. The secret is to find a shop that knows how to cook them exactly right and to eat them as soon as you get them. If you wait until you get home, they can still be good but the longer you leave them in the paper, the softer the chips get and that’s not good.
The best thing to do is to buy the fish and chips and drive straight to the nearest sea-front, tear open the paper and eat them while watching the waves roll in. If there are any left over, you can throw them out of the car window for the sea birds that will be flying around, making a lot of noise and waiting for you to finish. They taste even better because you know you are taking part in a real Kiwi custom.
In the early days, fish and chips were sold in old newspapers. People would drop off their newspapers to the fish and chip shop after they had read them. Of course, nowadays that isn’t allowed, and fish and chips must be sold in new clean paper.
Some say the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by a man called Joseph Malin in 1860. In the mid-1880s the fishing industry in England started developing quickly. Larger boats and better ways of fishing meant there was a lot of fresh fish – and it was cheap. In addition, the development of railways meant fresh fish could easily be taken to other cities. Fish and chips quickly became a popular food for working class people.
Nobody quite knows exactly when they arrived in New Zealand, but nowadays, Kiwis eat about seven million servings of chips per week, or 120,000 tonnes per year. Now, the quality of fish and chips is much better. There are industry standards, and shops proudly promise that they only use the best oil, potatoes and fish. Even so, fish and chips should only be eaten occasionally, and to be honest some fish and chips are terrible.
The more worried about health people become, the less they want to eat fast food like fish and chips. However, healthy or unhealthy, many people love them.

Sky Tower

When you visit Auckland, the highest thing you will see is the Sky Tower. Situated in the central business area, the tower stands 328 metres tall and it can be seen from most parts of the city. Building started in 1994 and was completed in 1997. Sky Tower opened in March 1997, six months earlier than planned. Safety was very important in the building of the tower. It was built to be safe in winds up to 200 kilometres per hour. In high winds the top of the tower can move one metre from side to side. It was also built to be safe in a very big earthquake.
The tower forms part of the SKYCITY Auckland Casino and over 1,000 people visit it every day. That’s half a million people a year! There are several levels which are open to the public. The main observation area is on the 51st floor. From there you can see all of Auckland from the city to the hills far in the distance. On the 52nd floor there is a revolving restaurant. Every hour the restaurant turns 360 degrees, so while you are enjoying your meal you can see all of Auckland. There are several other restaurants and cafés where you can sit and enjoy the view.
The 53rd floor is the place to go for excitement. Here you will find the SkyWalk. If you are brave enough, you can stand on a glass floor and look down at Auckland far below. If you are really brave, you can go on the SkyJump. You will jump almost 200 metres into the sky and reach a speed of up to 85 kilometres per hour on the way down! That really would be a great video to send home to your friends and family.
As well as being a famous Auckland sight, and being part of the SKYCITY Casino, the Sky Tower has other uses. It is used for sending radio, television and cell phone messages and for collecting weather information. It has appeared in popular television programmes such as The Amazing Race.
There are 1,267 steps in the Sky Tower and each year there are stair climbing races to the top of the tower. An example is the Fire Fighters Sky Tower Stair Challenge. Running up all the stairs in fire-fighting clothes and carrying everything you need to fight a fire is hard work.


A long time ago, a beautiful young woman named Pania lived with her people under the sea near Napier

on the East Coast of New Zealand. She was a daughter of the Sea People. Every day Pania came out of the water. She sat on the rocks, brushing her long black hair and singing the songs of her people. One day she saw Karitoki, the good-looking young son of a Maori chief. They fell in love and Pania didn’t want to return to her people under the sea. She wanted to stay with her human lover and their children. However, the people of the sea kept calling her to come back to them. Every day Karitoki asked her if she could hear the voices calling her to return, and every day she said, “Karitoki, I love only you. I will stay with you and spend the rest of my life by your side. I will never leave you and return to my home under the sea.” Every day Pania walked along the water’s edge and her family called her but she was so much in love with her husband that she couldn’t hear them calling. One day, she heard her mother’s voice praying for her to leave her life on land and return to her home under the sea. She started to remember her family and her life under the sea. She remembered her beautiful mother and sisters. She remembered the wise voices of the old people who had taught her. She remembered the fish and the other animals of the sea who were her friends. She remembered her family and all the people who loved her. She tried not to listen to the voices, but one day she decided to visit them just one time.
The sea people caught her, held her and took her back down to the bottom of the deep sea. She never returned to her lover and her life on the land.
They say that if you pass over the place where Pania used to sit on the rocks, and look down into the water, you will see Pania trying to return to the land and her lover. Her tears form the waves and her long black hair moves in the water.
When you visit Napier and walk along the water’s edge you can see Pania sitting on her rock waiting for her lover.


Cricket is a very popular sport in New Zealand. It was invented in Britain and is played in most of the countries that used to be ruled by Britain. These include South Africa, Australia, the West Indies, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. People from most other countries don’t know what cricket is and don’t understand the rules. They can’t understand why people want to play a game that takes five days, and where the players stop for lunch and morning and afternoon tea.
Cricket is a bat and ball game. There are two teams of eleven players. It is played on a very large cricket ground with an area in the middle for the players to hit the ball and then run up and down. Look at the picture to see the bat, ball and wickets. The batter stands in front of the wickets and hits the ball. If the batter misses the ball and the ball hits the wickets the batter is ‘out’ and has to leave the field. If they hit the ball, they have to run to the other end and back again as many times as they can before the other team gets the ball back to the wickets. There are many other rules about how you be ‘out’ or get runs. For example, if a player catches a ball you are ‘out’. However, if you hit the ball out of the ground you get six runs.
The first game of cricket was played in the south of England in the 16th century. By the 18th century it had become the national sport of England. The first international game was played in the mid-19th century. At first, all the players wore white, but nowadays teams play in different colours. At first, the games lasted five days, but in the 1960s, one-day games were introduced. At first, cricket was a game for men, but now there are women’s teams and mixed teams as well.
Every five years, the Cricket World Cup is held. It is a very exciting time and the country almost comes to a stop to watch the games on TV or at live games. In 2015, it was held in New Zealand and Australia jointly. This was especially exciting for Kiwis. Why? Because, for the first time ever, the New Zealand team reached the last round. Sadly, they were beaten by their (friendly) enemies, Australia.


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