New Zealand Communications, Media and Entertainment
Email is the cheapest way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home. University accommodation is broadband ready, as are most residential rentals. You can organise an internet connection by contacting one of New Zealand’s internet providers. To connect a laptop in New Zealad, you will require a RJ45 type plug and an adaptor with a flat two or three point power plug.
Universities, schools and public libraries often provide computer labs which you can use for free. In some cases, you may need to make a booking. Internet cafes generally charge per fifteen minutes of internet use.
Local calls, calls to emergency services (111) and numbers beginning with 0800 and 0508 are all free calls. Charges apply for international calls. To make an international call, dial 00, the countries code and the phone number.
New Zealand’s country code is 64.
The regions are codes are:
• South and Stewart Islands – 03
• Wellington – 04
• Central and southern New Zealand – 06
• Waikato and Bay of Plenty – 07, and
• Auckland – 09.
Public phone cards require a prepaid value card. These have a minimum value of NZ$5. A limited number of public phones take credit cards and coins.
To use a mobile phone in New Zealand, you must set up global roaming on a phone from your country or open an account with New Zealand providers Vodafone or Telecom. You can purchase prepay international phone cards from newsagents and service stations. These provide you with a predetermined amount of minutes. Costs differ depending on which country you are calling. They are usually very cheap and easy to carry and this makes them very popular with international students.
The services available to international students include global roaming, purchasing a prepay account or setting up an account with Vodafone or Telecom New Zealand after their arrival into the country.
New Zealand phone directories are the White Pages, which lists household numbers and the Yellow Pages, which lists business information. Both can be accessed via the internet.
Post Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. In some major cities, Post Offices are open on weekends as well. Post offices provide international courier and fax services. Stamps are available at supermarkets, newsagents and stations. New Zealand is open for business Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm. International students should note that mail is directly delivered to the street address.
Popular media in New Zealand is a mix of international and local content. International media avenues, such as magazines and television programmes, are generally more common than those produced and published in New Zealand, although local offerings are beginning to find a market.
The media in New Zealand allows international visitors a fascinating opportunity to interact with a thriving and vibrant culture.
There are four free-to-air television stations plus the regional stations. The TV listings are advertised in local newspapers and on the Internet and often have ratings for the programmes and its content. Some of the programmes are in the Maori language.
New Zealand television has found its niche after years of offering locally made copies of international hits. Gems such as Outrageous Fortune and Flight of the Concorde’s are examples of some of New Zealand’s quality programming.
Free to air and pay TV channels offer a mix of international and locally produced television.
New Zealand’s most popular free to air networks are:
- TV1 and TV2, mainstream stations offering sitcoms and news,
- Prime TV, which showcases a lot of New Zealand talent,
- TV4, a music channel, and
- Maori TV which, predictably, offers a lot of Maori content.
New Zealand radio offers more radio stations per person than many other countries. AM and FM radio programmes offer everything, from news to talk back to indie to Maori language stations. Some of New Zealand’s most popular radio stations include The Edge, ZM and More FM, which offer current, Top 40 style music, The Edge, for heavy metal enthusiasts, and Kiwi FM, dedicated to Kiwi his of yesterday and today.
For more conservative tastes, try Classic FM or The Breeze, which play easy listening songs from the 60’s and 70’s.
Newspapers can be bought from a local newsagent or shop or delivered straight to your door. Different cities have different editions for their readers. There are also community newspapers distributed in the suburbs that keep the residents informed about daily community affairs. The “Letters to the Editor” section is the voice of New Zealanders and is a must read for anyone interested in finding out their thoughts on any given particular issue.
New Zealand has a huge selection of newspapers that service its separate regions. They receive all the international magazines, such as Cosmo, GQ and Harpers Bazaar, and also have a range of locally produced alternatives. Simply You is a popular New Zealand woman’s fashion magazine, NZ V8 Magazine is for car lovers and Te Waha Nui (Maori for The Big Mouth) is a university press magazine from Auckland University of Technology that publishes on a variety of topics.
Whether you’d prefer a relaxed, outdoor concert, or would like to try bungee jumping over the Waikato River, New Zealand has a huge range of things to do that will suit all tastes.
Due to the temperate weather and gorgeous natural environment, many recreational pursuits are enjoyed outdoors. You can swim, surf, ski, kayak, abseil, bike, parachute, sky dive… and this is just the beginning of a long list of outdoor activities on offer. From sightseeing to thrill seeking, the great outdoors has much to offer, and in most cases can be enjoyed free of charge.
New Zealanders are sports mad. You can play it or watch it at one of the many facilities and stadiums around the country. Their famously pristine rivers, lakes and harbours make water sports especially popular. Just make sure you keep with up with the footy (rugby union) if you want to keep up with the footy mad locals.
With theatres, cinemas, galleries and museums in most towns, the arts are alive and well in New Zealand.
Maori culture is a prominent and fascinating theme in a lot of visual art. As a regular film producing nation, most theatres host premiere night for locally made films. Musically, the New Zealand scene is thriving. Live, local music can be found in most pubs and clubs and international music acts do shows in all major New Zealand cities. Auckland hosts the student favourite Big Day Out every January, which sees dozen of acclaimed bands play over one long day.
Most cities host free events on weekends. Your universities Orientation Week will also provide many free and fun events. Orientation Week is a great chance to meet new people, most of who are in the same situation as you.
To find out what’s going on in your town, check your local newspaper, council and student websites and university notice boards. Students who hold an ID card can apply for discounts at most events.