New Zealand staycation

Act like a Kiwi.



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Despite being one of the last places on earth to be colonized by humans (archaeologists believe people didn’t settle on the islands until the 13th century), New Zealand has an impressive history of unique customs and artwork. Glimpse prime examples of the native Maori culture’s artifacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St; 212-535-7710,, where you can spot a mere pounamu (a jade club passed down as an heirloom among chiefly families) and an amo figurine (a wood carving, likely representing an ancestral warrior, which would be mounted outside a community meetinghouse). The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5100, also displays some finds brought back by famed archaeologist Margaret Mead, including boat decorations, fishing hooks and a model of a Maori war canoe.

Explore modern Maori art at Nigel Hamahona’s show at the Azucarera Gallery (414 W 145th St between Convent and St. Nicholas Aves; Through June 8, Hamahona will be exhibiting his wood carvings and drawings, such as taurapa—sternposts designed for canoes to aid in stability and navigation. Hamahona uses materials native to New Zealand and draws upon Maori history in creating his works, which also include weapons, combs and tikis (human-shaped carvings).

Indians first arrived in New Zealand in the late 19th century. Today, they constitute the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the country; the population climbed 68 percent between 2001 and 2006. The one-man show D’Arranged Marriage at the Triad (158 W 72nd St between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves; 212-362-2590,; alternating Fridays at 7pm until July 23), offers a humorous look at this culture, chronicling the fictional adventures of an Indo-Kiwi named Sanjay Gupta and his problems with a matrimony arranged by his parents.

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The first commercial bungee jump occurred in New Zealand, in 1988, with a 142-foot plunge from Queenstown’s Kawarau Bridge.

Act like a Kiwi | Eat like a Kiwi | See Kiwi culture

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