Like most former British colonies, New Zealanders speak English - albeit with a uniquely kiwi twist.
New Zealand has two official languages - Maori and English - though the use of Maori as a first language is not widespread. Even so, many place names are Maori in origin (try tongue-twisters such as Paekakariki, Turangawaewae or Ngaruawahia!), and most government agencies have bilingual names.
New Zealand English is, in itself, a unique language full of many colloquialisms foreigners will find challenging at times to decipher.
So, if you don't know how to rattle your dags, no worries mate - she'll be right!
Some common Kiwi colloquialisms you may encounter:
|"the girls"||The cows (as in dairy cows)|
|Tape||Tape for electric fence to divide an existing paddock|
|"The shed"||Usually the milking shed if on a dairy farm|
|Bike||Refers usually to 4 wheeler motorbike|
|2 wheeler||Refers to 2 wheel motorbike|
|Rotary shed||Automatic milking shed where cows stand on a rotating platform|
|Herringbone shed||Automatic milking shed where cows stand in two rows on either side of a "pit" from where the milkers put on "cups"|
|Cups||Suction mechanisms on milking machines|
|Hairy||Young dairy farm worker|
|hard yakka||Hard work|
|Post Batten||Fence made of wooden posts with smaller supporting wooden "battens"|
|Silage||Decomposed maize or grass often stored in silage pits in the ground covered by plastic and fed out to stock as supplementary feed|
|Wrapped bale||Large round bales of hay, wrapped in plastic to create a decomposing effect (fed as supplementary feed)|
|Grass based system||Dairy farm relying largely on pastures for feed, very little supplementary feed|
|High input system||Dairy farm using substantial supplementary feed in addition to the grass grown on farm|
|Condition score||Condition of stock, particularly important before mating and during and after pregnancy|
|Plate Meter||Device to measure grass cover on the farm|
|Milk Solids||Measured in kilograms ("kgms")|
|Runoff||A supporting farm used to graze non-milking stock.|
|Young stock||Replacement heifers|
|Cross breds||New Zealand style cross between Fresians and Jersey dairy breeds|
|Composite Breeds||Usually in sheep - refers to the introduction of High fertility breeds such as East Fresian and Finns and crossing them with traditional breeds such as Romneys to push up lambing percentages|
|AB||Artificial Breeding (Artificial insemination)|
|Races||Fenced walkways for stock to be moved easily around the farm|
|Bobby calves||Four day old calves sold for slaughter|