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Kiwiana are certain items and icons from New Zealand's heritage, especially from around the middle of the 20th century, that are seen as representing iconic New Zealander elements. These "quirky things that contribute to a sense of nationhood" include both genuine cultural icons and kitsch.
Items of Kiwiana are generally either unique to, or particularly common to New Zealand, particularly from the early and mid-twentieth century. Although the term is sometimes used to describe any and all New Zealand icons, it is more commonly used to describe pop culture items such as toys or branded foods. A few more serious national icons have become Kiwiana through heavy use in advertising and the souvenir industry. These include the kiwi and the hei-tiki. Kiwiana is generally seen as a form of kitsch.
A number of products widely regarded as Kiwiana, such as Wattie's tomato sauce, Marmite and L&P, are made by non-New Zealand companies. In some cases, this is because the original New Zealand company has been purchased by an overseas corporation, in others the product has always been made by an international firm. A number of companies with products deemed to be 'Kiwiana' have enthusiastically cashed in on this. For example, an advertising campaign has claimed that "you'll never be a Kiwi 'til you love your Wattie's sauce", even though the company is now American-owned. In the 1990s a Sanitarium campaign claimed that "Kiwi kids are Weet-Bix kids". The advertisement was a dubbed version of an Australian advertisement that claimed that 'Aussie kids are Weet-bix kids' and the landscape in the background of the advertisement is recognisably Australian. Other companies have attempted to create their own Kiwiana. For example, McDonald's New Zealand has an off and on 'Kiwiburger' sold within their stores, which was an attempt to duplicate the traditional New Zealand style of burger. Its main distinguishing features were a slice of beetroot and a fried egg, and its advertisement was essentially a sung list of Kiwiana items; the item most recently appearing from August 2011 as a part of the Rugby World Cup. A series of L&P commercials, featuring Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, are based around Kiwiana themed items, and were very popular with New Zealanders.
In recent decades Kiwiana has become a subject in itself, and several celebratory books have been published. A range of products using Kiwiana motifs has also been produced, including Christmas tree decorations, cards, T-shirts, garden ornaments and jewellery. There are Kiwiana sections in many New Zealand museums, and some are dedicated to showing Kiwiana only. In 1994, New Zealand Post released a set of stamps depicting kiwiana items including a pavlova, fish and chips, rugby boots and ball, and a black singlet and gumboots.
- 100% Pure New Zealand — marketing tool for Tourism New Zealand which aims to showcase the range of unique experiences on offer in New Zealand.
- Afghan biscuit — a biscuit which contains cornflakes with a soft biscuit base, chocolate icing on top and a walnut.
- Air New Zealand — the national flag airline.
- All Blacks — national Rugby Union team.
- Bach (or crib) — a small holiday home.
- Bluebird Foods — manufacturer of snack foods, cereals and muesli bars.
- Bungy jumping — an adventure sport commercialised in New Zealand.
- Buzz Bars — a confection of marshmallow topped with caramel and chocolate-covered.
- Buzzy Bee — wooden children's toy.
- Canterbury — sports clothing company that mainly focuses on rugby, the country's national sport.
- Cardigan Bay — a famous racehorse from New Zealand, who was the first trotter to win a million US dollars.
- Chesdale — brand of cheese chiefly known for its advertising characters Ches and Dale.
- Chilly bin — an insulated box used to keep food and drink cool. Also known as a cooler, portable ice chest, icebox, cool box (UK and USA) and esky (Australia).
- Chocolate fish — a confection of marshmallow covered in chocolate, in the shape of a fish.
- Cookie Time cookies — a large chocolate chip cookie often sold individually and frequently heated up before being consumed.
- DB Draught — beer that is one of the best-selling in New Zealand.
- Edmonds Cookery Book — a popular cookbook featuring many traditional New Zealand recipes.
- Fish and chips — a culinary staple of New Zealand.
- Fisher & Paykel — major appliance manufacturer that had grown into a global company.
- Footrot Flats — a popular comic strip by Murray Ball.
- Foxton Fizz — retro brand of soda drink from Foxton. Dates back to 1918. Was originally distributed in Foxton and as far south as Ōtaki, and north to Sanson. In 2010 it began enjoying a resurgence in popular cafes and some bars.
- Four Square supermarkets — especially Mr. Four Square, the marketing logo.
- Georgie Pie — fast food chain owned specialising in meat pies.
- Goodnight Kiwi — animated short used to signify the end of nightly broadcasts on Television New Zealand channels.
- Griffin's Foods — manufacturer of biscuits, snacks and confectionary food.
- Gumboots — calf-length rubber boots, usually in black.
- Hairy Maclary and Friends — a series of children's picture books that became a major bestseller.
- Haka — traditional Māori war dance, now widely used as a challenge by sports teams.
- Hāngi — method of cooking using heated rocks buried underground in a pit oven.
- Hei-tiki — Māori neck pendant, often in plastic versions sold to tourists.
- Hokey pokey ice-cream — plain vanilla ice cream with added small, solid lumps of toffee.
- Jaffas — a small round sweet consisting of a solid, orange flavoured chocolate centre with a hard covering of red coloured confectionery.
- Jandals — beach footwear with a bit of sole but very little else. Also known as flip-flops (UK and USA) and thongs (Australia).
- Kiwi — native bird; its stylised image or shape frequently appears on things associated with New Zealand.
- Kiwiburger — a hamburger sold at McDonald's restaurants in New Zealand consisting of a four-ounce (113 g) beef patty, griddle egg, beetroot, tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, mustard and ketchup on a toasted bun.
- Kiwifruit — fruit from a vine originating in China but selectively bred by New Zealand horticulturalists to obtain egg-sized fruit with green or gold flesh. In New Zealand it was originally called "Chinese gooseberry".
- Kiwi onion dip — a dipping sauce common in New Zealand.
- Koru — a pattern used by the native people, the Māori use the Koru in carvings and drawings on their art.
- Lemon & Paeroa — also known as L&P, a popular soft drink whose slogan is "World Famous in New Zealand since ages ago".
- Lion Red — a lager-style beer that is the most popular beer in New Zealand.
- Lolly cake — cake that features lollies as a key ingredient.
- The Longest Drink in Town — since 1968, this iconic blue and red giraffe image has appeared on the side of paper cups used by dairies and icecream parlours for milkshakes.
- Mainland — brand of cheese sold throughout Australasia and parts of the Americas.
- Marmite — a New Zealand-made dark and salty spread made from yeast extract, similar to Australia's Vegemite.
- New Zealand Natural — premium ice cream franchise that serves all natural ice cream only and has franchises outside the country.
- Number 8 wire — a gauge of wire often used inventively and practically for applications other than for fencing. It is also used as a term that epitomises the "kiwi bloke" as someone who can turn their hand to anything.
- Paua — the polished shell of the native paua (abalone) shellfish, turned into jewellery and souvenirs or ashtrays. Once considered kitsch, it is starting to regain its popularity.
- Pavlova — a light and fluffy meringue dessert.
- Phar Lap — a horse from New Zealand, who won many prestigious races in Australia and North America.
- Pineapple lumps — confectionery made with a pineapple flavoured centre covered in chocolate.
- Pounamu — a gemstone highly valued by the Māori. Also known as greenstone.
- Railway crockery — a typically heavy style of crockery used in the state railway system.
- Red Bands — a particular brand of gumboots made by Skellerup
- Rugby union — known simply as rugby, the country's national sport.
- Silver fern — native plant; its stylised image or shape is displayed on army insignia and by many of the national sports teams.
- "Slice of Heaven" — a popular song by New Zealand musician Dave Dobbyn that reached Number 1 on the New Zealand music charts in 1986.
- Snifters — candy that has a hard outer shell with a mint centre.
- Southern man — male farmer, hunter or bushman hailing from the deep rural south.
- Sparkles — candy that comes in orange and raspberry varieties.
- Speight's Gold Medal Ale — beer that is one of the best-selling in New Zealand.
- Swanndri — a 100% waterproof woollen overcoat. Popular amongst farmers due to it being 'warm in winter, cool in summer'. Typically made in a tartan or patch work pattern. Often blue and black, or red and black in colour. Often worn in conjunction with Gumboots and/or Stubbies.
- Tā moko — Māori facial tattoos.
- Tangy Fruits — small edible fruit flavoured round candies, often sold at movie theatres.
- Tip Top — a popular New Zealand ice cream brand.
- Toyota "bugger" commercial — that popularised the term, bugger.
- V — energy drink that makes up 60% of New Zealand's market share.
- The Warehouse Group — the largest retail group in New Zealand that includes The Warehouse.
- Wattie's — a brand of tomato sauce (especially when served in a plastic container shaped like a tomato).
- Whittaker's — a chocolate confection manufactured in Porirua that comes in various varieties.
- National symbols of New Zealand
- Canadiana — a similar concept in Canada
- Americana — a similar concept in the United States
- Australiana — a similar concept in Australia
- Rhodesiana — a similar concept in Zimbabwe relating to items made in its colonial (Rhodesia) era
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- Peden, Robert, Farm fencing: Types of wire fence Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 20 November 2008.
- , Bardsley, Dianne, Rural language: No 8 wire Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 20 November 2008.
- http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Reference/FoodDrink/NewZealand/Icons/, Iconic Kiwi Food
- Clayworth, Peter. "Controversial 'bugger ad', 1999". Censorship - Censorship in the 2010s. , Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,. Retrieved 9 April 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Bugger - Toyota Hilux". Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Stephen Barnett and Richard Wolfe (1989), New Zealand! New Zealand! in praise of Kiwiana.
- David McGill (2000), Good old Kiwi identities: the folk who put the kiwi in Kiwiana.
- Richard Wolfe and Stephen Barnett (2001), Kiwiana! the sequel.