New Zealand Proverbs

Enjoy dozens of witty and insightful New Zealand proverbs and idioms that have been passed down from one generation to the next for hundreds of years!

  • Let someone else sing your praise.
  • The bird that eats the berry owns the forest. The bird that feasts on knowledge owns the world.
  • It is the job of the children to smash the calabash.
  • Only the foolish visit the land of the cannibals.
  • Even food can attack.
  • A man who speaks once.
  • Walk in the valley of our ancestors, learn of the history, and marvel at the beauty.
  • A warrior dies in battle; a mountain climber on the rocks; but a farmer dies of old age.
  • The more you ask how much longer it will take, the longer the journey will seem.
  • Hold on tight to the words of your ancestors.
  • In peace, be faithful; in war, be valiant.
  • The flounder does not go back to the mud it has stirred up.
  • There is more than one way to achieve a goal.
  • Survival is the treasured goal.
  • Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.
  • It may only be a small storm, yet a successful outcome is imminent.
  • A house full of people is a house full of different points of view.
  • Don’t die like an octopus; die like a hammerhead shark.
  • The prudent embark when the sea is calm, the rash when it’s stormy.
  • Let us keep close together, not far apart.
  • A hand that is ready to hit may cause you great trouble.
  • A little axe, when well used, brings lots of food.
  • Be quick to follow up an advantage.
  • Don’t spend time with people who don’t respect you.
  • Take time to enjoy life’s roses.
  • Land persists, but human possessions do not.
  • The block of wood should not dictate to the carver.
  • Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.
  • Like a dog follows his nose, man will find opportunity.
  • In this world, I greet my oldest survivor: the earth.

For thousands more proverbs and words of wisdom, collected from over 40 countries, check out Proverbs from Around the World!

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