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Six reasons why Kiwis own the most powerful passport

Tourism New Zealand General Manager ANDREW WADDEL gives us his take...

New Zealand has taken out the top spot for the most powerful passport in the world. It means when travel restarts, Kiwis will have more access to visa-free travel than any other nationality - and who wouldn't like to see a few more friendly New Zealanders out there (or here)?



With this in mind, Tourism NZ General Manager Andrew Waddel shares his thoughts on why Kiwis could have been given the powerful passport award.


  • Manaakitanga: New Zealand’s hospitality, or manaakitanga, towards visitors is ingrained in the culture. While most visit New Zealand for the landscapes, they leave with memories of the people and that is probably why they want to welcome more of them in their home country once borders open.
  • Sexiest accent: It is no wonder other nations want to welcome more Kiwis as they were awarded the sexiest accent in 2019 and again made the top ten in 2020. 
  • Closest to Middle Earth: Hobbiton, as seen in the famous Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, is the only living film set in the world. In fact, 18% of all visitors to New Zealand cited this as their top reason to visit. 
  • The Flat White: It may be a heated debate, but we can thank New Zealand for the flat white. Though Aussies and Kiwis have been fighting about who came up with the flat white since the 80’s, Kiwis firmly believe the grand ole’ FW originated in Wellington by accident after making a “flat” capp.
  • Pavlova: It may be hard to admit but we need to give props to NZ for the pavlova. It may be synonymous with Aussie culture but the first known recipe appeared in an NZ cookbook, Davis Dainty Dishes in 1929.
  • Lamington: Another staple at birthday parties or when you’re just in need of a sweet treat. If you were to believe the popular origin story, it claims a maid of the Queensland Governor in 1901 accidentally created the lamington by dropping a sponge cake in chocolate and popping on some coconut instead of throwing it away. However, in recent years, New Zealand found records to show the lamington was first spotted in Wellington.


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Written by: Andrew Waddel
Published: 26 October 2020

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