Air New Zealand has poked fun at the Kiwi accent with a heart-warming new video out today of Santa taking calls from Kiwi kids keen to tell him what they want under the tree this Christmas.
‘A Very Merry Mistake’ shows Santa trying to decipher a number of unusual requests from New Zealand children which have been lost in translation including everything from biscuitballs (basketballs) and puggy banks (piggy banks) to bug screen TVs (big screen TVs) and a book of magic trucks (tricks).
In the clip, Santa’s helpers – Air New Zealand’s Cabin Crew – come to the big man’s aid providing some much-needed translation skills.
Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod says the airline wanted to celebrate the festive season in a uniquely New Zealand way.
“While it’s no secret the Kiwi accent has been misunderstood at times, it’s also a signature part of our service. In fact, for many Kiwis, being welcomed onboard an Air New Zealand flight by crew after being offshore for some time makes them feel instantly back at home.
“We wanted to celebrate the festive season and the Kiwi accent in a humorous and uniquely Air New Zealand way.”
Miriam Meyerhoff, Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington said: “New Zealand English has had 150 years to go native. In that time, the short vowels have wandered and that’s what makes it sound so distinctive – as the flight attendant in the video explains. It’s great to see Kiwis owning this distinctiveness and embracing it for comic effect.”