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AUCKLAND — Surely the Kiwi accent isn’t that hard to decipher, is it?
Air New Zealand has poked fun at the way Kiwis speak with a heartwarming new holiday video titled ‘A Very Merry Mistake’, which depicts Santa fielding phone calls from children around the world. Although speaking fluent Mandarin to a child named Ling Ling in Shanghai, Old St. Nick hilariously struggles to understand kids calling from New Zealand, mistaking “bed” for “beard”, and “piggy bank” for “puggy bank”.
After his elves throw a fit from all of these oddball gift requests, Santa calls upon Air New Zealand’s Cabin Crew to come to his aid. They give him a crash course on the Kiwi accent, essentially saving Christmas for Kiwi kids everywhere.
Well, maybe except for the poor kid getting a beard under the tree.
“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,” said Miriam Meyerhoff, Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington.
Air New will be giving away some of Santa’s mis-made toys shown in the video via its social media channels in December, while those in New Zealand who book a flight on the Air New Zealand website between Dec. 4-22 or via their travel agent can enter the draw to win $10,000 Airpoints Dollars.