Employee video transcript

Hi, my name is Hanane Belhoul, I am from Algeria. I am a biochemist. The first big challenge um . . . in being in New Zealand is the Kiwi accent um . . . because it’s a very strong accent and New Zealanders talk very fast.

Hi, I’m Fidela Antonia Ladores and I work at the Parliamentary Counsel Office. The many challenges that we have to face er . . . in communicating at the workplace is really about er . . . how to fit in . . into the organisation. As opposed to having a formal and direct experience in the Philippines I noticed that New Zealanders er . . . use a lot of softeners in their communication.

For example when they request something or refuse or disagree they always use um . . . “I am wondering . .” or um . . . “Could you please . . .” or “Would you mind . . .” In Algeria we are more direct and so sometimes we . . we say things and people, New Zealanders, think that it’s very rude so we . . we don’t know which words we . . we should use and how to use them, and when we use them.

I recall when I did a er … minute taking for the regional commissioner meeting um . . . there was a time when someone said that er . . . this project will be in the back burner. So I said, “Oh” in my mind I said, “Ah, what, what’s the back burner?” And then er . . . the regional commissioner er . . said in um . . . a gentle way, “Could you explain to that lady over there, who’s taking the minutes er. . what er . . back burner means?” So . . . yeah er . . . it was really er . . really a good one! You use a lot of idioms here.

The tips I would like to give to new migrants, when they come to New Zealand - first of all attend communication courses. This is very very helpful, not only understand or er . . . improve their listening but understand New Zealand culture as well. And the second thing is to not be afraid from asking people to repeat er . . . what they said before because people here are very friendly so there is no problem for that.