New Zealand

What would you like the youth of America to know?

I think the best answer I can give is to suggest that the young people of the United States learn how to spell the name of our country, New Zealand, and then use the internet to visit websites to find out more.

What they sent me:
Like Germany's, the letter from New Zealand's then Governor-General Jerry Mateparae almost made me cry, but for entirely different reasons. I was dumbfounded when I got it. I honestly felt like I had been slapped.

Apparently, I misspelled New Zealand (my guess is I left out the "a" and typed "New Zeland") which in my defense I believe was a typo. I do know how to spell New Zealand; my family was obsessed with The Hobbit movies. However in researching and then typing up 195 LETTERS AND ENVELOPES, I guess I made a mistake. The letter I received below made me feel like a idiot.

Click to Enlarge

People make mistakes. I got a letter that called me "Mr. Hunter" even though I clearly stated I am a 16-year-old girl, but I didn't take offense to it. I was just delighted someone took the time to answer me. My parents thought it was hilarious that the leader of New Zealand would be so sassy when he knew I was going to publish his response, but I didn't find the humor in it. I'm sorry I'm not perfect, I'm only 16.

Also in my defense, I meticulously researched the proper way to address every world leader. Even though it was weird for me to address people as "His Excellency" or "The Honorable" or "Her Royal Highness," I wanted to respect their culture. While I might have mis-typed New Zealand, I did correctly address the letter to His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae.

In any case, I would like to apologize His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae for my mistake as it was not meant to be a reflection of the spelling aptitude of my fellow American students.

I did take the Governor-General's advice and "used the internet to visit websites to find out more" about New Zealand, however, I could not find any sites specifically addressing youth of the world or youth of New Zealand, nor did I find any speeches where the youth were addressed. I found a lot of sites about The Hobbit and rugby.

New Zealand has a new Governor-General, Patsy Reddy. I'm sending her a letter, hoping to get a different response.

Return to List of All Countries


Official Name
New Zealand

Parliamentary Democracy

Current Leader
Patsy Reddy

• Reddy went to Victoria University of Wellington where she studied law.

• Reddy is the third woman to hold this position

Previous Leader
Jerry Mateparae

• Before becoming Governor-General, Mateparae had 38-year military career

• Mateparae is of Maori descent

Recommended sites
President's Website

Official Government Website