Great read captures Kiwi experience

September 22, 2015
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Flying Kiwis: A History of the OE, by Jude Wilson (Otago University Press, RRP $45):

Going on the big OE is something of a rite of passage for many young Kiwis, so it should come as no surprise that there is now a book looking at the history of this trend.

This is the first detailed account of the uniquely Kiwi phenomenon: the extended overseas working holiday also known as the “overseas experience”, or OE.

Our little country is so far away from the bright lights of the European/American big smokes that a 10-day package holiday just doesn’t cut it, so, as the cost of long-haul flights have reduced, an increasing number of young New Zealanders have headed overseas for their big adventure.

As Kiwis headed for London during the 1980s, newspapers and magazines aimed at the expats became more common and parts of the city – such as Earls Court – became known as Kiwi zones, where New Zealanders could hang out together, reminisce about home and compare notes.

Packed with anecdotes, illustrations and lots of humour, Flying Kiwis is a great read but at $45 is probably a little pricey for the average young Kiwi planning their OE.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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