US TikTok creator shares what he finds most 'shocking' since moving to New Zealand

It's become evident that many people can be quite confused by Kiwi customs and culture: recently a baffled American who wondered whether August was still called August in Aotearoa because it's in the winter, not summer, made the news, as well as an Irish man who was confounded by Chemist Warehouse, as well as the classic Kiwi-ism, "Yeah, nah".

Now, an American who recently relocated to Aotearoa has shared a list of things that have shocked him since arriving in Auckland - and perhaps surprisingly, bare feet in the supermarket didn't make the cut.

The 18-year-old content creator, named Konner, has grown his following on TikTok by documenting the differences between America and Aotearoa, including the culture shocks he has experienced during his time in Auckland.  

In a video shared over the weekend, Konner - who goes by the username @konner_m - shared a list he had made on his phone's notes app titled, "Things that shocked me as an American living in NZ" - which has since been viewed over 100,000 times.

The first item on his list? Kiwis referring to bathrooms as 'toilets' - even if they're not specifically going to be using the toilet. Konner elaborated: "I'm used to just saying 'a bathroom'. What if you say you're going to the toilet, but you're not actually using the toilet?"

Secondly, Konner noted the differences between obtaining a driver's licence in New Zealand compared to the US, explaining: "Learners, restricted, full - what are all those? I'm so used to getting a permit and then getting a full licence, but in New Zealand, it takes y'all so long to get your licence."

The third difference was that uniforms are mostly mandatory in schools across the country, whereas many schools in the US - particularly public ones - allow their students to wear normal clothes or mufti day-to-day.

"I was not expecting that. In America, you only wear uniform at a private school - but in New Zealand it seems like everyone wears them," he added.

The final item on the list was lemonade being referred to as Sprite - a difference Konner admitted he is "still trying to get used to".

"I order lemonade, and it comes out as Sprite: it's not actual lemonade in my definition."  

Due to the popularity of his video, Konner uploaded a second part to his list on Monday, which detailed four more differences - the first of which being that Kiwis don't celebrate Halloween as enthusiastically as they do in America.

"Kiwis will probably dress up and go to parties, but they most likely won't trick-or-treat, so I've heard. I'll have to see how it is next month, but they don't really go all out like we do," he said.

Next was the dating scene, particularly in Auckland, with Konner calling it "the worst I've ever experienced". He added: "You will not find a boyfriend or girlfriend here, I've given up - like no."

The last two items were New Zealand's much-loved café culture - "compared to drinking Starbucks every day back in the US" - and transferring money via banking apps, which Konner claimed isn't regularly done in the US, with Americans preferring to use online payment services such as Venmo and PayPal. 

"[In America] you have to download a payment app, like CashApp, and they charge you all those fees and it's so annoying, but here, you give someone your bank number and they send you money like that - it's so good."

Many Kiwis have since weighed in with their thoughts on Konner's list, with several arguing that Halloween has become more popular in certain neighbourhoods, such as on Auckland's North Shore. When it came to the lemonade or Sprite debate, most viewers agreed that Lift is the Kiwi equivalent of lemonade, while Sprite is just Sprite.

The toilet-versus-bathroom conundrum also was hotly contested, with many commenters hitting back that the logic also applied if there wasn't a bath in said bathroom.

Other topics Konner has covered include things he loves about New Zealand as an American, differences between supermarkets, and differences in snacks - with the teen having a particular penchant for Whittaker's chocolate.