Simon Bridges called ‘advanced speaker’ of New Zealand English

Long Lunch 14/03/2018
Photo: Getty.

National leader Simon Bridges has made headlines since his appointment, for both his political agenda and his particularly "strong" Kiwi accent.

Language expert Elizabeth Gordon joined Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch to discuss the evolution of the Kiwi accent and how Mr Bridge's accent fits into the big picture.

Ms Gordon pointed out that the Opposition leader’s accent is an example of how the New Zealand accent is currently shifting.

She also said his accent uses shades of the initial changes made to the formerly British accent.

“He is an advanced speaker of New Zealand English, I would say.”

She predicts that people will wonder why Mr Bridges’ accent was even commented on by the media in 40 years’ time.

“Because it will just be normal,” she told RadioLIVE.

She said that people don’t typically recognise when a culture goes through a sound change – well at least not for about 30 years.

“And then, suddenly, they start to hear it.”

Listen to the full interview with Elizabeth Gordon above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.