The Kiwi bach is a type of beach house in New Zealand. “Bach” is pronounced /bætʃ/ and comes from the phrase “bachelor pad”, although in the south of New Zealand it is rather called a “crib”. “Bach” originally means “small” in Welsh. This type of house belongs to New Zealand’s history and culture, but mostly became increasingly popular in the 20th century, when baches started to become more accessible to the middle class, who appreciated spending their holidays next to the beach. A bach is also a good and self-contained accommodation to enjoy holidays with two nice advantages, the cost and the location: you can discover new places and be adventurous. Different activities are proposed: during the winter, one can go skiing and snowboarding, while during the summer, one can go swimming, fishing and biking or have a barbecue.
The success of kiwi baches:
Unfortunately, in 2000, the Kiwi bach seemed to be approaching its end, because the Resource Management Act and the Coastal Policy Statement wanted to protect the beach areas and prevent new baches from being built, arguing that such baches could harm the environment. But because of the increasing success they had, baches subsisted. They were promoted in magazines and books which attracted some other New Zealanders wishing to buy those holiday homes. In fact, a lot of well-known New Zealanders celebrities are owners of baches, such as Lorde, Richie McCaw, Rhys Darby and many more. These baches take over the luxury villa. Their value is indecent -between 350 000€ and 5 millions €- due to their size -between 300 and 800 m²- and their location.
Baches have various impacts in different areas as television and literature. For example, in 2009, Toyota made an advertising campaign called 'We believe in working together'. Their special bond with New Zealand gives them the idea of creating a cause that both believe which is having faith that your dream can come true if you work for it. In this campaign filmed at Buckleton Beach, we can see a young boy telling his father that his friend claimed having a better bach than them. They decide to work on a plan to make advantage of their place by using a Toyota Hilux and a rubber tire. This remains how important the Kiwi bach is to New Zealanders. The kiwi baches are also mentioned in the book “Under the Bridge and Over the Moon” wrote by Kevin Ireland, a New Zealander. He talks about his story as a young boy living in a family bach in Takapuna.
To conclude, we think that the kiwi bach is important for the Anglophone culture because it is a part of New Zealanders' life. For them, spending their holidays near to the beach is more than just holidays, it's a ritual. Some parents even promise to let their kiwi bach to their children as a legacy. The kiwi bach is the custodian of many memories of time spent together for the families.
Maxime Collet, Marigona Latifi, and Laura Lemarque
- http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/frank-sargesons-bach http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/newseventsculture/heritage/Documents/northshoreliterarywalks.pdf