The article considers the origin of New Zealand English. The paper analyzed basic lexical innovations that formed national literary norms based on British dialects and the Maori language. Extralinguistic factors led to the specificity of New Zealand English. It was determined by the sociolinguistic status of English in New Zealand. Despite relatively short history of New Zealand, English has progressed from being a variety comprising a mixture of British English dialects to being an autonomous variety of its own. It is established as the dominant and majority language spoken in New Zealand with its own specific national and cultural characteristics. The origin of New Zealand English is described from the point of national and cultural features of verbal and non-verbal communicative behaviour of New Zealand English native speakers.