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NEW ZEALAND
 
   
   
 

New Zealand Identity Card

 

 
Country name: New Zealand
Area: 268,680 sq km
Coastline: 15,134 km
Highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m
Population: 4,035,461
Density: 15/km2
Population growth rate: 1.02%
Official Languages: English and Maori
Religions: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Wellington
GDP - per capita: $23,200
Inflation rate: 2.4%
Currency (code): New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: NZ
ISO CODE Alpha2: NZ
ISO CODE Alpha3: NZL
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 554
Calling code: +64
Internet country code: .nz
Time Zone: + 12.0 H

 
 
 
 

Geothermal geyser

New Zealand is the perfect retreat for rest, relaxation and replenishment. Discover this magnificent land filled with stunning rugged landscapes, gorgeous beaches, spectacular geothermal activities and fascinating animal and plant life. From wilderness areas of National Parks or lovingly manicured private gardens, New Zealand is a hub of pure natural environment that displays delightful glimpse of the ecosystem. Tourism has developed in the country in a massive scale surrounding the pristine alpine glaciers, towering mountain ranges, volcanic peaks, rolling green farmland and long white seashores. Geologically, New Zealand is a group of islands above the South Pacific Ocean. Australia is its nearest significant neighbour, located on the northwest side off the Tasman Sea. Wellington is the capital city and Auckland is the largest city and leading port of the country. Other major cities are Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Hutt City, and Invercargill.
The beautiful eco-marine nature of New Zealand is retained with the advantages of low pollution and population rate in the country. Out of the populace of a bit more than four million Kiwis, majority of them are of European descent and are locally known as the ‘Pākeha’. The indigenous Māori people are the largest ethnic minority group and both English and Maori are official languages in New Zealand.

Geography

New Zealand is a conglomeration of two major and some smaller islands over the South Pacific Ocean. Situated on the south east of Australia, the two main islands of the country are known as the North Island and the South Island and are separated from each other by the Cook Strait. The other islands are the Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island group, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands. The Realm of New Zealand also includes dependencies of the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency in Antarctica.
Spread over an area of around 268,680 sq km, the terrain of New Zealand stretches for 1600 km from north to south.
The topography of North Island is more or less flat and fertile with hardly any major mountain ranges. It is home to major part of the country’s agricultural land and the area contains many hot springs. However, it is prone to volcanic eruptions in its south-central part, Mount Ruapehu being the tallest and most active of them all. The geographical features of the South Island are dominated by the massive hillocks of Southern Alps that extend almost the length of the island. Out of the several peaks of these islands, the Aoraki or Mount Cook is the highest in New Zealand at 3,754 metres (12,316 feet). There are several dense forests, streams, rivers and lakes all over the country that contribute in the country’s paramount natural beauty.


Orewa Beach, Auckland

Climate

The two main islands and a number of smaller outlying islands of New Zealand are so scattered that they range from the tropical to the Antarctic climatic conditions. If the West Coast of the South Island experiences bitter cold and snowy weather, the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and other parts of North Island reel under subtropical climate. New Zealand is also prone to frequent volcanic activity.

History

Maori statue

New Zealand is comparatively a new entrant in the political map of the world. It came into being as an independent dominion by royal proclamation only on 26 September 1907 and was granted full independence years later in 1931. However, with over a thousand years of human settlement, New Zealand has a colourful and dramatic history to cherish. The bygone days of this island nation are dominated by the relationship and its consequences between indigenous Maori tribes and European settlers. Over a thousand years ago, the Polynesian people became the first people to migrate to New Zealand. Since then, they came to be known as the Maori and made the regions of present day New Zealand their home, becoming the people of the land. They addressed the land as Aotearoa meaning the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ and set up a thriving society around the Chatham Islands based on the ‘iwi’ (tribe) system. The Maori were expert hunters and fishermen and hunted native birds, including moa. Dutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman became the first European to sight the islands of New Zealand around 1642. From then on more European explorers touched the nation and it got various names like the ‘Staten Land’, ‘Nova Zeelandia’ and Nieuw Zeeland. However, it was after Captain James Cook who began his circumnavigation of the country in 1769 that European migration began and the islands emerged as the New Zealand. Initially, the foreigners met with opposition from the native tribal inhabitants and the famous Musket War followed. Finally, the monarchy of Britain formally annexed the islands with the famous Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and promised to protect the Maori land. In the following decades to this event, the country witnessed heavy influx of British settlers, especially, the South Island gold rush of the 1860s saw even more migrants flood in from around the world, including English, Scots, Irish and Chinese. In between, the Maori population declined heavily due to diseases and internal skirmishes. In 1852 New Zealand became self-governing and government administration, education, and culture were largely built on British models. New Zealand troops supported Britain in the Boer War and both the World Wars. Cultural ties with Great Britain remained strong and still a member of the British Commonwealth. After its independence was recognised by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1931, the separate New Zealand Parliament came into being in 1947. Today, New Zealanders have a unique and dynamic culture, with European, Maori, Pacific and Asian influences.


Cathedral square of Christchurch

Economy

The economical success story of New Zealand surpassed all expectations, specifically its amazing growth rate in last 20 years. Agriculture has always been the mainstay of the financial structure of the company and it is heavily dependent on trade earnings from agricultural products. The principal exports are wool, meat, dairy products, fish, fruit, and timber products. The New Zealand government recently diversified its strategy to encourage enterprises in dairying, forestry, and horticulture. However, the economy needed restructuring to move towards a more industrialised economy and as a result different sectors were highly mechanised with time. The trend gained momentum during the beginning of 1980s and New Zealand gradually transformed its highly protected and regulated economy. It surged towards one that was much more privatised, market oriented and deregulated. The real incomes increased and the population benefited as the industry expanded and the service sector created more provision for employment. The purchasing power parity increased in leaps and bounds and New Zealand ranked 19th on the 2005 Human Development Index and 15th of The Economist's 2005 worldwide quality-of-life index. Exports play a prominent role in the country's economic life and contribute to 20% of Gross Domestic Product of New Zealand. Tourism, education, film and wine industries are other significant contributors of economy. New Zealand needs to import petroleum supplies but has a good deposit of coal and support of mining industry. Except the high inflation rate and stock market debacle around 1984, this island nation never stumbled in its way to development.


Night view of Auckland

Politics

New Zealand is a sovereign constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations. The political framework of the nation revolves around a governor-general, a prime minister and his cabinet and a unicameral parliament. New Zealand does not possess a clearly charted constitution but follows the Constitution Act of 1986 as its chief and essential guideline. Officially, the ruling monarch of Great Britain is the chief of the state for New Zealand. The royal chieftain is represented in the country by a governor-general who is nominated by the monarch. The power governor-general enjoys the privilege to appoint and dismiss the prime ministers, dissolve parliament under necessary circumstances and heads the Executive Council of New Zealand. The leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition in the New Zealand parliament is usually appointed by the prime minister. The prime minister of the nation is regarded as the head of government who is usually complemented by a deputy prime minister. Both are appointed by the governor-general. The cabinet or the Executive Council helps in functioning of governmental affairs. The members of cabinet ought to be the members of parliament as well and are appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister. The unicameral parliament of New Zealand is known as the House of Representatives and comprises of 120 members. Out of the total Representatives, 69 members are elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies. The rest 51 are chosen on proportional basis from party lists. This system is known as Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) in New Zealand political circle. All of them serve three-year terms in parliament. The newly established Supreme Court heads the judiciary organ of New Zealand. The Court of Appeal and the High Court functions as subordinate to the Supreme Court, in this country. The judges are appointed by the governor-general of New Zealand. Administratively, New Zealand is divided into 93 counties, nine districts, and three town districts and is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

 



 

 

 
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