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About New Zealand

 

New Zealand has never been closer to the rest of the world. Online communications and advances in international transport mean local institutions and industries can easily participate in world markets. Our passion for experiencing other cultures and countries has earned New Zealanders the reputation of being the world’s greatest travellers. New Zealand is a compact country and highly responsive to the changing needs of global communities and international business. We are keen observers of emerging trends and are inclined to adopt new technologies early and successfully. In the 1980s, for example, New Zealand was the first country in the world to trial electronic payment systems (EFTPOS). Young and free of constricting traditions, New Zealand has learned to be self-reliant and to forge its own way in the world. New Zealand’s youth and fresh outlook make it the natural home for fresh ideas.

Culture

he culture of New Zealand is largely inherited from British and European custom, interwoven with Maori and Polynesian tradition. An isolated Pacific Island nation, New Zealand was comparatively recently settled by humans. Initially Māori only, then bicultural with colonial and rural values, now New Zealand is a cosmopolitan culture that reflects its changing demographics, is conscious of the natural environment, and is an educated, developed Western society. Māori culture has predominated for most of New Zealand's history of human habitation. Māorivoyagers reached the islands of New Zealand some time before 1300, though exact dates are uncertain. Over the ensuing centuries of Māori expansion and settlement, Māori culture diverged from its Polynesian roots. Māori established separate tribes, built fortified villages (), hunted and fished, traded commodities, developed agriculture, arts and weaponry, and kept a detailed oral history. Regular European contact began approximately 200 years ago, and British immigration proceeded rapidly during the nineteenth century. The colonists had a dramatic effect on the indigenous Maori, bringing religion, technology, and theEnglish language. In 1840 Māori leaders signed the Treaty of Waitangi, intended to enable the tribes to live peacefully with the colonists. However after several incidents, the treaty was ignored and the New Zealand land wars broke out from 1845, with Māori suffering a loss of land and identity, while also increasingly becoming a minority group over the following century. Despite such setbacks, Māori culture has regained much of its lost influence in recent decades. European New Zealanders (Pākehā), despite their location far from Europe, retained strong cultural ties to "Mother England."[1] These ties were weakened by the demise of the British Empire and loss of special access to British meat and dairy markets. Pākehā began to forge a separate identity influenced by their pioneering history, a rural lifestyle and New Zealand's unique environment. Pākehā culture became prevalent after the land wars, but after sustained political efforts, biculturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi became part of the school curriculum in the late 20th century, to promote understanding between Māori and Pākehā. More recently, New Zealand culture has been broadened by globalization and immigration from thePacific IslandsEast Asia and South Asia. European and Māori remain the two largest ethnicities, but the large Polynesian population in Auckland has prompted the observation that Auckland is now the largest Polynesian city in the world.[2] However, the country outside of Auckland is still much less heterogeneous, with big parts of the South Island remaining predominantly of European descent. New Zealand marks two national days of remembrance, Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day, and also celebrates holidays during or close to the anniversaries of the founding dates of each province.[3] The national anthem, "God Defend New Zealand"[4] is often sung with alternating Māori and English verses.[5] Many citizens prefer to minimise ethnic divisions, simply calling themselves New Zealanders or Kiwis.

Population

During the March 2012 year: New Zealand population grew by 27,700 (0.6 percent). Natural increase was 31,100 and there was net migration loss of 3,400. At 31 March 2012: The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4.43 million. There were 2.18 million males and 2.25 million females in New Zealand. There were 97 males for every 100 females. The median ages for males and females were 35.6 and 38.1 years, respectively.

Climate

New Zealand weather and climate is of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand, as many New Zealander's make their living from the land. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. New Zealand's climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea.

New Zealand's climate has five main factors which it is affected by, firstly its long narrow shape, the surrounding ocean, its temperate zone latitude, the prevailing Westerly winds and finally the North-South mountainous chain.

Tongariro National Park Tongariro National Park The climate is the opposite of that in the Northern Hemisphere making New Zealand's warmer months October through to April and cooler months May through to September. New Zealand's climate is called 'oceanic temperate', is generally mild and benefits from long sun hours.

Different areas of the country receive micro-climates. Northland is sometimes considered to be sub-tropical. Canterbury is known for its dry warm North-Westerly winds. Central Otago approaches a continental type climate because of its distance from the sea.

New Zealand is considered windy, though wind speed is not usually high. However the wind pattern is complicated due to mountain barriers, Cook Strait and Foveaux Strait. Most New Zealand regions annually receive 2000 hours or more of sunshine and is therefore considered to be a relatively sunny country. View NZS.com's weather category.

Geography

The geography of New Zealand encompasses two main islands (the North and South Islands, Te-Ika-a-Maui and Te Wai Pounamu in Māori) and a number of smaller islands, located near the centre of the water hemisphereNew Zealand varies in climate, from cold and wet to dry and tosubtropical in some areas. The dramatic and varied landscape of New Zealand has made it a popular location for the production of television programmes and films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Neighbouring countries include Australia to the northwest and Tonga and Fiji to the north. New Zealand is in Oceania, in the South Pacific Ocean at 41°S 174°E. It has an area of 268,680 square kilometres (103,738 sq. mi) (includingAntipodes IslandsAuckland IslandsBounty IslandsCampbell IslandsChatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands), making it slightly smaller than Italy and Japan and a little larger than the United Kingdom. These islands are the main areas of land that emerged from the largely submerged continent of Zealandia. New Zealand has 15,134 km (9,398 mi) of coastline and extensive marine resources. The country claims the fifth-largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, covering over four million square kilometres (1.5 million sq mi), more than 15 times its land area.[1] It has no land borders. The South Island is the largest land mass and contains about one quarter of the population. The island is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft). There are 18 peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. The east side of the island has the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines, very high proportion of native bush, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The North Island is less mountainous than the South, and is marked by volcanism. The island's tallest mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2797 m / 9176 ft), is an active cone volcanoLake Taupo is near the centre of the North Island and is the largest lake by surface area in the country. It lies in a caldera created by the Oruanui eruption, the largest eruption in the world in the past 70,000 years.

History

Maoris were the first inhabitants of New Zealand, arriving on the islands in about 1000. Maori oral history maintains that the Maoris came to the island in seven canoes from other parts of Polynesia. In 1642, New Zealand was explored by Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator. British captain James Cook made three voyages to the islands, beginning in 1769. Britain formally annexed the islands in 1840. The Treaty of Waitangi (Feb. 6, 1840) between the British and several Maori tribes promised to protect Maori land if the Maoris recognized British rule. Encroachment by British settlers was relentless, however, and skirmishes between the two groups intensified.