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New Zealand, See : Flags, Maps

Maori Religion and Mythology , Edward Shortland

The Treaty of Waitangi, by T. Lindsay Buick

An Old New Zealander, by T. Lindsay Buick

A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827, by Augustus Earle

The Long White Cloud, by William Pember Reeves

John Rutherford, the White Chief, by George Lillie Craik, et al, Edited by James Drummond

A History of the English Church in New Zealand, Henry Thomas Purchas

Five Years in New Zealand, by Robert B. Booth

The City of Auckland, John Barr

Grammar of the New Zealand language (2nd edition), by Robert Maunsell

Te Tohunga, Wilhelm Dittmer


New Zealand (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::New Zealand


The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.

Geography ::New Zealand


View Larger Map

Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

Geographic coordinates:
41 00 S, 174 00 E

Map references:



total: 267,710 sq km country comparison to the world: 75 land: 267,710 sq km

water: NA

note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Area - comparative:

about the size of Colorado

Land boundaries:

0 km


15,134 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


temperate with sharp regional contrasts


predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Land use:

arable land: 5.54%

permanent crops: 6.92%

other: 87.54% (2005)

Irrigated land:

2,850 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

397 cu km (1995)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.11 cu km/yr (48%/9%/42%)

per capita: 524 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity

volcanism: New Zealand experiences significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m, 9,177 ft), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world

People ::New Zealand


4,252,277 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.7% (male 447,174/female 424,522)

15-64 years: 66.5% (male 1,404,143/female 1,399,530)

65 years and over: 12.8% (male 244,986/female 293,063) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 36.8 years

male: 36 years

female: 37.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.901% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Birth rate:

13.81 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Death rate:

7.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

Net migration rate:

2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 37


urban population: 87% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.048 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.85 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 187 male: 5.45 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.48 years country comparison to the world: 22 male: 78.52 years

female: 82.53 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.09 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 122

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

1,400 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 122


noun: New Zealander(s)

adjective: New Zealand

Ethnic groups:

European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5% (2006 Census)


Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9% (2006 Census)


English 91.2% (official), Maori 3.9% (official), Samoan 2.1%, French 1.3%, Hindi 1.1%, Yue 1.1%, Northern Chinese 1%, other 12.9%, New Zealand Sign Language (official)

note: shares sum to 114.6% due to multiple responses on census (2006 Census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 19 years

male: 19 years

female: 20 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

6.2% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 35

Government ::New Zealand

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: New Zealand

abbreviation: NZ

Government type:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm


name: Wellington

geographic coordinates: 41 28 S, 174 51 E

time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April

note: New Zealand is divided into two time zones - New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)

Administrative divisions:

16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury,
Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui,
Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman,
Waikato, Wellington, West Coast

Dependent areas:

Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau


26 September 1907 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)


consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987

Legal system:

based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for the Maori; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Bill ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch:

unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, 50 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)

elections: last held on 8 November 2008 (next to be held not later than 27 November 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 44.9%, Labor Party 34%, Green Party 6.7%, NZ First 4%, ACT Party 3.7%, Maori 2.4%, Progressive 0.9%, United Front 0.9%, other 6.6%; seats by party - National Party 58, Labor Party 43, Green Party 9, ACT Party 5, Maori 5, Progressive 1, United Front 1

note: results of 2008 election saw the total number of seats increase to 122

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; High Court; note - judges appointed by the governor general

Political parties and leaders:
ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]; Green Party [Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI]; Maori Party [Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES]; New Zealand National Party [John KEY]; New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party [Phil GOFF]; Jim Anderton's Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]; United Future New Zealand [Peter DUNNE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL

other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups

International organization participation:

ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael K. MOORE

chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227

consulate(s) general: New York, Santa Monica

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David HUEBNER

embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington

mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034

telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490

consulate(s) general: Auckland

Flag description:

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation

National anthem:

name: "God Defend New Zealand"

lyrics/music: Thomas BRACKEN [English], Thomas Henry SMITH [Maori]/John Joseph WOODS

note: adopted 1940 as national song, adopted 1977 as co-national anthem; New Zealand has two national anthems with equal status; as a commonwealth realm, in addition to "God Defend New Zealand," "God Save the Queen" serves as a national anthem (see United Kingdom); "God Save the Queen" normally is played only when a member of the royal family or the governor-general is present; in all other cases, "God Defend New Zealand" is played

Government - note:

while not an official symbol, the Kiwi, a small native flightless bird, represents New Zealand

Economy ::New Zealand

Economy - overview:

Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for ten consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy posted a 1.7% decline in 2009, but pulled out of recession late in the year, and achieved 2.1% growth in 2010. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$119.2 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 $116.8 billion (2009 est.)

$118.8 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$138 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 -1.7% (2009 est.)

-0.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$28,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 $27,700 (2009 est.)

$28,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4.6%

industry: 24%

services: 71.4% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

2.32 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 7%

industry: 19%

services: 74% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

6.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 6.2% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: %NA

highest 10%: %NA

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.2 (1997) country comparison to the world: 83

Investment (gross fixed):

19.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Public debt:

25.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97 22.2% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79 2.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 90 5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.39% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 12.21% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$24.15 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 61 $21.81 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$118.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $108.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$206.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 38 $180.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$67.06 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 57 $24.17 billion (31 December 2008)

$47.45 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

dairy products, lamb and mutton; wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef; fish


food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining

Industrial production growth rate:

2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Electricity - production:

42.4 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Electricity - consumption:

39.24 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 52

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

61,150 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 58

Oil - consumption:

154,100 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

Oil - exports:

54,560 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

Oil - imports:

143,900 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Oil - proved reserves:

60 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

Natural gas - production:

4.305 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Natural gas - consumption:

4.32 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Natural gas - imports:

NA (2008 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

33.98 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Current account balance:

-$4.504 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 168 -$3.693 billion (2009 est.)


$33.24 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62 $25.35 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery

Exports - partners:

Australia 23.36%, US 9.64%, China 9.21%, Japan 7.1%, UK 4.21% (2009)


$30.24 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58 $23.95 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics

Imports - partners:

Australia 18.4%, China 15.09%, US 10.45%, Japan 7.24%, Germany 4.16%, Singapore 4.12% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$17.85 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42 $15.59 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$64.33 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46 $62.47 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$67.18 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $66.63 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA (31 December 2009)

$59.08 billion (31 December 2008)

Exchange rates:

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4015 (2010), 1.6002 (2009), 1.4151 (2008), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006)

Communications ::New Zealand

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.87 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 58

Telephones - mobile cellular:

4.7 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 99

Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent domestic and international systems

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 150 per 100 persons

international: country code - 64; the Southern Cross submarine cable system provides links to Australia, Fiji, and the US; satellite earth stations - 8 (1 Inmarsat - Pacific Ocean, 7 other)

Broadcast media:

state-owned Television New Zealand operates multiple television networks while state-owned Radio New Zealand operates 3 radio networks and an external shortwave radio service to the South Pacific region; a small number of national commercial television and radio stations and a large number of regional commercial television and radio stations are available; cable and satellite TV systems are accessible (2008)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

2.47 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 33

Internet users:

3.4 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 62

Transportation ::New Zealand


122 (2010) country comparison to the world: 50

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 40

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

914 to 1,523 m: 24

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 82

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 32

under 914 m: 47 (2010)


condensate 331 km; gas 1,838 km; liquid petroleum gas 172 km; oil 288 km; refined products 198 km (2009)


total: 4,128 km country comparison to the world: 39 narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2008)


total: 93,911 km country comparison to the world: 50 paved: 61,879 km (includes 172 km of expressways)

unpaved: 32,032 km (2009)

Merchant marine:

total: 14 country comparison to the world: 103 by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2

foreign-owned: 7 (Australia 1, Germany 2, Hong Kong 1, South Africa 1, Switzerland 2)

registered in other countries: 6 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Cook Islands 1, France 1, Samoa 1, UK 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga,

Military ::New Zealand

Military branches:

New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF): New Zealand Army, Royal New
Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force (Te Hokowhitu o Kahurangi,
RNZAF) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,017,575

females age 16-49: 1,003,087 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 840,977

females age 16-49: 828,081 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 30,956

female: 29,236 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Transnational Issues ::New Zealand

Disputes - international:

asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)

Illicit drugs:

significant consumer of amphetamines


Hellenica World