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|THE NEW ZEALAND COAT OF ARMS|
Location of New Zealand within the continent of Australia
Map of New Zealand
Flag Description of New Zealand: 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
Official name New Zealand (English); Aotearoa (Maori)
Form of government constitutional monarchy with one legislative house (House of Representatives )
Head of state British Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General: Sir Jerry Mateparae
Head of government Prime Minister: John Key
Official languages English; Maori; New Zealand Sign Language2
Official religion none
Monetary unit New Zealand dollar (NZ$)
Population (2013 est.) 4,461,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 104,515
Total area (sq km) 270,692
- Urban: (2011) 86.2%
- Rural: (2011) 13.8%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2011) 79.3 years
- Female: (2011) 83 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: not available
- Female: not available
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2012) 30,620
1Statutory number is 120 seats; actual current number is 121 seats.
2Became official Aug. 10, 2006.
- 1 Background of New Zealand
- 2 Geography of New Zealand
- 3 Demography of New Zealand
- 4 Economy of New Zealand
- 5 Government of New Zealand
- 6 Communication of New Zealand
- 7 Millitary of New Zealand
- 8 Transnational Issues of New Zealand
- 9 Instituting Social Welfare of New Zealand
- 10 New Zealand Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
- 11 Culture Life of New Zealand
- 12 History of New Zealand
- 13 Literature of New Zealand
- 14 New Zealand Political Reform League
- 15 New Zealand Labour Party
- 16 New Zealand in 2014
- 17 New Zealand in 2013
- 18 New Zealand in 2012
- 19 New Zealand in 2011
- 20 New Zealand in 2010
- 21 New Zealand in 2009
- 22 New Zealand in 2008
- 23 New Zealand in 2007
- 24 New Zealand in 2006
- 25 New Zealand in 2005
- 26 New Zealand in 2004
- 27 New Zealand in 1997
- 28 TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT NEW ZEALAND
- 29 New Zealand National Party
- 30 Air New Zealand Limited
- 31 Biography of New Zealand
- 32 Disclaimer
Background of 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. 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 of New Zealand
New Zealand's landscape ranges from the fjord-like sounds of the southwest to the tropical beaches of the far north. South Island is dominated by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook, at 3,754 m. The closest mountains surpassing it in elevation are found not in Australia, but in New Guinea and Antarctica. The tallest peak on North Island is Mount Ruapehu (2,797 m), an active, cone-shaped volcano.
Smaller islands include Stewart Island, which lies south of South Island; Waiheke and Great Barrier islands, near the north end of North Island; and the Chatham Islands, more than 800 km east of South Island.
Temperatures rarely fall below 0°C or rise above 30°C. Conditions vary from wet and cold on South Island's west coast to dry and continental a short distance away across the mountains and subtropical in the northern reaches of North Island.
New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, each lying about 2,200 km to the northeast and entirely self-governing; Tokelau, another island territory situated about 3,200 km to the north and moving towards self-government; and Ross Dependency, New Zealand's claim in Antarctica, located about 2,500 km to the south.
Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world, New Zealand has unique flora. Evergreens such as the giant kauri and southern beech dominate the forests. It also has a diverse range of birds, including the flightless moa (now extinct) and the kiwi, the kakapo, and the takahē, all of which are endangered.
Human settlement had a huge impact on fauna and flora. Over 75 percent of the forest cover has been burnt or felled, and the land converted into pasture. Many bird species, including the giant moa, became extinct after the arrival of Polynesians, who brought dogs and rats, and Europeans, who introduced additional dog and rat species, as well as cats, pigs, ferrets, and weasels. region on the east coast of the North Island. New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, each lying about 2,200 km to the northeast and entirely self-governing; Tokelau, another island territory situated about 3,200 km to the north and moving towards self-government; and Ross Dependency, New Zealand's claim in Antarctica, located about 2,500 km to the south.
Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world, New Zealand has unique flora. Evergreens such as the giant kauri and southern beech dominate the forests. It also has a diverse range of birds, including the flightless moa (now extinct) and the kiwi, the kakapo, and the takahē, all of which are endangered.
Human settlement had a huge impact on fauna and flora. Over 75 percent of the forest cover has been burnt or felled, and the land converted into pasture. Many bird species, including the giant moa, became extinct after the arrival of Polynesians, who brought dogs and rats, and Europeans, who introduced additional dog and rat species, as well as cats, pigs, ferrets, and weasels.
The kiwi, a flightless bird, is one of New Zealand's most famous species and a national icon. Conservationists recognized that threatened bird populations could be saved on offshore islands, where, once predators were exterminated, bird life flourished again. Around 30 species are listed as endangered. The kiwi, a national symbol, is also under threat. A curious bird, it cannot fly, has loose, hair-like feathers and long whiskers, and is largely nocturnal.
New Zealand's landscape has appeared in television series such as Xena: Warrior Princess. An increasing number of movies have also been filmed there, the most well-known being the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, which took cinematic advantage of the dramatic scenery in various parts of the country.
The relative proximity of New Zealand to Antarctica has made South Island a gateway of sorts for scientific expeditions and tourist excursions to the icebound continent. ---
- Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
- Geographic coordinates: 41 00 S, 174 00 E
- Map references: Oceania
- total: 267,710 sq km
- country comparison to the world: 76
- land: 267,710 sq km
- water: NA
- note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands
- Area - comparative:
- Area comparison map:
- 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
- Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts
- Terrain: 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: 1.76%
- permanent crops: 0.27%
- other: 97.98% (2011)
- Irrigated land:
- 6,193 sq km (2007)
- Total renewable water resources:
- 327 cu km (2011)
- Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
- total: 4.75 cu km/yr (23%/5%/72%)
- per capita: 1,200 cu m/yr (2010)
- Natural hazards: earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
- volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m), 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
New Zealand, Maori Aotearoa, island country in the South Pacific Ocean, the southwesternmost part of Polynesia. New Zealand is a remote land—one of the last sizable territories suitable for habitation to be populated and settled—and lies more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia, its nearest neighbour. The country comprises two main islands—the North and South islands—and a number of small islands, some of them hundreds of miles from the main group. The capital city is Wellington and the largest urban area Auckland; both are located on the North Island. New Zealand administers the South Pacific island group of Tokelau and claims a section of the Antarctic continent. Niue and the Cook Islands are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand.--->>>>Read More.<<<
Demography of New Zealand
- noun: New Zealander(s)
- adjective: New Zealand
- Ethnic groups:
- European 71.2%, Maori 14.1%, Asian 11.3%, Pacific peoples 7.6%, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African 1.1%, other 1.6%, not stated or unidentified 5.4%
- note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic group (2013 est.)
- Languages: English (de facto official) 89.8%, Maori (de jure official) 3.5%, Samoan 2%, Hindi 1.6%, French 1.2%, Northern Chinese 1.2%, Yue 1%, Other or not stated 20.5%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official)
note: shares sum to 120.8% due to multiple responses on census (2013 est.)
- Religions: Christian 44.3% (Catholic 11.6%, Anglican 10.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 7.8%, Methodist, 2.4%, Pentecostal 1.8%, other 9.9%), Hindu 2.1%, Buddhist 1.4%, Maori Christian 1.3%, Islam 1.1%, other religion 1.4% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha'i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 38.5%, not stated or unidentified 8.2%, objected to answering 4.1%
note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because people were able to identify more than one religion (2013 est.)
- Population: 4,401,916 (July 2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 127
- Age structure:
- 0-14 years: 20% (male 450,985/female 429,184)
- 15-24 years: 13.9% (male 313,711/female 298,427)
- 25-54 years: 40.4% (male 890,678/female 888,565)
- 55-64 years: 11.4% (male 245,084/female 255,879)
- 65 years and over: 14% (male 290,429/female 338,974) (2014 est.)
- population pyramid:
- Dependency ratios:
- total dependency ratio: 52.5 %
- youth dependency ratio
- 30.7 %
- elderly dependency ratio: 21.8 %
- potential support ratio: 4.6 (2014 est.)
- Median age:
- total: 37.6 years
- male: 36.7 years
- female: 38.4 years (2014 est.)
- Population growth rate:
- 0.83% (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 132
- Birth rate:
- 13.4 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 151
- Death rate: 7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
- Net migration rate:
- 2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)l
- country comparison to the world: 45
- urban population: 86.2% of total population (2011)
- rate of urbanization: 1.09% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- Major urban areas - population:
- Auckland 1.452 million; WELLINGTON (capital) 410,000 (2011)
- Sex ratio:
- at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
- 0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
- 15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
- 25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
- 55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
- Mother's mean age at first birth: 27.8
- note: median age at first birth (2009 est.)
- Maternal mortality rate: 15 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
- country comparison to the world: 144
- Infant mortality rate:
- total: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births
- country comparison to the world: 184
- male: 5.14 deaths/1,000 live births
- female: 4.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
- Life expectancy at birth:
- total population: 80.93 years
- country comparison to the world: 26
- male: 78.88 years
- female: 83.08 years (2014 est.)
- Total fertility rate: 2.05 children born/woman (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 119
- Health expenditures: 10.1% of GDP (2011)
- country comparison to the world: 24
- Physicians density: 2.74 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
- Hospital bed density: 2.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
- Drinking water source:
- urban: 100% of population
- rural: 100% of population
- total: 100% of population
- urban: 0% of population
- rural: 0% of population
- total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
- HIV/AIDS -
- adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 163
- HIV/AIDS -
- people living with HIV/AIDS:
- 2,500 (2009 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 137
- HIV/AIDS -
- deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 138
- Obesity -
- adult prevalence rate:
- 28.3% (2008)
- country comparison to the world: 34
- Education expenditures:
- 7.4% of GDP (2012)
- country comparison to the world: 16
- 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 (2011)
- Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
- total: 17.7%
- country comparison to the world: 69
- male: 17.3%
- female: 18.1% (2012)
Contemporary New Zealand has a majority of people of European origin, a significant minority of Maori, and smaller numbers of people from Pacific islands and Asia. In the early 21st century, Asians were the fastest-growing demographic group.--->>>>Read More.<<<
Economy of 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 pulled out of recession late in 2009, and achieved 2-3% per year growth in 2010-13. 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.
New Zealand’s economy is developed, but it is comparatively small in the global marketplace. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, New Zealand’s standard of living, based on the export of agricultural products, was one of the highest in the world, but after the mid-20th century the rate of growth tended to be one of the slowest among the developed countries. Impediments to economic expansion have been the slow growth of the economy of the United Kingdom (which formerly was the main destination of New Zealand’s exports) and its eventual membership in the European Community (later the European Union) and the high tariffs imposed by the major industrial nations against the country’s agricultural products (e.g., butter and meat).--->>>>>Read More<<<<
Government of New Zealand
- conventional long form: none
- conventional short form: New Zealand
- abbreviation: NZ
- Government type:
- parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
- name: Wellington
- geographic coordinates: 41 18 S, 174 47 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 has 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
- Independence: 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)
- Constitution: Constitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005 (2013)
- Legal system: common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
- International law organization participation: accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
- Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
- Executive branch:
- chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011)
- head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Simon William 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 Opens in New Window)
- 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 26 November 2011 (next to be held not later than November 2014)
- election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 48%, Labor Party 27.1%, Green Party 10.6%, NZ First 6.8%, Maori 1.4%, ACT Party 1.1%, Mana 1%, United Future 0.6%, other 3.43%; seats by party - National Party 60, Labor Party 34, Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori 3, ACT Party 1, Mana 1, United Future 1
- note: results of 2011 election saw the total number of seats decline to 121
- Judicial branch:
- highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices including the chief justice )
- note - the Supreme Court in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London, as the final appeals court
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the attorney-general; justices appointed for life
- subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; tribunals and authorities; district courts; specialized courts for issues related to employment, environment, Maori lands, and military
- Political parties and leaders:
ACT New Zealand Rodney HIDE Green Party Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI Mana Party [Hone HARAWIRA] 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, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
- Diplomatic representation in the US:
- chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Kenneth MOORE (since 5 August 2010)
- chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
- telephone:  (202) 328-4800
- FAX:  (202) 667-5227
- consulate(s) general: New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), Santa Monica (CA)
- Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Marie C. DAMOUR note - also accredited to Samoa embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034 telephone:  (4) 462-6000 FAX:  (4) 499-0490 consulate(s) general: Auckland
- National anthem:click on the link
- 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
New Zealand has a parliamentary form of government based on the British model. Legislative power is vested in the single-chamber House of Representatives (Parliament), the members of which are elected for three-year terms. The political party or coalition of parties that commands a majority in the House forms the government. Generally, the leader of the governing party becomes the prime minister, who, with ministers responsible for different aspects of government, forms a cabinet. The cabinet is the central organ of executive power. Most legislation is initiated in the House on the basis of decisions made by the cabinet; Parliament must then pass it by a majority vote before it can become law. The cabinet, however, has extensive regulatory powers that are subject to only limited parliamentary review. Because cabinet ministers sit in the House and because party discipline is customarily strong, legislative and executive authorities are effectively fused.--->>>>Read More.<<<
Communication of New Zealand
- Telephones - main lines in use:
- 1.88 million (2012)
- country comparison to the world: 61
- Telephones - mobile cellular:
- 4.922 million (2012)
- country comparison to the world: 113
- 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) (2011)
- Broadcast media:
state-owned Television New Zealand operates multiple TV networks and 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 TV and radio stations and many regional commercial television and radio stations are available; cable and satellite TV systems are available (2008)
- Internet country code:
- Internet hosts:
- 3.026 million (2012)
- country comparison to the world: 34
- Internet users:
- 3.4 million (2009)
- country comparison to the world: 62
Millitary of 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) (2013)
- Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription; 3 years of secondary education required; must be a citizen of NZ, the UK, Australia, Canada, or the US, and resident of NZ for the previous 5 years (2013)
- Manpower available for military service:
- males age 16-49: 1,019,798
- females age 16-49: 1,003,429 (2010 est.)
- Manpower fit for military service:
- males age 16-49: 843,526
- females age 16-49: 828,779 (2010 est.)
- Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
- male: 30,846
- female: 28,825 (2010 est.)
- Military expenditures: 1.13% of GDP (2012)
- country comparison to the world: 89
- 1.12% of GDP (2011)
- 1.13% of GDP (2010)
Transnational Issues of New Zealand
- Disputes - international:
- asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)
- Illicit drugs:
- significant consumer of amphetamines
Instituting Social Welfare of New Zealand
From the outset, the country has been in the forefront of social welfare legislation. New Zealand was the world's first country to give women the right to vote (1893). It adopted old-age pensions (1898); a national child welfare program (1907); social security for the elderly, widows, and orphans, along with family benefit payments; minimum wages; a 40-hour workweek and unemployment and health insurance (1938); and socialized medicine (1941).
New Zealand fought with the Allies in both world wars as well as in Korea. In 1999, it became part of the UN peacekeeping force sent to East Timor.
In recent years, New Zealand has introduced extremely liberal social policies. In June 2003, Parliament legalized prostitution and in Dec. 2004, same-sex unions were recognized. In 2005, Helen Clark was elected for the second time. She lost her reelection bid in 2008, when the center-right National Party, led by John Key, took 45.5% of the vote in parliamentary elections. Clark's Labour Party garnered 33.8%. Key became prime minister in November. Key's win ended nine years of governance by the Labour Party.
New Zealand Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
On April 17, 2013, New Zealand's Parliament voted 77 to 44 in favor of same-sex marriage. Prime Minister John Key supported the legislation. The passing of the law made New Zealand the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.
The new marriage equality law, which goes into effect in August 2013, also allows same-sex couples to adopt children. Their marriages are also recognized in other countries. With the passing of the legislation, New Zealand becomes the 13th country in the world where same-sex marriage is legal.
- Cultural milieu
New Zealand’s cultural influences are predominantly European and Maori. Immigrant groups have generally tended to assimilate into the European lifestyle, although traditional customs are still followed by many Tongans, Samoans, and other Pacific peoples. Maori culture suffered greatly in the years of colonization and into the 20th century, and many Maori were torn between the pressure to assimilate and the desire to preserve their own culture. However, since the 1950s there has been a cultural renaissance, with a determined effort to preserve and revive artistic and social traditions. The culture of the pakeha (the Maori term for those of European descent) has come to incorporate many aspects of Maori culture. The biennial Te Matatini festival, first held in 1972, celebrates Maori culture, especially the traditional dance and song performances known as kapa haka. The festival is held over several days, each time in a different region of New Zealand, and culminates in the national kapa haka championship.--->>>>Read More.<<<
History of New Zealand
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.
No precise archaeological records exist of when and from where the first human inhabitants of New Zealand came, but it is generally agreed that Polynesians from eastern Polynesia in the central Pacific reached New Zealand in the early 13th century.--->>>>Read More.<<<
Literature of New Zealand
Maori narrative: the oral tradition
Like all Polynesian peoples, the Maori, who began to occupy the islands now called New Zealand about 1,000 years ago, composed, memorized, and performed laments, love poems, war chants, and prayers. They also developed a mythology to explain and record their own past and the legends of their gods and tribal heroes. As settlement developed through the 19th century, Europeans collected many of these poems and stories and copied them in the Maori language. The most picturesque myths and legends, translated into English and published in collections with titles like Maori Fairy Tales (1908; by Johannes Carl Andersen), were read to, or by, Pakeha (European) children, so that some—such as the legend of the lovers Hinemoa and Tutanekai or the exploits of the man-god Maui, who fished up the North Island from the sea and tamed the sun—became widely known among the population at large.
Oratory on the marae (tribal meeting place), involving voice, facial expression, and gesture, was, and continues to be, an important part of Maori culture; it is difficult to make a clear distinction, such as exists in written literatures, between text and performance. Nor was authorship always attributable. And the Maori sense of time was such that legend did not take the hearer back into the past but rather brought the past forward into the present, making the events described contemporary.
Throughout the latter half of the 19th century, the Maori people, disastrously affected by European “minor” diseases to which they had only weak resistance, appeared to be in decline, and European scholars recorded as much Maori legend as they could, believing that the Maori would die out and that their oral culture, highly figurative and often of rare poetic beauty, deserved preservation. Some of this material was published; a great deal more was stored in libraries and is studied today, not least by Maori students and scholars intent on recovering their own cultural past.
Although Maori individuals and groups have become notable performers of various kinds of European music, their traditional music also survives. To the 19th-century European ear, the words of Maori poetry were impressive and beautiful, but the music was “tuneless and monotonous” and tended to be ignored. It is, however, inseparable from the words, and the scholars Mervyn McLean and Margaret Orbell were the first to publish text and music together. McLean and Orbell distinguished three kinds of waiata (songs): waiata tangi (laments—for the dead, but also for other kinds of loss or misfortune), waiata aroha (songs about the nature of love—not only sexual love but also love of place or kin), and waiata whaiaaipo (songs of courtship or praise of the beloved). In addition, there are pao (gossip songs), poi (songs accompanying a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically), oriori (songs composed for young children of chiefly or warrior descent, to help them learn their heritage), and karanga (somewhere between song and chant, performed by women welcoming or farewelling visitors on the marae). Some chants are recited rather than sung. These include karakia (forms of incantation invoking a power to protect or to assist the chanter), paatere (chants by women in rebuttal of gossip or slander, asserting the performer’s high lineage and threatening her detractors), kaioraora (expressions of hatred and abuse of an enemy, promising terrible revenge), and the haka (a chant accompanied by rhythmic movements, stamping, and fierce gestures, the most famous of these being war dances that incorporate stylized violence). In every aspect of this tradition, the texts, which in pre-European times survived through memorization, were inseparable from gestures and sometimes music. The most widely used modern development of these traditional forms is the waiata-a-ringa (action song), which fits graceful movements to popular European melodies.
Modern Maori literature
Until the 1970s there was almost no connection between the classical Maori tradition, preserved largely as a historical record, and the development of a postcolonial English-language literature of New Zealand. When Maori writers began to appear after World War II, they wrote in English, and the most notable of them knew little or nothing of the Maori language. In 1966 Jacqueline Sturm, wife of the poet James K. Baxter, became the first Maori writer to appear in a major anthology of New Zealand short stories. By that time, Hone Tuwhare, the first Maori poet to make a strong impression in English, had published his first book, No Ordinary Sun (1964). Witi Ihimaera’s short stories, collected in Pounamu, Pounamu (1972; “Greenstone, Greenstone”), and his novel Tangi (1973) seemed finally to establish Maori writers as part of modern New Zealand writing. The Whale Rider (1987; film 2002) gained Ihimaera an international readership. Patricia Grace’s narratives of Maori life—Mutuwhenua: The Moon Sleeps (1978), The Dream Sleepers, and Other Stories (1980), Potiki (1986)—were very widely read, especially in schools as part of a broad effort in New Zealand to encourage the study of Maori writing. And Keri Hulme’s The Bone People (1983), winner of Britain’s Booker Prize in 1985, probably outsold, both at home and abroad, any other book written during the postwar period. In the work of these writers, the language is English, the forms (particularly in fiction) are European, and “Maoriness” is partly a matter of subject, partly of sensibility, and partly (as in the case of Hulme, who has only one Maori great-grandparent and who changed her given name from Kerry to Keri) sympathetic identification.
But, increasingly through the 1980s, there was a tendency to politicize Maori issues in literature, something seen clearly in Ihimaera’s The Matriarch (1986) and in some of the later fictions of Grace, where the misfortunes of the Maori are laid, sometimes angrily, at the Pakeha door. A reaction against this came from Maori novelist Alan Duff—author of Once Were Warriors (1990; film 1994)—who argued that the Maori must take responsibility for their own failures and find the means to correct them and who spoke somewhat scornfully of his fellow Maori writers, saying that they sentimentalize Maori life. This polarization within the Maori literary community continued with the publication of Grace’s Cousins (1992) and Ihimaera’s Bulibasha (1994) on the one hand, both of which present positive images of a people who were damaged by colonialism and racism but who are fighting back, and with Duff’s What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (1996) on the other hand, in which salvation for the Maori is again seen as lying within integration, education, and acceptance of individual responsibility. Duff’s controversial view was taken further in his autobiographical Out of the Mist and Steam (1999), in which his abusive Maori mother seems intended to be seen as typical while his bookish, intellectual Pakeha father represents a path of escape from the cycle of violence, failure, and despair. In the 1990s, after more than two decades of marriage and as the father of two daughters, Ihimaera publicly acknowledged his homosexuality; this added a further dimension not so much to his work itself but to the way it is read and the kind of interest taken in it.
A different form of politicization has come from Maori poets, some of whom rediscovered, partly through academic study, the classic forms of Maori poetry and returned to them in the Maori language. Since there are only a few thousand fluent speakers of the language (government statistics from 2001 said something over 10,000 adult Maori claimed to speak the language “well” or “very well”), this has been seen by some as an exercise in self-limitation, while to others it appears to be a brave assertion of identity; anthologies of New Zealand poetry now include examples of these new poets’ work in Maori with translations into English. Of the Maori poets writing in English, Robert Sullivan is the one whose work attracted the most attention at the turn of the 21st century.
Maori character and tradition have also found expression in the theatre, in plays written predominantly in English but with injections of Maori. Among the best of these works are Hone Kouka’s Nga tangata toa (published 1994; “The Warrior People”) and Waiora (published 1997; “Health”).
Pakeha (European) literature'
Modern discussions of New Zealand literature have not given much attention to the 19th century. Immigrant writers were Britishers abroad. Only those born in the “new” land could see it as New Zealanders; and even they, for most of the first 100 years of settlement (1820–1920), had to make conscious efforts to relocate the imagination and adapt the literary tradition to its new home. It is not surprising, then, that the most notable 19th-century writing is found not in poetry and fiction but rather in letters, journals, and factual accounts, such as Lady Mary Anne Barker’s Station Life in New Zealand (1870), Samuel Butler’s A First Year in Canterbury Settlement (1863), and, perhaps most notably, Frederick Maning’s Old New Zealand (1863).
The best of the 19th-century poets include Alfred Domett, whose Ranolf and Amohia (1872) was a brave if premature attempt to discover epic material in the new land; John Barr, a Scottish dialect poet in the tradition of Robert Burns; David McKee Wright, who echoed the Australian bush ballad tradition; and William Pember Reeves, born in New Zealand, who rose to be a government minister and then retired to Britain, where he wrote nostalgic poems in the voice of a colonist. They were competent versifiers and rhymers, interesting for what they record. But none of the poets stands out until the 20th century, the first being Blanche Edith Baughan (Reuben, and Other Poems ), followed by R.A.K. Mason (In the Manner of Men  and Collected Poems ) and Mary Ursula Bethell (From a Garden in the Antipodes  and Collected Poems ).
New Zealand literature, it might be said, was making a slow and seemly appearance, but already the whole historical process had been preempted by one brief life—that of Katherine Mansfield (born Kathleen Beauchamp), who died in 1923 at age 34, having laid the foundations for a reputation that has gone on to grow and influence the development of New Zealand literature ever since. Impatient at the limitations of colonial life, she relocated to London in 1908, published her first book of short stories (In a German Pension ) at age 22, and, for the 12 years remaining to her, lived a life whose complicated threads have, since her death, seen her reappearing in the biographies, letters, and journals of writers as famous as T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell, and D.H. Lawrence. More important, she “altered for good and all” (in the words of the British writer Elizabeth Bowen) “our idea of what goes to make a story.” Two additional books published in her lifetime (Bliss and Other Stories  and The Garden Party, and Other Stories ) were followed by posthumously published stories, collections of poems, literary criticism, letters, and journals. She became for a time a major figure, faded for two decades, and was rediscovered in the 1970s by feminists and by scholars examining the Bloomsbury group. It seemed, from any perspective, that Mansfield remained a New Zealand writer whose best work was that in which she had re-created the country and family she had grown up in.
Mansfield once wrote, “I want to make my own country leap in the eyes of the Old World”—and she did it. She also made the short story respectable, established it as a form sufficient in itself for a writer’s reputation to rest on, and made it a staple of New Zealand writing. But she never completed a novel.
The first important New Zealand novels came from two writers whose scene was northern New Zealand: William Satchell (The Land of the Lost , The Toll of the Bush , and The Greenstone Door ) and Jane Mander (The Story of a New Zealand River ). They were followed by John A. Lee, whose Children of the Poor (1934), mixing fiction and oratory, was drawn from his own experience of childhood poverty in the South Island; Robin Hyde, who in The Godwits Fly (1938) still wrestled with the sense of colonial isolation; and John Mulgan, whose Man Alone (1939) held in balance both the colonial romanticism of the solitary figure in the empty landscape and the leftist romanticism of “men moving together” to change the world. In the 1930s Ngaio Marsh began publishing the detective novels for which she became internationally known.
New Zealand Political Reform League
New Zealand Political Reform League, byname Reform Party, conservative political party formed from various local and sectional organizations that took power in 1912, following a general election in 1911, and held control of the government until 1928. The Reform Party first acted as a united group in 1905, but it was not formally constituted and organized along party lines until after the 1911 election.
Based primarily on urban business interests and the small farmers of the North Island dairy industry, the Reform Party won the 1911 election by a promise to transform agricultural leasehold property into freehold on terms that would enable farmers to reap a significant profit from the sale of their land. It also benefited from its opposition to growing labour union defiance of New Zealand’s antistrike Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act (1894).
Led by W.F. Massey, the party’s leader and New Zealand’s premier from 1912 until his death in 1925, the Reform Party dealt violently with the strikes of 1912–13. But it was mortally weakened during the depression of the late 1920s, when its business and agrarian wings turned against one another. The Reform Party returned to power in coalition with the United Party (1931–35) but was formally dissolved in 1936. Its remnant entered the new National Party.
New Zealand Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party, political party established in 1916 in a merger of various socialist and trade-union groups, including the Unified Labour Party (founded in 1910) and the Social Democratic Party (founded in 1913). It has traditionally been strongest among trade unionists and low-income voters.
The party grew steadily so that by the 1930–35 term it had become the official parliamentary opposition; in 1935 it gained 53 seats, a clear majority, and formed the first Labour government, with Michael Joseph Savage as prime minister. It remained in office continuously until 1949 (under Prime Minister Peter Fraser from 1940) and enacted various pieces of welfare legislation, including social security, price and trade regulations, compulsory unionism, Maori protection, and other reforms but embracing only very limited socialization (of banks and broadcasting).
From 1950 to 1975 the party held power only for brief periods (1957–60; 1972–75). In 1984 it returned to power under the leadership of David Lange. Lange supported economic liberalization and enacted legislation prohibiting nuclear warships from using the country’s ports. In 1989 he was succeeded as prime minister by Geoffrey Palmer, who was replaced by Mike Moore in 1990. Later that year the party was ousted from power by the New Zealand National Party.
In 1993 the party selected Helen Clark as its leader. Following internal divisions in the mid-1990s, the party became the largest in Parliament in 1999, and Clark became prime minister. Her coalition government won reelection in 2002 and 2005. In the 2008 election, however, the Labour Party was defeated by the National Party, and Clark subsequently announced that she was stepping down as Labour leader. Labour had an even worse showing in the 2011 election, in which its representation in the Parliament fell from 43 to 34 seats.
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2014 est.): 4,474,424 Capital: Wellington Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2013 est.): 4,461,000 Capital: Wellington Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2012 est.): 4,439,000 Capital: Wellington Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2011 est.): 4,407,000 Capital: Wellington Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governors-General Sir Anand Satyanand, Dame--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2010 est.): 4,369,000 Capital: Wellington Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2009 est.): 4,317,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2008 est.): 4,268,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Anand Satyanand Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2007 est.): 4,184,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Anand Satyanand Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,692 sq km (104,515 sq mi) Population (2006 est.): 4,141,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governors-General Dame Silvia Cartwright--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,534 sq km (104,454 sq mi) Population (2005 est.): 4,096,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,534 sq km (104,454 sq mi) Population (2004 est.): 4,060,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand Area: 270,534 sq km (104,454 sq mi) Population (1997 est.): 3,653,000 Capital: Wellington Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie-Boys Head--->>>>>Read On.<<<<
New Zealand National Party
Political party, New Zealand
New Zealand National Party, political party founded in 1936 in the merger of non-Labour groups, most notably the United Party and the Reform Party, two parties that had been in coalition since 1931. It supports free-market economic policies and draws votes heavily from suburban and rural districts.
The Reform Party, the full name of which was the New Zealand Political Reform League, was a conservative organization that held control of the national government from 1912 to 1928. The United Party, formed in 1927, was the successor to the Liberal Party, dating to the 1890s and formally established in 1905. The new United Party was surprisingly successful in the elections of 1928 and formed a government, under Joseph Ward. A United-Reform coalition government was established in 1931 only to lose disastrously to the New Zealand Labour Party in the 1935 elections. Leaders of the right-wing parties deemed that the only way to revive conservative hopes was to unite their various groups, which separately had been dissipating their strength. The New Zealand National Party was thus born in 1936. The road back was slow, and not until 1949 did it win back the government. For the next 35 years, however, it was New Zealand’s dominant party, holding office for the periods 1949–57, 1960–72, and 1975–84.
In the mid-1980s the party suffered from internal divisions, which kept it out of office until 1990, when it returned to power under James Bolger. Though the party remained in power until 1999, it split in 1993, when a former National Party minister formed the New Zealand First Party. In 1994 Bolger formed a coalition after the defection of one of his party’s members of Parliament. In 1997 Bolger was replaced as prime minister and party leader by Jennifer Shipley, the country’s first female prime minister. In 1999 the party was ousted from government by a Labour-led coalition. After the subsequent National leaders—Bill English (2001–03) and Don Brash (2003–06)—failed to return the party to power, John Key became head of the party in 2006. Two years later he led the National Party to victory over the Labour Party. Key remained as prime minister when the National Party won a historic victory in 2011, capturing the largest share of the vote any party had won since the introduction of mixed-member proportional representation in 1996.
Air New Zealand Limited
Air New Zealand Limited, Air New Zealand Limited [Credit: Adrian Pingstone]New Zealand international airline founded in 1939 (as Tasman Empire Airways Limited, or TEAL) and, by 1980, operating throughout the South Pacific from New Zealand and Australia to Hong Kong and Singapore and to Tahiti, Hawaii, and Los Angeles. The original shareholders in 1939 were New Zealand (50 percent), Australia (30 percent), and Britain (20 percent); Britain withdrew in 1953, and New Zealand became sole owner in 1961. Headquarters are in Auckland.
Service (under the TEAL name) began in 1940 with flying-boat service between Auckland and Sydney. Beginning in the 1950s, routes were expanded, reaching Tahiti in 1951, Los Angeles in 1965, and Hong Kong and Singapore in 1966. The name Air New Zealand was adopted in 1965. Air New Zealand became a publicly traded company in 1989, and between 1996 and 2000 the firm acquired the assets of Ansett, Australia’s domestic air carrier. Air New Zealand’s primary businesses are passenger and cargo transportation.
Biography of New Zealand
Curnow, Allen New Zealand author in full Thomas Allen Monro Curnow June 17, 1911 Timaru, New Zealand September 23, 2001 Auckland one of the major modern poets of New Zealand. The son of an Anglican ...>>>Read On<<<
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