New Zealand

 
Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Oceania  :  New Zealand
 
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (commonly called the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Maori named New Zealand Aotearoa, commonly translated as The Land of the Long White Cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).

New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation: it is situated about 2000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals they introduced.

The population of New Zealand is mostly of European descent; the indigenous Maori are the largest minority. Asians and non-Maori Polynesians are also significant minority groups, especially in the urban areas.

Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the country's head of state and is represented by a non-partisan Governor-General. The Queen has no real political influence, and her position is essentially symbolic. Political power is held by the democratically elected Parliament of New Zealand under the leadership of the Prime Minister, who is the head of government.  Source


New Zealand Facts

Population: 4 million

Capital: Wellington

Currency: NZ dollar

Area: 268,680 km2

Language: English

Main Religion
: Christian

Calling Code: +64

Time Zone: GMT + 12

Main Cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Manukau City, Northshore, Waitakere, Hamilton, Dunedin, Tauranga, Lower Hutt