New Zealand



Official Country Name
New Zealand

New Zealand Overview
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.

New Zealand Economy
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 many at the bottom of the ladder), broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Per capita income has risen for eight consecutive years and was more than $25,500 in 2006 in purchasing power parity terms. Consumer and government spending have driven growth in recent years, and exports picked up in 2006 after struggling for several years. Exports are equal to about 28% of GDP, down from 33 percent of GDP in 2001. Thus far the economy has been resilient, and the Labor Government promises that expenditures on health, education, and pensions will increase proportionately to output.

New Zealand Location
New Zealand is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

Region
New Zealand is located in Oceania

New Zealand Population
New Zealand has population of 4,076,140 (July 2006 est.)

New Zealand Climate
New Zealand has temperate with sharp regional contrasts

New Zealand Terrain
predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

New Zealand Natural Resources
natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Ethnic Groups in New Zealand
New Zealand has the following ethnic groups - European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8% (2001 census)

New Zealand Religions
Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26% (2001 census)

New Zealand Languages
English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)

New Zealand Capital
New Zealand capital is Wellington

New Zealand Currency
New Zealand currency is New Zealand dollar

Map of New Zealand