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AREA: 268,105 square km

POPULATION: Over 3 million

CAPITAL CITY: Wellington (North Island)

LANGUAGE:    English and Maori

GOVERNMENT: Parliament democracy

HEAD OF STATE:   Queen Elizabeth II


ETHNIC GROUPS: Europeans 88%, Maori 9%, Asians and other Polynesians 3%

RELIGION:  Protestant, Roman Catholic

CURRENCY:    New Zealand dollar (1 dollar = 100 cents)

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: Mount Cook (3,764 m) in the Southern Alps (South Island)

LONGEST RIVER: Waikato (425 km) (North Island)

LARGEST CITIES: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

LARGEST LAKE:    Lake Taupo (606 square km) (North Island)

MAIN OCCUPATION:   Agriculture, industry

MAIN EXPORTS:    Meat, wool, butter, cheese. There are around 20 sheep and three cows per person in New Zealand

MAIN IMPORTS:   Machinery, textiles, vehicles, iron, steel.

SPORTS:   Rugby: the All Blacks are famous throughout the world


New Zealand lies in the Pacific Ocean, south-east of Australia. The capital is Wellington (North Islands).

It is made up of two main long and narrow islands, the North Islands and the South Islands.

New Zealand is considered a mountainous country because mountain ranges run much of its length. There are high mountains with glaciers, and big active volcanoes. In the region around the town of Rotorua, on the North Islands, hot water bubbles out of the ground and geysers up to 70 m high can be seen.

Although the South Island is the largest, it has fewer inhabitants and is partly unexplored on the west coast where the Southern Alps reach nearly to the sea. The rest of the islands consist of farmland for grazing sheep and cattle, and a few ports and coastal cities.

Most people live on the North Island, which has a warm, tropical climate. In the South Island the climate is temperate. When it is summer there, it is winter in Europe and North America.

Over the past 15 years, productions of the other crops, especially fruit, has increased. The best known product is the kiwi-fruit, but other fruits such as oranges and lemons are also grown.

New Zealand has a population of 3 million, mostly of British descent. The largest minority are the Maori People (13% op the population), who are of Polynesian origin. The Maori were the first people to reach the country.

New Zealand is a sovereign, independent state and a member of the Commonwealth. The Government is modelled on the British parliamentary system. The Head of State is the Queen of Britain, represented by Governor-General.


The first people to reach New Zealand about 1,000 years ago were the Maoris, who travelled in canoes across the pacific Ocean from the distant island of Polynesia to a land they called Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman landed in the country and named the islands New Zealand, after a province in the Netherlands.

In 1769, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the country and claimed it for Britain.

In 1852, Britain granted New Zealand self-government with the setting up of an elected General Assembly. In 1890, the first elections were held, and, in 1893, New Zealand women were the first in the world to be given the right to vote. In 1907, New Zealand gained full independence, but ties with Britain remained strong.

A new wave of immigrants arrived after the war, not only from Britain and Ireland, but also from various European countries.

The 1950s and 1960s were boom years for New Zealand: it was one of the major suppliers of dairy products and meat to Britain.


WELLINGTON (North Island)

Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, is based around a magnificent harbour at the south end of the North Island. It is a small city, but a busy port and is the country's political and business centre and the base for its major industries.

AUCKLAND (North Island)

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and the chief port. It is spread over a narrow strait that separates into two harbours. It is the country's main centre of commerce and industry and has a mixed population. A third of the people who live in the city are of Polynesian origin.


Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, with a population of around 300 000. It is also, arguably, the most attractive city in New Zealand, with extensive inner city public and private gardens and parks, the shallow Avon river meandering though the city centre, and a pedestrian oriented downtown centred on Cathedral Square.

BAY OF ISLANDS (North Island)

The Bay of Islands is one of the most picturesque and popular holiday sites in New Zealand.

I combines great fishing, diving, sailing and other watersports with some of New Zealand's most significant historic site.

ROTORUA (North Island)

Rotorua is a smallish city on the shores of Lake Rotorua. The surrounding areas are a geothermal wonderland, with geysers, boiling mud pools, and steaming craters. Rotorua is also a showcase of Maori cultural activities, a centre of tourism and a place of extraordinary natural beauty. It is surrounded by volcanoes, lakes, parks and recreational areas, and is a great place to go hiking or to view native birds and animals.

Rotorua is one of the major tourist attractions in the North Island.


The Maori race are the first inhabitants of New Zealand and were part of a great migration into the pacific many hundreds of years ago, finally landing and occupying the North and South Islands of New Zealand. During their occupation in New Zealand, and the development of tribal communities over these years, they have seen many changes, the most major being the migration, and colonisation of New Zealand by the European. Like many Island native population throughout the Pacific colonisation has had a major impact on indigenous social and cultural development.


A hangi is a traditional Maori meal: wild pork, lamb, chicken, pumpkin, kumara (a type of sweet potato), potatoes, venison stew, (with dumplings), smoked eel, mussels, marinated fish, salads, Maori bread and fresh fruit, with cream, in season.


Auckland institute of Technology Canterbury University

Central institute of Technology    Christchurch Polytechnic

Massey University   Lincoln University

UNITEC institute of Technology    University of Otago

University of Auckland

University of Waikato

Victoria University of Wellington

Waikato Polytechnic

Waikato University

Whitecliffe College of Art & Design


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