Introduction to New Zealand
New Zealand is a long narrow country lying roughly north-south. Consisting of the North and South Islands (and a number of smaller islands),
it covers 166,940 ㎢ and is 1,600 km long. It covers an area slightly larger than the United Kingdom.
New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific, approximately 10,400 km south west of North America and 2,250 km east of Australia.
The Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman, sighted and named New Zealand in 1642.
However, it was not until 1769 that Captain James Cook charted the coastline and explored the country.
Whalers and traders began to arrive on New Zealand's shores soon after Captain Cook.
The first European setters arrived in the early nineteenth century at the Bay of Islands and established missionary stations in the area.
Mass immigration occurred shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
New Zealand has a population of almost 3.5 million people, three quarters of whom live in the North Island, one of the two main islands.
New Zealand Maori make up approximately 10% of the population, and Polynesian people approximately 4% of New Zealand's multi-cultural society.
Chinese, Indian and Asian ethnic groups are increasing in population size within New Zealand.
New Zealand is exactly twelve hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
In summer, early October to late March, enjoy an extra hour of daylight saving, to extend the warm summer evenings.
New Zealand has a particularly clear and unpolluted atmosphere with average daily sunshine hours ranging from seven to eight in summer and four to five in winter.
Ranging from subtropical in the north to temperate in the south, the mean summer temperature is 23° Celcius (74° Farenheit) and 14° C (57° F) in winter.
Seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere - winter is between June and August and summer is between December and February.
A British Colony since 1840, New Zealand declared national sovereignty in 1947, but remains a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
Recently, New Zealand replaced the previous 'first past the post' electoral system with a new mixed member system of proportional representation.
There are now several mainstream political parties-National and Labour,
who were the 'traditional' parties along with more recent political parties including New Zealand First and the Alliance.
The current government is a coalition between National and New Zealand First.
Even though well over 80% of New Zealanders live in towns and cities, agricultural products are the basis of New Zealand's economy and is the biggest export earner.
That is not surprising when you consider that one third of the country's total area is sown in pasture and that sheep out number people by twenty five to one!
Tourism, forestry, horticulture, fishing and manufacturing have become increasingly important sectors in the economy in recent years.
Australia is New Zealand's largest export market, followed by Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Polynesians were the first settlers to arrive in New Zealand at least one thousand years ago.
We call it's first wave of settlers during AD 800-AD 1000. On Feb.6 1840 signed Maori between the England The treaty of Waitangi.
At this times capital city was Russell in Bay of island. In the 1840-1865 stayed Auckland,
and 1865 moved to the Wellington until now.
NZ National Bird-KIWI