Australia-Oceania :: New Zealand

Introduction ::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 ::New Zealand

    Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
    41 00 S, 174 00 E
    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
    about the size of Colorado
    0 km
    15,134 km
    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
    temperate with sharp regional contrasts
    predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m
    natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
    arable land: 1.76%
    permanent crops: 0.27%
    other: 97.98% (2011)
    6,193 sq km (2007)
    327 cu km (2011)
    total: 4.75 cu km/yr (23%/5%/72%)
    per capita: 1,200 cu m/yr (2010)
    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
    deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species
    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
    almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world

People and Society ::New Zealand

Government ::New Zealand

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: New Zealand
    abbreviation: NZ
    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 is divided into 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)
    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
    Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
    26 September 1907 (from the UK)
    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)
    consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987
    common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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
    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
    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
    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]
    Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL
    other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
    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, Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Michael K. MOORE
    chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
    FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
    consulate(s) general: New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), Santa Monica (CA)
    chief of mission: Ambassador David HUEBNER
    embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
    telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
    FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
    consulate(s) general: Auckland
    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
    Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars); kiwi (bird)
    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

Economy ::New Zealand

    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 posted a 2% decline in 2009, but pulled out of recession late in the year, and achieved roughly 2% per year growth in 2010-12. 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.
    $134.2 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    $130.8 billion (2011 est.)
    $129 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $169.7 billion (2012 est.)
    2.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    1.4% (2011 est.)
    1.8% (2010 est.)
    $30,200 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    $29,700 (2011 est.)
    $29,500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    15.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    14.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
    16% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 60.3%
    government consumption: 20.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 18.9%
    investment in inventories: 0.7%
    exports of goods and services: 28.9%
    imports of goods and services: -28.9%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 4.8%
    industry: 24.7%
    services: 70.4% (2012 est.)
    dairy products, lamb and mutton; wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef; fish
    food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining
    4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    2.394 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    agriculture: 7%
    industry: 19%
    services: 74% (2006 est.)
    6.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    6.5% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    36.2 (1997)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    revenues: $66.07 billion
    expenditures: $73.31 billion (2012 est.)
    38.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    -4.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    38% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    35.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    1 April - 31 March
    note: this is the fiscal year for tax purposes
    1.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    4% (2011 est.)
    2.5% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    5% (31 December 2008)
    5.82% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    6.11% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $29.88 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $26.26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $154.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    $145.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $266.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $239.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $71.66 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $36.3 billion (31 December 2010)
    $67.06 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$6.803 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    -$6.709 billion (2011 est.)
    $37.9 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $38.38 billion (2011 est.)
    dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery
    Australia 21%, China 15%, US 9.2%, Japan 7% (2012)
    $37.15 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    $35.61 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, vehicles, aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics
    China 16.4%, Australia 15.2%, US 9.3%, Japan 6.5%, Singapore 4.8%, Germany 4.4% (2012)
    $17.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $17.01 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $90.16 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    $91.28 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $76.25 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    $73.64 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $59.08 billion (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
    1.2334 (2012 est.)
    1.263 (2011 est.)
    1.3874 (2010 est.)
    1.6002 (2009)
    1.4151 (2008)

Energy ::New Zealand

Communications ::New Zealand

    1.88 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    4.82 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    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)
    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)
    3.026 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    3.4 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 62

Transportation ::New Zealand

    123 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    total: 39
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 23
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 84
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 33
    under 914 m:
    48 (2013)
    condensate 331 km; gas 1,936 km; liquid petroleum gas 172 km; oil 288 km; refined products 198 km (2013)
    total: 4,128 km
    country comparison to the world: 41
    narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2008)
    total: 93,911 km
    country comparison to the world: 48
    paved: 61,879 km (includes 172 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 32,032 km (2009)
    total: 15
    country comparison to the world: 101
    by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 2
    foreign-owned: 7 (Germany 2, Hong Kong 1, South Africa 1, Switzerland 2, UK 1)
    registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Cook Islands 2, Samoa 1) (2010)
    Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington

Military ::New Zealand

Transnational Issues ::New Zealand