New Zealand

Coordinates: 42°S 174°E / 42°S 174°E

New Zealand

Aotearoa  (Māori)
Location of New Zealand, including outlying islands, its territorial claim in the Antarctic, and Tokelau
Location of New Zealand, including outlying islands, its territorial claim in the Antarctic, and Tokelau
41°17′S 174°27′E / 41.283°S 174.450°E
Largest cityAuckland
Official languages
Ethnic groups
Demonym(s)New Zealander
Kiwi (informal)
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Patsy Reddy
Jacinda Ardern
(House of Representatives)
Stages of independence 
7 May 1856
• Dominion
26 September 1907

25 November 1947
• Total
268,021 km2 (103,483 sq mi) (75th)
• Water (%)
1.6[n 4]
• April 2019 estimate
4,958,140[5] (120th)
• 2013 census
• Density
18.2/km2 (47.1/sq mi) (203rd)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$199 billion[6]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$206 billion[6]
• Per capita
Gini (2014)33.0[7]
medium · 22nd
HDI (2017)Increase 0.917[8]
very high · 16th
CurrencyNew Zealand dollar ($) (NZD)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST[n 5])
• Summer (DST)
UTC+13 (NZDT[n 6])
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling code+64
ISO 3166 codeNZ

New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that later were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full statutory independence in 1947 and the British monarch remained the head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori, and NZ Sign Language, with English being very dominant.

A developed country, New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, and economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. The service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, and agriculture; international tourism is a significant source of revenue. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, currently Jacinda Ardern. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum.


Detail of 1657 map Polus Antarcticus by Jan Janssonius, showing Nova Zeelandia
Detail from a 1657 map showing the western coastline of "Nova Zeelandia". (In this map, north is at the bottom.)

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General" (Dutch parliament). He wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain",[11] referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616.[12][13] In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland.[14][15] British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand.[16]

Aotearoa (pronounced /ˌaʊtɛəˈroʊ.ə/; often translated as "land of the long white cloud")[17] is the current Māori name for New Zealand. It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa originally referring to just the North Island.[18] Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui (the fish of Māui) for the North Island and Te Waipounamu (the waters of greenstone) or Te Waka o Aoraki (the canoe of Aoraki) for the South Island.[19] Early European maps labelled the islands North (North Island), Middle (South Island) and South (Stewart Island / Rakiura).[20] In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm.[16] The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, and names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te Waipounamu.[21] For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used, or both can be used together.[21]


Polynesian Migration
The Māori people are most likely descended from people who emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia and then travelled east through to the Society Islands. After a pause of 70 to 265 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.[22]

New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation[23] and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations[24] suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300,[19][25] concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.[26] Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes) who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other.[27] At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture.[28][29] The Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862, largely because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases also contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.[30]

Thevenot - Hollandia Nova detecta 1644
An early map of Australasia during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration (c. 1590s – c. 1720s). Based on a chart by Joan Blaeu, c. 1644.
Cook chart of New Zealand
Map of the New Zealand coastline as Cook charted it on his first visit in 1769–70. The track of the Endeavour is also shown.

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642.[31] In a hostile encounter, four crew members were killed and at least one Māori was hit by canister shot.[32] Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline.[31] Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. They traded European food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts and water.[33] The introduction of the potato and the musket transformed Māori agriculture and warfare. Potatoes provided a reliable food surplus, which enabled longer and more sustained military campaigns.[34] The resulting intertribal Musket Wars encompassed over 600 battles between 1801 and 1840, killing 30,000–40,000 Māori.[35] From the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began to settle New Zealand, eventually converting most of the Māori population.[36] The Māori population declined to around 40% of its pre-contact level during the 19th century; introduced diseases were the major factor.[37]

The Waitangi sheet from the Treaty of Waitangi

In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip assumed the position of Governor of the new British colony of New South Wales which according to his commission included New Zealand.[38] The British Government appointed James Busby as British Resident to New Zealand in 1832 following a petition from northern Māori.[39] In 1835, following an announcement of impending French settlement by Charles de Thierry, the nebulous United Tribes of New Zealand sent a Declaration of Independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom asking for protection.[39] Ongoing unrest, the proposed settlement of New Zealand by the New Zealand Company (which had already sent its first ship of surveyors to buy land from Māori) and the dubious legal standing of the Declaration of Independence prompted the Colonial Office to send Captain William Hobson to claim sovereignty for the United Kingdom and negotiate a treaty with the Māori.[40] The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840.[41] In response to the New Zealand Company's attempts to establish an independent settlement in Wellington[42] and French settlers purchasing land in Akaroa,[43] Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, even though copies of the Treaty were still circulating throughout the country for Māori to sign.[44] With the signing of the Treaty and declaration of sovereignty the number of immigrants, particularly from the United Kingdom, began to increase.[45]

1863 Meeting of Settlers and Maoris at Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
A meeting of European and Māori inhabitants of Hawke's Bay Province. Engraving, 1863.

New Zealand, still part of the colony of New South Wales, became a separate Colony of New Zealand on 1 July 1841.[46] The colony gained a representative government in 1852 and the first Parliament met in 1854.[47] In 1856 the colony effectively became self-governing, gaining responsibility over all domestic matters other than native policy.[47] (Control over native policy was granted in the mid-1860s.[47]) Following concerns that the South Island might form a separate colony, premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution to transfer the capital from Auckland to a locality near Cook Strait.[48] Wellington was chosen for its central location, with Parliament officially sitting there for the first time in 1865.[49] As immigrant numbers increased, conflicts over land led to the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, resulting in the loss and confiscation of much Māori land.[50]

In 1891 the Liberal Party came to power as the first organised political party.[51] The Liberal Government, led by Richard Seddon for most of its period in office,[52] passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote[51] and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions.[53]

In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire,[54] reflecting its self-governing status.[55] In 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster, confirming that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without the consent of New Zealand.[47]

Early in the 20th century, New Zealand was involved in world affairs, fighting in the First and Second World Wars[56] and suffering through the Great Depression.[57] The depression led to the election of the First Labour Government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionist economy.[58] New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity following the Second World War[59] and Māori began to leave their traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work.[60] A Māori protest movement developed, which criticised Eurocentrism and worked for greater recognition of Māori culture and of the Treaty of Waitangi.[61] In 1975, a Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate alleged breaches of the Treaty, and it was enabled to investigate historic grievances in 1985.[41] The government has negotiated settlements of these grievances with many iwi,[62] although Māori claims to the foreshore and seabed have proved controversial in the 2000s.[63][64]

Government and politics

A smiling woman wearing a purple dress and matching hat
Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand
A smiling woman wearing a black dress
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy,[65] although its constitution is not codified.[66] Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand[67] and thus the head of state.[68] The Queen is represented by the governor-general, whom she appoints on the advice of the prime minister.[69] The governor-general can exercise the Crown's prerogative powers, such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials,[70] and in rare situations, the reserve powers (e.g. the power to dissolve parliament or refuse the royal assent of a bill into law).[71] The powers of the monarch and the governor-general are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of ministers.[71]

The New Zealand Parliament holds legislative power and consists of the Queen and the House of Representatives.[72] It also included an upper house, the Legislative Council, until this was abolished in 1950.[72] The supremacy of parliament over the Crown and other government institutions was established in England by the Bill of Rights 1689 and has been ratified as law in New Zealand.[72] The House of Representatives is democratically elected and a government is formed from the party or coalition with the majority of seats. If no majority is formed, a minority government can be formed if support from other parties during confidence and supply votes is assured.[72] The governor-general appoints ministers under advice from the prime minister, who is by convention the parliamentary leader of the governing party or coalition.[73] Cabinet, formed by ministers and led by the prime minister, is the highest policy-making body in government and responsible for deciding significant government actions.[74] Members of Cabinet make major decisions collectively, and are therefore collectively responsible for the consequences of these decisions.[75]

A parliamentary general election must be called no later than three years after the previous election.[76] Almost all general elections between 1853 and 1993 were held under the first-past-the-post voting system.[77] Since the 1996 election, a form of proportional representation called mixed-member proportional (MMP) has been used.[66] Under the MMP system, each person has two votes; one is for a candidate standing in the voter's electorate and the other is for a party. Since the 2014 election, there have been 71 electorates (which include seven Māori electorates in which only Māori can optionally vote),[78] and the remaining 49 of the 120 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, with the threshold that a party must win at least one electorate or 5% of the total party vote before it is eligible for a seat.[79]

Seddon Statue in Parliament Grounds
A statue of Richard Seddon, the "Beehive" (Executive Wing), and Parliament House (right), in Parliament Grounds, Wellington.

Elections since the 1930s have been dominated by two political parties, National and Labour.[77] Between March 2005 and August 2006, New Zealand became the first country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land—head of state, governor-general, prime minister, speaker and chief justice—were occupied simultaneously by women.[80] The current prime minister is Jacinda Ardern, who has been in office since 26 October 2017.[81] She is the country's third female prime minister.[82]

New Zealand's judiciary, headed by the chief justice,[83] includes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the High Court, and subordinate courts.[84] Judges and judicial officers are appointed non-politically and under strict rules regarding tenure to help maintain judicial independence.[66] This theoretically allows the judiciary to interpret the law based solely on the legislation enacted by Parliament without other influences on their decisions.[85]

New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed states.[86] As at 2017, the country was ranked fourth in the strength of its democratic institutions,[87] and first in government transparency and lack of corruption.[88] A 2017 Human Rights Report by the U.S. Department of State noted that the government generally respected the rights of individuals, but voiced concerns regarding the social status of the Māori population.[89] New Zealand ranks highly for civic participation in the political process, with 77% voter turnout during recent elections, compared to an OECD average of 69%.[90]

Foreign relations and military

E 003261 E Maoris in North Africa July 1941
Māori Battalion haka in Egypt, 1941

Early colonial New Zealand allowed the British Government to determine external trade and be responsible for foreign policy.[91] The 1923 and 1926 Imperial Conferences decided that New Zealand should be allowed to negotiate its own political treaties and the first commercial treaty was ratified in 1928 with Japan. On 3 September 1939 New Zealand allied itself with Britain and declared war on Germany with Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage proclaiming, "Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand."[92]

In 1951 the United Kingdom became increasingly focused on its European interests,[93] while New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty.[94] The influence of the United States on New Zealand weakened following protests over the Vietnam War,[95] the refusal of the United States to admonish France after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior,[96] disagreements over environmental and agricultural trade issues and New Zealand's nuclear-free policy.[97][98] Despite the United States' suspension of ANZUS obligations the treaty remained in effect between New Zealand and Australia, whose foreign policy has followed a similar historical trend.[99] Close political contact is maintained between the two countries, with free trade agreements and travel arrangements that allow citizens to visit, live and work in both countries without restrictions.[100] In 2013 there were about 650,000 New Zealand citizens living in Australia, which is equivalent to 15% of the resident population of New Zealand.[101]

ANZAC Day service at the National War Memorial - Flickr - NZ Defence Force (20)
Anzac Day service at the National War Memorial

New Zealand has a strong presence among the Pacific Island countries. A large proportion of New Zealand's aid goes to these countries and many Pacific people migrate to New Zealand for employment.[102] Permanent migration is regulated under the 1970 Samoan Quota Scheme and the 2002 Pacific Access Category, which allow up to 1,100 Samoan nationals and up to 750 other Pacific Islanders respectively to become permanent New Zealand residents each year. A seasonal workers scheme for temporary migration was introduced in 2007 and in 2009 about 8,000 Pacific Islanders were employed under it.[103] New Zealand is involved in the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Community, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (including the East Asia Summit).[100] New Zealand is a member of the United Nations,[104] the Commonwealth of Nations[105] and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),[106] and participates in the Five Power Defence Arrangements.[107]

New Zealand's armed forces—the Defence Force—comprise the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Navy.[108] New Zealand's national defence needs are modest, since a direct attack is unlikely.[109] However, its military has had a global presence. The country fought in both world wars, with notable campaigns in Gallipoli, Crete,[110] El Alamein[111] and Cassino.[112] The Gallipoli campaign played an important part in fostering New Zealand's national identity[113][114] and strengthened the ANZAC tradition it shares with Australia.[115]

In addition to Vietnam and the two world wars, New Zealand fought in the Second Boer War,[116] the Korean War,[117] the Malayan Emergency,[118] the Gulf War and the Afghanistan War. It has contributed forces to several regional and global peacekeeping missions, such as those in Cyprus, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sinai, Angola, Cambodia, the Iran–Iraq border, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands.[119]

Local government and external territories

NZL orthographic NaturalEarth labelled en
Locations of the countries and territories within the Realm of New Zealand

The early European settlers divided New Zealand into provinces, which had a degree of autonomy.[120] Because of financial pressures and the desire to consolidate railways, education, land sales and other policies, government was centralised and the provinces were abolished in 1876.[121] The provinces are remembered in regional public holidays[122] and sporting rivalries.[123]

Since 1876, various councils have administered local areas under legislation determined by the central government.[120][124] In 1989, the government reorganised local government into the current two-tier structure of regional councils and territorial authorities.[125] The 249 municipalities[125] that existed in 1975 have now been consolidated into 67 territorial authorities and 11 regional councils.[126] The regional councils' role is to regulate "the natural environment with particular emphasis on resource management",[125] while territorial authorities are responsible for sewage, water, local roads, building consents and other local matters.[127][128] Five of the territorial councils are unitary authorities and also act as regional councils.[128] The territorial authorities consist of 13 city councils, 53 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council. While officially the Chatham Islands Council is not a unitary authority, it undertakes many functions of a regional council.[129]

The Realm of New Zealand, one of 16 Commonwealth realms,[130] is the entire area over which the Queen of New Zealand is sovereign, and comprises New Zealand, Tokelau, the Ross Dependency, the Cook Islands and Niue.[65] The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand.[131][132] The New Zealand Parliament cannot pass legislation for these countries, but with their consent can act on behalf of them in foreign affairs and defence. Tokelau is classified as a non-self-governing territory, but is administered by a council of three elders (one from each Tokelauan atoll).[133] The Ross Dependency is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica, where it operates the Scott Base research facility.[134] New Zealand nationality law treats all parts of the realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency are New Zealand citizens.[135][n 7]



New Zealand 23 October 2002
The snow-capped Southern Alps dominate the South Island, while the North Island's Northland Peninsula stretches towards the subtropics

New Zealand is located near the centre of the water hemisphere and is made up of two main islands and a number of smaller islands. The two main islands (the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu) are separated by Cook Strait, 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point.[137] Besides the North and South Islands, the five largest inhabited islands are Stewart Island (across the Foveaux Strait), Chatham Island, Great Barrier Island (in the Hauraki Gulf),[138] d'Urville Island (in the Marlborough Sounds)[139] and Waiheke Island (about 22 km (14 mi) from central Auckland).[140]

Mt Cook, NZ
Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest point of New Zealand, at 3,754 metres
New Zealand moutain ranges
The Southern Alps stretch for 500 kilometres down the South Island

New Zealand is long and narrow (over 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) along its north-north-east axis with a maximum width of 400 kilometres (250 mi)),[141] with about 15,000 km (9,300 mi) of coastline[142] and a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi).[143] Because of its far-flung outlying islands and long coastline, the country has extensive marine resources. Its exclusive economic zone is one of the largest in the world, covering more than 15 times its land area.[144]

The South Island is the largest landmass of New Zealand and is the 12th largest island in the world. It is divided along its length by the Southern Alps.[145] There are 18 peaks over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), the highest of which is Aoraki / Mount Cook at 3,754 metres (12,316 ft).[146] Fiordland's steep mountains and deep fiords record the extensive ice age glaciation of this southwestern corner of the South Island.[147] The North Island is the 14th largest island in the world and is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism.[148] The highly active Taupo Volcanic Zone has formed a large volcanic plateau, punctuated by the North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2,797 metres (9,177 ft)). The plateau also hosts the country's largest lake, Lake Taupo,[149] nestled in the caldera of one of the world's most active supervolcanoes.[150]

The country owes its varied topography, and perhaps even its emergence above the waves, to the dynamic boundary it straddles between the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates.[151] New Zealand is part of Zealandia, a microcontinent nearly half the size of Australia that gradually submerged after breaking away from the Gondwanan supercontinent.[152] About 25 million years ago, a shift in plate tectonic movements began to contort and crumple the region. This is now most evident in the Southern Alps, formed by compression of the crust beside the Alpine Fault. Elsewhere the plate boundary involves the subduction of one plate under the other, producing the Puysegur Trench to the south, the Hikurangi Trench east of the North Island, and the Kermadec and Tonga Trenches[153] further north.[151]

New Zealand is part of a region known as Australasia, together with Australia.[154] It also forms the southwestern extremity of the geographic and ethnographic region called Polynesia.[155] The term Oceania is often used to denote the wider region encompassing the Australian continent, New Zealand and various islands in the Pacific Ocean that are not included in the seven-continent model.[156]

NZ Landscape

Rural scene near Queenstown

Emerald Lakes, New Zealand

The Emerald Lakes, Mt Tongariro

Pencarrow Head, Wellington, New Zealand from Santa Regina, 24 Feb. 2007

Pencarrow Head, Wellington


New Zealand's climate is predominantly temperate maritime (Köppen: Cfb), with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north.[157] Historical maxima and minima are 42.4 °C (108.32 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and −25.6 °C (−14.08 °F) in Ranfurly, Otago.[158] Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to almost semi-arid in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland.[159] Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Wellington the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount.[160] Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average of more than 2,000 hours of sunshine. The southern and southwestern parts of the South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1,400–1,600 hours; the northern and northeastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive about 2,400–2,500 hours.[161] The general snow season is early June until early October, though cold snaps can occur outside this season.[162] Snowfall is common in the eastern and southern parts of the South Island and mountain areas across the country.[157]

Autumn in New Zealand

Autumn in Wellington

New Zealand snow

Central Plateau in winter

Scorching Bay

Scorching Bay beach in summer

The table below lists climate normals for the warmest and coldest months in New Zealand's six largest cities. North Island cities are generally warmest in February. South Island cities are warmest in January.


The endemic flightless kiwi is a national icon.

New Zealand's geographic isolation for 80 million years[164] and island biogeography has influenced evolution of the country's species of animals, fungi and plants. Physical isolation has caused biological isolation, resulting in a dynamic evolutionary ecology with examples of very distinctive plants and animals as well as populations of widespread species.[165][166] About 82% of New Zealand's indigenous vascular plants are endemic, covering 1,944 species across 65 genera.[167][168] The number of fungi recorded from New Zealand, including lichen-forming species, is not known, nor is the proportion of those fungi which are endemic, but one estimate suggests there are about 2,300 species of lichen-forming fungi in New Zealand[167] and 40% of these are endemic.[169] The two main types of forest are those dominated by broadleaf trees with emergent podocarps, or by southern beech in cooler climates.[170] The remaining vegetation types consist of grasslands, the majority of which are tussock.[171]

Before the arrival of humans, an estimated 80% of the land was covered in forest, with only high alpine, wet, infertile and volcanic areas without trees.[172] Massive deforestation occurred after humans arrived, with around half the forest cover lost to fire after Polynesian settlement.[173] Much of the remaining forest fell after European settlement, being logged or cleared to make room for pastoral farming, leaving forest occupying only 23% of the land.[174]

Giant Haasts eagle attacking New Zealand moa
The giant Haast's eagle died out when humans hunted its main prey, the moa, to extinction.

The forests were dominated by birds, and the lack of mammalian predators led to some like the kiwi, kakapo, weka and takahē evolving flightlessness.[175] The arrival of humans, associated changes to habitat, and the introduction of rats, ferrets and other mammals led to the extinction of many bird species, including large birds like the moa and Haast's eagle.[176][177]

Other indigenous animals are represented by reptiles (tuatara, skinks and geckos), frogs,[178] spiders,[179] insects (weta)[180] and snails.[181] Some, such as the tuatara, are so unique that they have been called living fossils.[182] Three species of bats (one since extinct) were the only sign of native land mammals in New Zealand until the 2006 discovery of bones from a unique, mouse-sized land mammal at least 16 million years old.[183][184] Marine mammals however are abundant, with almost half the world's cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and large numbers of fur seals reported in New Zealand waters.[185] Many seabirds breed in New Zealand, a third of them unique to the country.[186] More penguin species are found in New Zealand than in any other country.[187]

Since human arrival, almost half of the country's vertebrate species have become extinct, including at least fifty-one birds, three frogs, three lizards, one freshwater fish, and one bat. Others are endangered or have had their range severely reduced.[176] However, New Zealand conservationists have pioneered several methods to help threatened wildlife recover, including island sanctuaries, pest control, wildlife translocation, fostering, and ecological restoration of islands and other selected areas.[188][189][190][191]


Auckland Waterfrt
Waterfront along Auckland CBD, a major hub of economic activity

New Zealand has an advanced market economy,[192] ranked 16th in the 2018 Human Development Index[8] and third in the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom.[193] It is a high-income economy with a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$36,254.[6] The currency is the New Zealand dollar, informally known as the "Kiwi dollar"; it also circulates in the Cook Islands (see Cook Islands dollar), Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands.[194]

Historically, extractive industries have contributed strongly to New Zealand's economy, focussing at different times on sealing, whaling, flax, gold, kauri gum, and native timber.[195] The first shipment of refrigerated meat on the Dunedin in 1882 led to the establishment of meat and dairy exports to Britain, a trade which provided the basis for strong economic growth in New Zealand.[196] High demand for agricultural products from the United Kingdom and the United States helped New Zealanders achieve higher living standards than both Australia and Western Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.[197] In 1973, New Zealand's export market was reduced when the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community[198] and other compounding factors, such as the 1973 oil and 1979 energy crises, led to a severe economic depression.[199] Living standards in New Zealand fell behind those of Australia and Western Europe, and by 1982 New Zealand had the lowest per-capita income of all the developed nations surveyed by the World Bank.[200] In the mid-1980s New Zealand deregulated its agricultural sector by phasing out subsidies over a three-year period.[201][202] Since 1984, successive governments engaged in major macroeconomic restructuring (known first as Rogernomics and then Ruthanasia), rapidly transforming New Zealand from a protected and highly regulated economy to a liberalised free-trade economy.[203][204]

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand's most famous tourist destinations.[205]

Unemployment peaked above 10% in 1991 and 1992,[206] following the 1987 share market crash, but eventually fell to a record low (since 1986) of 3.7% in 2007 (ranking third from twenty-seven comparable OECD nations).[206] However, the global financial crisis that followed had a major impact on New Zealand, with the GDP shrinking for five consecutive quarters, the longest recession in over thirty years,[207][208] and unemployment rising back to 7% in late 2009.[209] Unemployment rates for different age groups follow similar trends, but are consistently higher among youth. In the December 2014 quarter, the general unemployment rate was around 5.8%, while the unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 21 was 15.6%.[206] New Zealand has experienced a series of "brain drains" since the 1970s[210] that still continue today.[211] Nearly one quarter of highly skilled workers live overseas, mostly in Australia and Britain, which is the largest proportion from any developed nation.[212] In recent decades, however, a "brain gain" has brought in educated professionals from Europe and less developed countries.[213][214] Today New Zealand's economy benefits from a high level of innovation.[215]


New Zealand is heavily dependent on international trade,[216] particularly in agricultural products.[217] Exports account for 24% of its output,[142] making New Zealand vulnerable to international commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. Food products made up 55% of the value of all the country's exports in 2014; wood was the second largest earner (7%).[218] New Zealand's main trading partners, as at June 2018, are China (NZ$27.8b), Australia ($26.2b), the European Union ($22.9b), the United States ($17.6b), and Japan ($8.4b).[219] On 7 April 2008, New Zealand and China signed the New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement China has signed with a developed country.[220] The service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and then farming and raw material extraction.[142] Tourism plays a significant role in the economy, contributing $12.9 billion (or 5.6%) to New Zealand's total GDP and supporting 7.5% of the total workforce in 2016.[221] International visitor arrivals are expected to increase at a rate of 5.4% annually up to 2022.[221]

Fauna de Nueva Zelanda07
Wool has historically been one of New Zealand's major exports.

Wool was New Zealand's major agricultural export during the late 19th century.[195] Even as late as the 1960s it made up over a third of all export revenues,[195] but since then its price has steadily dropped relative to other commodities[222] and wool is no longer profitable for many farmers.[223] In contrast dairy farming increased, with the number of dairy cows doubling between 1990 and 2007,[224] to become New Zealand's largest export earner.[225] In the year to June 2018, dairy products accounted for 17.7% ($14.1 billion) of total exports,[219] and the country's largest company, Fonterra, controls almost one-third of the international dairy trade.[226] Other exports in 2017-18 were meat (8.8%), wood and wood products (6.2%), fruit (3.6%), machinery (2.2%) and wine (2.1%).[219] New Zealand's wine industry has followed a similar trend to dairy, the number of vineyards doubling over the same period,[227] overtaking wool exports for the first time in 2007.[228][229]


Air New Zealand, Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZE 'All Blacks' NRT (27091961041)
A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner of Air New Zealand, the flag carrier of New Zealand

In 2015, renewable energy, primarily geothermal and hydroelectric power, generated 40.1% of New Zealand's gross energy supply.[230] Geothermal power alone accounted for 22% of New Zealand's energy in 2015.[230]

The provision of water supply and sanitation is generally of good quality. Regional authorities provide water abstraction, treatment and distribution infrastructure to most developed areas.[231][232]

New Zealand's transport network comprises 94,000 kilometres (58,410 mi) of roads, including 199 kilometres (124 mi) of motorways,[233] and 4,128 kilometres (2,565 mi) of railway lines.[142] Most major cities and towns are linked by bus services, although the private car is the predominant mode of transport.[234] The railways were privatised in 1993, but were re-nationalised by the government in stages between 2004 and 2008. The state-owned enterprise KiwiRail now operates the railways, with the exception of commuter services in Auckland and Wellington which are operated by Transdev[235] and Metlink,[236] respectively. Railways run the length of the country, although most lines now carry freight rather than passengers.[237] Most international visitors arrive via air[238] and New Zealand has six international airports, but currently only the Auckland and Christchurch airports connect directly with countries other than Australia or Fiji.[239]

The New Zealand Post Office had a monopoly over telecommunications until 1987 when Telecom New Zealand was formed, initially as a state-owned enterprise and then privatised in 1990.[240] Chorus, which was split from Telecom (now Spark) in 2011,[241] still owns the majority of the telecommunications infrastructure, but competition from other providers has increased.[240] A large-scale rollout of gigabit-capable fibre to the premises, branded as Ultra-Fast Broadband, began in 2009 with a target of being available to 87% of the population by 2022.[242] As of 2017, the United Nations International Telecommunication Union ranks New Zealand 13th in the development of information and communications infrastructure.[243]


The 2013 New Zealand census enumerated a resident population of 4,242,048, an increase of 5.3% over the 2006 figure.[244][n 8] As of April 2019, the total population has risen to an estimated 4,958,140.[5]

New Zealand is a predominantly urban country, with 73.0% of the population living in the seventeen main urban areas (i.e. population 30,000 or greater) and 55.1% living in the four largest cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton.[246] New Zealand cities generally rank highly on international livability measures. For instance, in 2016 Auckland was ranked the world's third most liveable city and Wellington the twelfth by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.[247]

Life expectancy for New Zealanders in 2012 was 84 years for females, and 80.2 years for males.[248] Life expectancy at birth is forecast to increase from 80 years to 85 years in 2050 and infant mortality is expected to decline.[249] New Zealand's fertility rate of 2.1 is relatively high for a developed country, and natural births account for a significant proportion of population growth. Consequently, the country has a young population compared to most industrialised nations, with 20% of New Zealanders being 14 years old or younger.[142] By 2050 the median age is projected to rise from 36 years to 43 years and the percentage of people 60 years of age and older to rise from 18% to 29%.[249] In 2008, the leading cause of premature death was cancer, at 29.8%, followed by ischaemic heart disease, 19.7%, and then cerebrovascular disease, 9.2%.[250] As of 2016, total expenditure on health care (including private sector spending) is 9.2% of GDP.[251]

Ethnicity and immigration

Queen Street Midtown Auckland
Pedestrians on Queen Street in Auckland, an ethnically diverse city

In the 2013 census, 74.0% of New Zealand residents identified ethnically as European, and 14.9% as Māori. Other major ethnic groups include Asian (11.8%) and Pacific peoples (7.4%), two-thirds of whom live in the Auckland Region.[3][n 3] The population has become more diverse in recent decades: in 1961, the census reported that the population of New Zealand was 92% European and 7% Māori, with Asian and Pacific minorities sharing the remaining 1%.[253]

While the demonym for a New Zealand citizen is New Zealander, the informal "Kiwi" is commonly used both internationally[254] and by locals.[255] The Māori loanword Pākehā has been used to refer to New Zealanders of European descent, although others reject this appellation.[256][257] The word Pākehā today is increasingly used to refer to all non-Polynesian New Zealanders.[258]

The Māori were the first people to reach New Zealand, followed by the early European settlers. Following colonisation, immigrants were predominantly from Britain, Ireland and Australia because of restrictive policies similar to the White Australia policy.[259] There was also significant Dutch, Dalmatian,[260] German, and Italian immigration, together with indirect European immigration through Australia, North America, South America and South Africa.[261][262] Net migration increased after the Second World War; in the 1970s and 1980s policies were relaxed and immigration from Asia was promoted.[262][263] In 2009–10, an annual target of 45,000–50,000 permanent residence approvals was set by the New Zealand Immigration Service—more than one new migrant for every 100 New Zealand residents.[264] Just over 25% of New Zealand's population was born overseas, with the majority (52%) living in the Auckland Region. The United Kingdom remains the largest source of New Zealand's overseas population, with a quarter of all overseas-born New Zealanders born there; other major sources of New Zealand's overseas-born population are China, India, Australia, South Africa, Fiji and Samoa.[265] The number of fee-paying international students increased sharply in the late 1990s, with more than 20,000 studying in public tertiary institutions in 2002.[266]


Speakers of Māori according to the 2013 census[267]
  Less than 5%
  More than 5%
  More than 10%
  More than 20%
  More than 30%
  More than 40%
  More than 50%

English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 96.1% of the population.[268] New Zealand English is similar to Australian English and many speakers from the Northern Hemisphere are unable to tell the accents apart.[269] The most prominent differences between the New Zealand English dialect and other English dialects are the shifts in the short front vowels: the short-"i" sound (as in "kit") has centralised towards the schwa sound (the "a" in "comma" and "about"); the short-"e" sound (as in "dress") has moved towards the short-"i" sound; and the short-"a" sound (as in "trap") has moved to the short-"e" sound.[270]

After the Second World War, Māori were discouraged from speaking their own language (te reo Māori) in schools and workplaces and it existed as a community language only in a few remote areas.[271] It has recently undergone a process of revitalisation,[272] being declared one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987,[273] and is spoken by 3.7% of the population.[268][n 9] There are now Māori language immersion schools and two television channels that broadcast predominantly in Māori.[275] Many places have both their Māori and English names officially recognised.[276]

As recorded in the 2013 census,[268] Samoan is the most widely spoken non-official language (2.2%),[n 10] followed by Hindi (1.7%), "Northern Chinese" (including Mandarin, 1.3%) and French (1.2%). 20,235 people (0.5%) reported the ability to use New Zealand Sign Language. It was declared one of New Zealand's official languages in 2006.[277]


Ratana Church Raetihi
A Rātana church on a hill near Raetihi. The two-tower construction is characteristic of Rātana buildings.

Christianity is the predominant religion in New Zealand, although its society is among the most secular in the world.[278][279] In the 2013 census, 55.0% of the population identified with one or more religions, including 49.0% identifying as Christians. Another 41.9% indicated that they had no religion.[n 11][280] The main Christian denominations are, by number of adherents, Roman Catholicism (12.6%), Anglicanism (11.8%), Presbyterianism (8.5%) and "Christian not further defined" (i.e. people identifying as Christian but not stating the denomination, 5.5%).[280] The Māori-based Ringatū and Rātana religions (1.4%) are also Christian in origin.[281][282] Immigration and demographic change in recent decades has contributed to the growth of minority religions,[283] such as Hinduism (2.1%), Buddhism (1.5%), Islam (1.2%) and Sikhism (0.5%).[281] The Auckland Region exhibited the greatest religious diversity.[281]


Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, with the majority attending from the age of 5.[284] There are 13 school years and attending state (public) schools is free to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents from a person's 5th birthday to the end of the calendar year following their 19th birthday.[285] New Zealand has an adult literacy rate of 99%,[142] and over half of the population aged 15 to 29 hold a tertiary qualification.[284] There are five types of government-owned tertiary institutions: universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, specialist colleges, and wānanga,[286] in addition to private training establishments.[287] In the adult population 14.2% have a bachelor's degree or higher, 30.4% have some form of secondary qualification as their highest qualification and 22.4% have no formal qualification.[288] The OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment ranks New Zealand's education system as the seventh best in the world, with students performing exceptionally well in reading, mathematics and science.[289]


Use the scrollbar to see the full image.
Late 20th-century house-post depicting the navigator Kupe fighting two sea creatures

Early Māori adapted the tropically based east Polynesian culture in line with the challenges associated with a larger and more diverse environment, eventually developing their own distinctive culture. Social organisation was largely communal with families (whānau), subtribes (hapū) and tribes (iwi) ruled by a chief (rangatira), whose position was subject to the community's approval.[290] The British and Irish immigrants brought aspects of their own culture to New Zealand and also influenced Māori culture,[291][292] particularly with the introduction of Christianity.[293] However, Māori still regard their allegiance to tribal groups as a vital part of their identity, and Māori kinship roles resemble those of other Polynesian peoples.[294] More recently American, Australian, Asian and other European cultures have exerted influence on New Zealand. Non-Māori Polynesian cultures are also apparent, with Pasifika, the world's largest Polynesian festival, now an annual event in Auckland.[295]

Men at their camp site displaying a catch of rabbits and fish, 1909 (4836053716)
European settlers developed an identity that was influenced by their rustic lifestyle.[296] In this scene from 1909, men at their camp site display a catch of rabbits and fish.

The largely rural life in early New Zealand led to the image of New Zealanders being rugged, industrious problem solvers.[296] Modesty was expected and enforced through the "tall poppy syndrome", where high achievers received harsh criticism.[297] At the time New Zealand was not known as an intellectual country.[298] From the early 20th century until the late 1960s, Māori culture was suppressed by the attempted assimilation of Māori into British New Zealanders.[271] In the 1960s, as tertiary education became more available and cities expanded[299] urban culture began to dominate.[300] However, rural imagery and themes are common in New Zealand's art, literature and media.[301]

New Zealand's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Māori sources. The silver fern is an emblem appearing on army insignia and sporting team uniforms.[302] Certain items of popular culture thought to be unique to New Zealand are called "Kiwiana".[302]


As part of the resurgence of Māori culture, the traditional crafts of carving and weaving are now more widely practised and Māori artists are increasing in number and influence.[303] Most Māori carvings feature human figures, generally with three fingers and either a natural-looking, detailed head or a grotesque head.[304] Surface patterns consisting of spirals, ridges, notches and fish scales decorate most carvings.[305] The pre-eminent Māori architecture consisted of carved meeting houses (wharenui) decorated with symbolic carvings and illustrations. These buildings were originally designed to be constantly rebuilt, changing and adapting to different whims or needs.[306]

Māori decorated the white wood of buildings, canoes and cenotaphs using red (a mixture of red ochre and shark fat) and black (made from soot) paint and painted pictures of birds, reptiles and other designs on cave walls.[307] Māori tattoos (moko) consisting of coloured soot mixed with gum were cut into the flesh with a bone chisel.[308] Since European arrival paintings and photographs have been dominated by landscapes, originally not as works of art but as factual portrayals of New Zealand.[309] Portraits of Māori were also common, with early painters often portraying them as "noble savages", exotic beauties or friendly natives.[309] The country's isolation delayed the influence of European artistic trends allowing local artists to develop their own distinctive style of regionalism.[310] During the 1960s and 1970s many artists combined traditional Māori and Western techniques, creating unique art forms.[311] New Zealand art and craft has gradually achieved an international audience, with exhibitions in the Venice Biennale in 2001 and the "Paradise Now" exhibition in New York in 2004.[303][312]

Portrait of Hinepare of Ngāti Kahungunu by Gottfried Lindauer, showing chin moko, pounamu hei-tiki and woven cloak

Māori cloaks are made of fine flax fibre and patterned with black, red and white triangles, diamonds and other geometric shapes.[313] Greenstone was fashioned into earrings and necklaces, with the most well-known design being the hei-tiki, a distorted human figure sitting cross-legged with its head tilted to the side.[314] Europeans brought English fashion etiquette to New Zealand, and until the 1950s most people dressed up for social occasions.[315] Standards have since relaxed and New Zealand fashion has received a reputation for being casual, practical and lacklustre.[316][317] However, the local fashion industry has grown significantly since 2000, doubling exports and increasing from a handful to about 50 established labels, with some labels gaining international recognition.[317]


Māori quickly adopted writing as a means of sharing ideas, and many of their oral stories and poems were converted to the written form.[318] Most early English literature was obtained from Britain and it was not until the 1950s when local publishing outlets increased that New Zealand literature started to become widely known.[319] Although still largely influenced by global trends (modernism) and events (the Great Depression), writers in the 1930s began to develop stories increasingly focused on their experiences in New Zealand. During this period literature changed from a journalistic activity to a more academic pursuit.[320] Participation in the world wars gave some New Zealand writers a new perspective on New Zealand culture and with the post-war expansion of universities local literature flourished.[321] Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature.[322]

Media and entertainment

New Zealand music has been influenced by blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and hip hop, with many of these genres given a unique New Zealand interpretation.[323] Māori developed traditional chants and songs from their ancient Southeast Asian origins, and after centuries of isolation created a unique "monotonous" and "doleful" sound.[324] Flutes and trumpets were used as musical instruments[325] or as signalling devices during war or special occasions.[326] Early settlers brought over their ethnic music, with brass bands and choral music being popular, and musicians began touring New Zealand in the 1860s.[327][328] Pipe bands became widespread during the early 20th century.[329] The New Zealand recording industry began to develop from 1940 onwards and many New Zealand musicians have obtained success in Britain and the United States.[323] Some artists release Māori language songs and the Māori tradition-based art of kapa haka (song and dance) has made a resurgence.[330] The New Zealand Music Awards are held annually by Recorded Music NZ; the awards were first held in 1965 by Reckitt & Colman as the Loxene Golden Disc awards.[331] Recorded Music NZ also publishes the country's official weekly record charts.[332]

Hobbit holes reflected in water
The Hobbiton Movie Set, located near Matamata, was used for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.[333]

Public radio was introduced in New Zealand in 1922.[334] A state-owned television service began in 1960.[335] Deregulation in the 1980s saw a sudden increase in the numbers of radio and television stations.[336] New Zealand television primarily broadcasts American and British programming, along with a large number of Australian and local shows.[337] The number of New Zealand films significantly increased during the 1970s. In 1978 the New Zealand Film Commission started assisting local film-makers and many films attained a world audience, some receiving international acknowledgement.[336] The highest-grossing New Zealand films are Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Boy, The World's Fastest Indian, Once Were Warriors and Whale Rider.[338] The country's diverse scenery and compact size, plus government incentives,[339] have encouraged some producers to shoot big-budget productions in New Zealand, including Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and The Last Samurai.[340] The New Zealand media industry is dominated by a small number of companies, most of which are foreign-owned, although the state retains ownership of some television and radio stations.[341] Since 1994, Freedom House has consistently ranked New Zealand's press freedom in the top twenty, with the 19th freest media in 2015.[342]


Haka 2006
A haka performed by the national rugby union team before a game. The haka is a challenge with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet.

Most of the major sporting codes played in New Zealand have British origins.[343] Rugby union is considered the national sport[344] and attracts the most spectators.[345] Golf, netball, tennis and cricket have the highest rates of adult participation, while netball, rugby union and football (soccer) are particularly popular among young people.[345][346] Around 54% of New Zealand adolescents participate in sports for their school.[346] Victorious rugby tours to Australia and the United Kingdom in the late 1880s and the early 1900s played an early role in instilling a national identity.[347] Horseracing was also a popular spectator sport and became part of the "Rugby, Racing and Beer" culture during the 1960s.[348] Māori participation in European sports was particularly evident in rugby and the country's team performs a haka, a traditional Māori challenge, before international matches.[349] New Zealand is known for its extreme sports, adventure tourism[350] and strong mountaineering tradition, as seen in the success of notable New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary.[351][352] Other outdoor pursuits such as cycling, fishing, swimming, running, tramping, canoeing, hunting, snowsports, surfing and sailing are also popular.[353] The Polynesian sport of waka ama racing has experienced a resurgence of interest in New Zealand since the 1980s.[354]

New Zealand has competitive international teams in rugby union, rugby league, netball, cricket, softball, and sailing. New Zealand participated at the Summer Olympics in 1908 and 1912 as a joint team with Australia, before first participating on its own in 1920.[355] The country has ranked highly on a medals-to-population ratio at recent Games.[356][357] The "All Blacks", the national rugby union team, are the most successful in the history of international rugby[358] and the reigning World Cup champions.[359]


Hangi ingredients
Ingredients to be prepared for a hāngi

The national cuisine has been described as Pacific Rim, incorporating the native Māori cuisine and diverse culinary traditions introduced by settlers and immigrants from Europe, Polynesia and Asia.[360] New Zealand yields produce from land and sea—most crops and livestock, such as maize, potatoes and pigs, were gradually introduced by the early European settlers.[361] Distinctive ingredients or dishes include lamb, salmon, kōura (crayfish),[362] dredge oysters, whitebait, pāua (abalone), mussels, scallops, pipis and tuatua (both are types of New Zealand shellfish),[363] kūmara (sweet potato), kiwifruit, tamarillo and pavlova (considered a national dish).[364][360] A hāngi is a traditional Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven. After European colonisation, Māori began cooking with pots and ovens and the hāngi was used less frequently, although it is still used for formal occasions such as tangihanga.[365]

See also


  1. ^ "God Save the Queen" is officially a national anthem but is generally used only on regal and viceregal occasions.[1]
  2. ^ English is a de facto official language due to its widespread use.[2]
  3. ^ a b Ethnicity figures add to more than 100% as people could choose more than one ethnic group.
  4. ^ The proportion of New Zealand's area (excluding estuaries) covered by rivers, lakes and ponds, based on figures from the New Zealand Land Cover Database,[4] is (357526 + 81936) / (26821559 – 92499–26033 – 19216) = 1.6%. If estuarine open water, mangroves, and herbaceous saline vegetation are included, the figure is 2.2%.
  5. ^ The Chatham Islands have a separate time zone, 45 minutes ahead of the rest of New Zealand.
  6. ^ Clocks are advanced by an hour from the last Sunday in September until the first Sunday in April.[9] Daylight saving time is also observed in the Chatham Islands, an additional 45 minutes ahead.
  7. ^ A person born on or after 1 January 2006 acquires New Zealand citizenship at birth only if at least one parent is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. People born on or before 31 December 2005 acquired citizenship at birth (jus soli).[136]
  8. ^ The population is increasing at a rate of 1.4–2.0% per year and is projected to rise to 5.01–5.51 million in 2025.[245]
  9. ^ In 2015, 55% of Māori adults (aged 15 years and over) reported knowledge of te reo Māori. Of these speakers, 64% use Māori at home and 50,000 can speak the language "very well" or "well".[274]
  10. ^ Of the 86,403 people that replied they spoke Samoan, 51,336 lived in the Auckland Region.
  11. ^ Religion percentages may not add to 100% as people could claim multiple religions or object to answering the question.


  1. ^ "Protocol for using New Zealand's National Anthems". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
  2. ^ New Zealand Government (21 December 2007). International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Fifth Periodic Report of the Government of New Zealand (PDF) (Report). p. 89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015. In addition to the Māori language, New Zealand Sign Language is also an official language of New Zealand. The New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 permits the use of NZSL in legal proceedings, facilitates competency standards for its interpretation and guides government departments in its promotion and use. English, the medium for teaching and learning in most schools, is a de facto official language by virtue of its widespread use. For these reasons, these three languages have special mention in the New Zealand Curriculum.
  3. ^ a b "2013 Census QuickStats about culture and identity – Ethnic groups in New Zealand". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  4. ^ "The New Zealand Land Cover Database". New Zealand Land Cover Database 2. Ministry for the Environment. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Population clock". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 14 April 2016. The population estimate shown is automatically calculated daily at 00:00 UTC and is based on data obtained from the population clock on the date shown in the citation.
  6. ^ a b c d e "New Zealand". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Income inequality". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Human Development Report 2018" (PDF). HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. p. 22. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  9. ^ "New Zealand Daylight Time Order 2007 (SR 2007/185)". New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  10. ^ There is no official all-numeric date format for New Zealand, but government recommendations generally follow Australian date and time notation. See "The style guide". New Zealand Government. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  11. ^ Tasman, Abel. "JOURNAL or DESCRIPTION By me Abel Jansz Tasman, Of a Voyage from Batavia for making Discoveries of the Unknown South Land in the year 1642". Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
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  13. ^ John Bathgate. "The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout:Volume 44. Chapter 1, Discovery and Settlement". NZETC. Retrieved 17 August 2018. He named the country Staaten Land, in honour of the States-General of Holland, in the belief that it was part of the great southern continent.
  14. ^ Wilson, John (September 2007). "Tasman's achievement". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  15. ^ Mackay, Duncan (1986). "The Search For The Southern Land". In Fraser, B (ed.). The New Zealand Book Of Events. Auckland: Reed Methuen. pp. 52–54.
  16. ^ a b McKinnon, Malcolm (November 2009). "Place names – Naming the country and the main islands". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  17. ^ King 2003, p. 41.
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  19. ^ a b Mein Smith 2005, p. 6.
  20. ^ Brunner, Thomas (1851). The Great Journey: an expedition to explore the interior of the Middle Island, New Zealand, 1846-8. Royal Geographical Society.
  21. ^ a b Williamson, Maurice (10 October 2013). "Names of NZ's two main islands formalised" (Press release). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  22. ^ Wilmshurst, J. M.; Hunt, T. L.; Lipo, C. P.; Anderson, A. J. (2010). "High-precision radiocarbon dating shows recent and rapid initial human colonization of East Polynesia". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (5): 1815. Bibcode:2011PNAS..108.1815W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1015876108. PMC 3033267. PMID 21187404.
  23. ^ McGlone, M.; Wilmshurst, J. M. (1999). "Dating initial Maori environmental impact in New Zealand". Quaternary International. 59: 5–16. Bibcode:1999QuInt..59....5M. doi:10.1016/S1040-6182(98)00067-6.
  24. ^ Murray-McIntosh, Rosalind P.; Scrimshaw, Brian J.; Hatfield, Peter J.; Penny, David (1998). "Testing migration patterns and estimating founding population size in Polynesia by using human mtDNA sequences". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 95 (15): 9047–52. Bibcode:1998PNAS...95.9047M. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.15.9047. PMC 21200.
  25. ^ Wilmshurst, J. M.; Anderson, A. J.; Higham, T. F. G.; Worthy, T. H. (2008). "Dating the late prehistoric dispersal of Polynesians to New Zealand using the commensal Pacific rat". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (22): 7676. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.7676W. doi:10.1073/pnas.0801507105. PMC 2409139. PMID 18523023.
  26. ^ Moodley, Y.; Linz, B.; Yamaoka, Y.; Windsor, H.M.; Breurec, S.; Wu, J.-Y.; Maady, A.; Bernhöft, S.; Thiberge, J.-M.; et al. (2009). "The Peopling of the Pacific from a Bacterial Perspective". Science. 323 (5913): 527–530. Bibcode:2009Sci...323..527M. doi:10.1126/science.1166083. PMC 2827536. PMID 19164753.
  27. ^ Ballara, Angela (1998). Iwi: The Dynamics of Māori Tribal Organisation from C.1769 to C.1945 (1st ed.). Wellington: Victoria University Press. ISBN 9780864733283.
  28. ^ Clark, Ross (1994). "Moriori and Māori: The Linguistic Evidence". In Sutton, Douglas (ed.). The Origins of the First New Zealanders. Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 123–135.
  29. ^ Davis, Denise (September 2007). "The impact of new arrivals". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
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  • Alley, Roderic (2008). New Zealand in World Affairs IV 1990–2005. New Zealand: Victoria University Press. ISBN 978-0-864-73548-5.
  • Bain, Carolyn (2006). New Zealand. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74104-535-5.
  • Garden, Donald (2005). Stoll, Mark (ed.). Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific: An Environmental History. Nature and Human Societies. ABC-CLIO/Greenwood. ISBN 978-1-57607-868-6.
  • Hay, Jennifer; Maclagan, Margaret; Gordon, Elizabeth (2008). Dialects of English: New Zealand English. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-2529-1.
  • Kennedy, Jeffrey (2007). "Leadership and Culture in New Zealand". In Chhokar, Jagdeep; Brodbeck, Felix; House, Robert (eds.). Culture and Leadership Across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies. United States: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-8058-5997-3.
  • King, Michael (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. New Zealand: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-301867-4.
  • Mein Smith, Philippa (2005). A Concise History of New Zealand. Australia: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-54228-6.
  • Smelt, Roselynn; Jui Lin, Yong (2009). New Zealand. Cultures of the World (2nd ed.). New York: Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0-7614-3415-3.

Further reading

  • Bateman, David, ed. (2005). Bateman New Zealand Encyclopedia (6th ed.). ISBN 1-86953-601-0.
  • Sinclair, Keith; revised by Dalziel, Raewyn (2000). A History of New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-14-029875-8.
  • Statistics New Zealand. New Zealand Official Yearbook (annual). ISBN 1-86953-776-9 (2010).

External links

General Information
2015 Cricket World Cup

The 2015 Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Cricket World Cup 2015) was the 11th Cricket World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015. Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets to win their fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. Fourteen teams played 49 matches in 14 venues, with Australia staging 26 games at grounds in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney while New Zealand hosted 23 games in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.The hosting rights were awarded at the same time as those of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand had originally bid to host, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which was awarded to England. The 2011 tournament was awarded to the four Asian Test cricket playing countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (Pakistan later lost the co-hosting rights due to a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team). The International Cricket Council were sufficiently impressed with the trans-Tasman bid that it was decided to award the next World Cup to Australia and New Zealand. This was the second time the tournament was held in Australia and New Zealand, with the first being the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

India were the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2011. Tickets for the Pool B match between India and Pakistan, played on 15 February 2015, reportedly sold out within 12 minutes of going on sale.The final match of the tournament took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between co-hosts New Zealand and Australia in front of a record crowd of 93,013 while the average attendance throughout the tournament was 21,175 resulting from the cumulative tournament attendance of 1,016,420 and a washed out game between Australia and Bangladesh in Brisbane for which no attendance-figures were available.The 2015 Cricket World Cup is estimated to have been watched by over 1.5 billion people. The most widely watched match during the tournament was India vs. Pakistan, which is estimated to have drawn over 1 billion viewers.

Anna Paquin

Anna Hélène Paquin ( PAK-win; born 24 July 1982) is a New Zealand-Canadian actress. She was born in Manitoba and brought up in Wellington, New Zealand, before moving to Los Angeles during her youth. She completed a year at Columbia University, before leaving to focus on her acting career. As a child, she played the role of Flora McGrath in Jane Campion's romantic drama film The Piano (1993), despite having had little acting experience. For her performance, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 11, making her the second-youngest winner in Oscar history.Paquin was a successful child actress, receiving multiple Young Artist Award nominations for her roles in Fly Away Home (1996), The Member of the Wedding (1997), and A Walk on the Moon (1999), and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for appearing in Cameron Crowe's comedy-drama film Almost Famous (2000). She played mutant superheroine Rogue in multiple films of the X-Men franchise and was nominated for a Saturn Award for her performance in the first installment.

Paquin played the lead role of Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO vampire drama television series True Blood (2008–2014). For her performance in the series, Paquin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama in 2009, and was nominated for an additional Golden Globe Award in 2010, as well as three Saturn Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2010. Among other accolades, Paquin has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on the 2007 television film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and a Golden Globe Award for her work on the 2009 television film The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day () is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).


Auckland ( AWK-lənd) is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900 (June 2018). It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki ([ˈtaːmaki]) or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.The Auckland urban area (as defined by Statistics New Zealand) ranges to Waiwera in the north, Kumeu in the north-west, and Runciman in the south. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water.

The isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. After a British colony was established in 1840, William Hobson, then Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, chose the area as his new capital. He named the area for George Eden, Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty. It was replaced as the capital in 1865 by Wellington, but immigration to Auckland stayed strong, and it has remained the country's most populous city. Today, Auckland's central business district is the major financial centre of New Zealand.

Auckland is classified as a Beta + World City because of its importance in commerce, the arts, and education. The University of Auckland, established in 1883, is the largest university in New Zealand. Landmarks such as the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower, and many museums, parks, restaurants, and theatres are among the city's significant tourist attractions. Auckland Airport handles around one million international passengers a month. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Auckland is ranked third on the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, making it one of the most liveable cities.


Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands (see the section Derivations). It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiographically, and ecologically where the term covers several slightly different but related regions.


Christchurch (; Māori: Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

Archaeological evidence has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by humans in about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. The Canterbury Association, which settled the Canterbury Plains, named the city after Christ Church, Oxford. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square; during the 19th century there were few barriers to the rapid growth of the urban area, except for the Pacific to the east and the Port Hills to the south.

Agriculture is the historic mainstay of Christchurch's economy. The early presence of the University of Canterbury and the heritage of the city's academic institutions in association with local businesses has fostered a number of technology-based industries.

Christchurch is one of five 'gateway cities' for Antarctic exploration, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations. The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and early 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. By late 2013, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project.

Christchurch mosque shootings

The Christchurch mosque shootings were two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019. The attacks began at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm. The gunman live-streamed the first attack on Facebook Live.The attacks killed 50 people and injured 50 others. A 28-year-old Australian man, described in media reports as a white supremacist and part of the alt-right, was arrested and charged with murder. The attacks have been linked to an increase in white supremacism and alt-right extremism globally observed since the mid-2010s. Politicians and world leaders condemned the attacks, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days." The government has established a royal commission of inquiry into its security agencies in the wake of the attacks, which are the deadliest mass shootings in modern New Zealand history.

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands (Cook Islands Māori: Kūki 'Āirani) is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi). The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.New Zealand is responsible for the Cook Islands' defence and foreign affairs, but they are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to other New Zealand citizens. The Cook Islands has been an active member of the Pacific Community since 1980.

The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga (10,572 in 2011), where there is an international airport. There is a larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand itself; in the 2013 census, 61,839 people said they were Cook Islanders, or of Cook Islands descent.With about 100,000 visitors travelling to the islands in the 2010–11 financial year, tourism is the country's main industry, and the leading element of the economy, ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports.

In March 2019 it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its 'Polynesian nature'".

Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. From 1985 to 1988 he served as New Zealand's High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh and concurrently as Ambassador to Nepal.

Hillary became interested in mountaineering while in secondary school. He made his first major climb in 1939, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a navigator during World War II. Prior to the Everest expedition, Hillary had been part of the British reconnaissance expedition to the mountain in 1951 as well as an unsuccessful attempt to climb Cho Oyu in 1952. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest.

Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted himself to assisting the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he established. His efforts are credited with the construction of many schools and hospitals in Nepal. Hillary had numerous honours conferred upon him, including the Order of the Garter in 1995. Upon his death in 2008, he was given a state funeral in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern (; born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician serving as the 40th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand since 26 October 2017. She has also served as the Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017. Ardern has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mount Albert electorate since 8 March 2017; she was first elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP at the 2008 general election.After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ardern began her career working as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark. She later worked in the United Kingdom as a policy advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2008, she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.Ardern became a list MP in 2008, a position she held for almost ten years until her election to the Mount Albert electorate in the 2017 by-election, held on 25 February. She was unanimously elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on 1 March 2017, following the resignation of Annette King. Ardern became Leader of the Labour Party on 1 August 2017, after Andrew Little resigned from the position following a historically low poll result for the party. She is credited with increasing her party's rating in opinion polls. In the general election of 23 September 2017, the Labour Party won 46 seats (a net gain of 14), putting it behind the National Party, which won 56 seats. After negotiations with National and Labour, the New Zealand First party chose to enter into a minority coalition government with Labour, supported by the Greens, with Ardern as Prime Minister.Ardern describes herself as a social democrat and a progressive. She is the world's youngest female head of government, having taken office at age 37. Ardern became the world's second elected head of government to give birth while in office when her daughter was born on 21 June 2018.


Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), known professionally as Lorde (pronounced "lord"), is a New Zealand singer, songwriter and record producer. Taking inspiration from aristocracy for her stage name, she is known for employing unconventional musical styles and thoughtful songwriting. Born in the Auckland suburb of Takapuna and raised in neighbouring Devonport, Lorde expressed interest in performing at local venues in her early teens. She signed with Universal Music Group in 2009 and collaborated with producer Joel Little in 2011 to start recording material.

Universal Music commercially released the pair's first collaborative effort, an extended play (EP) titled The Love Club, in 2013. The EP's international chart-topping single "Royals" helped Lorde rise to prominence. Her debut studio album Pure Heroine followed that year and achieved critical and commercial success. The following year, Lorde curated the soundtrack for the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and recorded several tracks, including the single "Yellow Flicker Beat". Her second studio album Melodrama (2017) garnered widespread acclaim and debuted at number one in the United States.

Lorde's music is primarily electropop and contains elements of subgenres such as dream pop and indie-electro. Her accolades include two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards and a Golden Globe nomination. She appeared in Time's list of the most influential teenagers in 2013 and 2014, and the 2014 edition of Forbes 30 Under 30. In addition to her solo work, she has co-written songs for other artists, including Broods and Bleachers. As of June 2017, Lorde has sold over five million albums worldwide.

Māori people

The Māori (; Māori pronunciation: [ˈmaːɔɾi] (listen)) are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.The arrival of Europeans to New Zealand, starting in the 17th century, brought enormous changes to the Māori way of life. Māori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony. Rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s. Social upheaval, decades of conflict and epidemics of introduced disease took a devastating toll on the Māori population, which fell dramatically. By the start of the 20th century, the Māori population had begun to recover, and efforts have been made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society and achieve social justice. Traditional Māori culture has thereby enjoyed a significant revival, which was further bolstered by a Māori protest movement that emerged in the 1960s.

In the 2013 census, there were approximately 600,000 people in New Zealand identifying as Māori, making up roughly 15 percent of the national population. They are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders ("Pākehā"). In addition, more than 140,000 Māori live in Australia. The Māori language is spoken to some extent by about a fifth of all Māori, representing 3 per cent of the total population. Māori are active in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, with independent representation in areas such as media, politics and sport.

Disproportionate numbers of Māori face significant economic and social obstacles, and generally have lower life expectancies and incomes compared with other New Zealand ethnic groups. They suffer higher levels of crime, health problems, and educational under-achievement. A number of socioeconomic initiatives have been instigated with the aim of "closing the gap" between Māori and other New Zealanders. Political and economic redress for historical grievances is also ongoing (see Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements).

New Zealand national cricket team

The New Zealand national cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, played their first Test in 1930 against England in Christchurch, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. From 1930 New Zealand had to wait until 1956, more than 26 years, for its first Test victory, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland. They played their first ODI in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch.

The current Test, One-day and Twenty20 captain is Kane Williamson, who replaced Brendon McCullum who announced his retirement in late December 2015. The national team is organised by New Zealand Cricket.

The New Zealand cricket team became known as the Black Caps in January 1998, after its sponsor at the time, Clear Communications, held a competition to choose a name for the team. Official New Zealand Cricket sources typeset the nickname as BLACKCAPS. This is one of many national team nicknames related to the All Blacks.

As of 12 March 2019, New Zealand have played 1309 Internationals, winning 496, losing 594, tying 11 and drawing 165 matches while 43 matches ended yielding no result.

The team is ranked 2nd in Tests, 3rd in ODIs and 6th in T20Is by the ICC. New Zealand defeated South Africa in the semi final of Cricket World Cup 2015 which was their first win in the a world cup semi final and hence they made their maiden appearance in a World Cup Final.

New Zealand national rugby union team

The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is known as the country's national sport. The team has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015 as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987.

They have a 77% winning record in test match rugby, and are the only international men’s side with a winning record against every opponent. Since their international debut in 1903, they have lost to only six of the 19 nations they have played in test matches. Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined. The All Blacks jointly hold the record for the most consecutive test match wins for a tier one ranked nation, along with England.

New Zealand competes with Argentina, Australia and South Africa in The Rugby Championship. The All Blacks have won the trophy sixteen times in the competition's twenty-three-year history. New Zealand have completed a Grand Slam tour four times – 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010. The All Blacks have been named the World Rugby Team of the Year ten times since the award was created in 2001, and an All Black has won the World Rugby Player of the Year award ten times over the same period. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

The team's first match was in 1884, and their first international test match was in 1903 against Australia in Sydney. The following year, they hosted their first ever home test, a match against a British Isles side in Wellington. This was followed by a 34-game (including 5 tests) tour of Europe and North America in 1905, where the team suffered only one defeat – their first ever test loss, against Wales.

New Zealand's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By the 1905 tour, they were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and the name All Blacks dates from this time. The team perform a haka, a Māori challenge or posture dance, before each match. The haka has traditionally been Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate, although since 2005 Kapa o Pango has also been performed.


Oceania (UK: , US: (listen), ) is a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Definitions of Oceania vary; however, the islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are generally considered to be the Bonin Islands, a politically integral part of Japan; Hawaii, a state of the United States; Clipperton Island, a possession of France; the Juan Fernández Islands, belonging to Chile; and Macquarie Island, belonging to Australia. (The United Nations has its own geopolitical definition of Oceania, but this consists of discrete political entities, and so excludes the Bonin Islands, Hawaii, Clipperton Island, and the Juan Fernández Islands, along with Easter Island.) Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies that belong to countries such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, with Sydney being the largest city of both Oceania and Australia.The first settlers of Australia, New Guinea, and the large islands just to the east arrived more than 60,000 years ago. Oceania was first explored by Europeans from the 16th century onward. Portuguese navigators, between 1512 and 1526, reached the Tanimbar Islands, some of the Caroline Islands and west Papua New Guinea. On his first voyage in the 18th century, James Cook, who later arrived at the highly developed Hawaiian Islands, went to Tahiti and followed the east coast of Australia for the first time. The Pacific front saw major action during the Second World War, mainly between Allied powers the United States and Australia, and Axis power Japan.

The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. In more contemporary times there has been increasing discussion on national flags and a desire by some Oceanians to display their distinguishable and

individualistic identity. The rock art of Australian Aborigines is the longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world. Puncak Jaya in Papua is often considered the highest peak in Oceania. Most Oceanian countries have a parliamentary representative democratic multi-party system, with tourism being a large source of income for the Pacific Islands nations.

Peter Jackson

Sir Peter Robert Jackson (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He is best known as the director, writer, and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. Other films include the critically lauded drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), the mockumentary film Forgotten Silver (1995), the horror comedy The Frighteners (1996), the epic monster remake film King Kong (2005), the supernatural drama film The Lovely Bones (2009), and the World War I documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). He produced District 9 (2009), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011), West of Memphis (2012), and Mortal Engines (2018).

Jackson began his career with the "splatstick" horror comedy Bad Taste (1987) and the black comedy Meet the Feebles (1989) before filming the zombie comedy Braindead (1992). He shared a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with his partner Fran Walsh for Heavenly Creatures, which brought him to mainstream prominence in the film industry. Jackson has been awarded three Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), including the award for Best Director. His other awards include a Golden Globe, four Saturn Awards and three BAFTAs amongst others.

His production company is WingNut Films, and his most regular collaborators are co-writers and producers Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Jackson was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. He was later knighted (as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) by Anand Satyanand, the Governor-General of New Zealand, at a ceremony in Wellington in April 2010. In December 2014, Jackson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Russell Crowe

Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is an actor, producer and musician. Although a New Zealand citizen, he has lived most of his life in Australia. He came to international attention for his role as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which Crowe won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and 10 further nominations for best actor.

Crowe appeared as the tobacco firm whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in the 1999 film The Insider, for which he received five awards as best actor and seven nominations in the same category. In 2001, Crowe's portrayal of mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John F. Nash in the biopic A Beautiful Mind brought him numerous awards, including a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Crowe's other films include Romper Stomper (1992), L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Cinderella Man (2005), American Gangster (2007), State of Play (2009), Robin Hood (2010), Les Misérables (2012), Man of Steel (2013) and Noah (2014). In 2015, Crowe made his directorial debut with The Water Diviner, in which he also starred. Crowe's work has earned him several accolades during his career and including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three consecutive Academy Award nominations (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA, and an Academy Award. Crowe has also been the co-owner of the National Rugby League (NRL) team South Sydney Rabbitohs since 2006.

Sam Neill

Nigel John Dermot Neill (born 14 September 1947), known professionally as Sam Neill, is a New Zealand actor, writer, producer, director, and vineyard owner. Born in Omagh, Northern Ireland, he moved to Christchurch with his family in 1954. Neill first achieved recognition with his appearance in the 1977 film Sleeping Dogs, which he followed with leading roles in My Brilliant Career (1979), Omen III: The Final Conflict, Possession (both 1981), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Dead Calm (1989), and The Piano (1993). He came to international prominence with his portrayal of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (1993), reprising the role in 2001's Jurassic Park III.

Outside of film, Neill has appeared in numerous television series, such as Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983), Merlin (1998), The Tudors (2007), Crusoe (2008–10), Happy Town (2010), Alcatraz (2012), and Peaky Blinders (2013–14). He has also presented and narrated several documentaries.

Neill is the recipient of a New Zealand Film Award and a Logie Award, as well as three Golden Globe and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. He lives in Queenstown and has three children and one stepchild.


Wellington (Māori: Te Whanganui-a-Tara [tɛ ˈfaŋanʉi a taɾa]) is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.The Wellington urban area comprises four local authorities: Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district and about half the population; Porirua on Porirua Harbour to the north is notable for its large Māori and Pacific Island communities; Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt are largely suburban areas to the northeast, together known as the Hutt Valley.

As the nation's capital since 1865, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, Supreme Court and most of the public service are based in the city. Architectural sights include the Government Building—one of the largest wooden buildings in the world—as well as the iconic Beehive. Wellington is also home to several of the largest and oldest cultural institutions in the nation such the National Archives, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and numerous theatres. It plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet. One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world.Wellington's economy is primarily service-based, with an emphasis on finance, business services, and government. It is the centre of New Zealand's film and special effects industries, and increasingly a hub for information technology and innovation, with two public research universities. Wellington is one of New Zealand's chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping. The city is served by Wellington International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country. Wellington's transport network includes train and bus lines which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, and ferries connect the city to the South Island.

Administrative divisions of the Realm of New Zealand
Countries  New Zealand      Cook Islands  Niue
Regions 11 non-unitary regions 5 unitary regions Chatham Islands   Outlying islands outside any regional authority
(the Kermadec Islands, Three Kings Islands, and Subantarctic Islands)
Ross Dependency  Tokelau 15 islands 14 villages
Territorial authorities 13 cities and 53 districts
Notes Some districts lie in more than one region These combine the regional and the territorial authority levels in one Special territorial authority The outlying Solander Islands form part of the Southland Region New Zealand's Antarctic territory Non-self-governing territory of New Zealand States in free association with New Zealand
Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the six largest cities of New Zealand[163]
Location Jan/Feb (°C) Jan/Feb (°F) July (°C) July (°F)
Auckland 23/16 74/60 14/7 58/45
Wellington 20/13 68/56 11/6 52/42
Christchurch 22/12 72/53 10/0 51/33
Hamilton 24/13 75/56 14/4 57/39
Tauranga 24/15 75/59 14/6 58/42
Dunedin 19/11 66/53 10/3 50/37
New Zealand articles
Articles relating to New Zealand

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