The Realm of New Zealand is the entire area (or realm) in which the Queen of New Zealand is head of state. The Realm of New Zealand is not a federation; it is a collection of states and territories united under its monarch. New Zealand is an independent and sovereign state. It has one Antarctic territorial claim, the Ross Dependency; one dependent territory, Tokelau; and two associated states, the Cook Islands and Niue.
The Ross Dependency has no permanent inhabitants, while Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue have native populations. Tokelau is formally classified as a non-self-governing territory; the Cook Islands and Niue are internally self-governing, with New Zealand retaining responsibility for defence and most foreign affairs. The Governor-General of New Zealand represents the Queen throughout the Realm of New Zealand, though the Cook Islands have an additional Queen's Representative.
The Queen of New Zealand, represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand, is head of state throughout the Realm of New Zealand. The exact scope of the realm is defined by the 1983 Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General. It constitutes one of 16 realms within the Commonwealth.
The Cook Islands and Niue became New Zealand's first Pacific colonies in 1901 and then protectorates. From 1965 the Cook Islands were self-governing; so was Niue from 1974. Tokelau came under New Zealand control in 1925 and remains a non-self-governing territory.
The Ross Dependency comprises that sector of the Antarctic continent between 160° east and 150 west longitude, together with the islands lying between those degrees of longitude and south of latitude 60. The British (imperial) government took possession of this territory in 1923 and entrusted it to the administration of New Zealand. Neither Russia nor the United States recognises this claim, and the matter is left unresolved (along with all other Antarctic claims) by the Antarctic Treaty, which serves to mostly smooth over these differences. It is largely uninhabited, apart from scientific bases.
New Zealand citizenship law treats all parts of the realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency before 2006 are New Zealand citizens. Further conditions apply for those born from 2006 onwards.
|Area||Representative of the Queen||Head of the government||Legislature||Capital||Population||Land area|
|New Zealand||Governor-General||Prime Minister||New Zealand Parliament (House of Representatives)||Wellington||4,893,120||268,680||103,740|
|Cook Islands||Queen's Representative||Prime Minister||Parliament of the Cook Islands||Avarua||21,388||236||91|
|Niue||Representative of the Queen[Note 1]||Premier||Niue Legislative Assembly||Alofi||1,145||260||100|
|Ross Dependency||Governor[Note 1]||None[Note 2]||Scott Base||Scott Base: 10–85
McMurdo Station: 200–1,000 (seasonally)
A governor-general represents the head of state—Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand—in the area of the realm. Essentially, governors-general take on all the dignities and reserve powers of the head of state. Dame Patsy Reddy was appointed to assume the position on 14 September 2016.
Both the Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand. The details of their free association arrangement are contained in several documents, such as their respective constitutions, the 1983 Exchange of Letters between the governments of New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and the 2001 Joint Centenary Declaration. As such, the New Zealand Parliament is not empowered to unilaterally pass legislation in respect of these states. In foreign affairs and defence issues New Zealand acts on behalf of these countries, but only with their advice and consent.
As the Governor-General is resident in New Zealand, the Cook Islands Constitution provides for the distinct position of Queen's Representative. This individual is not subordinate to the Governor-General and acts as the local representative of the Queen in right of New Zealand. Since 2013, Tom Marsters is the Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands. (Marsters was preceded by Sir Frederick Tutu Goodwin.) This arrangement effectively allows for the de facto independent actions of internal and most external areas of governance.
In the Cook Islands and Niue the New Zealand High Commissioner is the diplomatic representative from New Zealand. John Carter (since 2011) is the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, and Ross Ardern (since 2014) is the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue.
Despite their close relationship to New Zealand, both the Cook Islands and Niue maintain some diplomatic relations in their own name. Both countries maintain High Commissions in New Zealand and have New Zealand High Commissioners resident in their capitals. In Commonwealth practice, High Commissioners represent their governments, not the Head of State.
Tokelau has a lesser degree of self-government than the Cook Islands and Niue, and had been moving toward free association status. New Zealand's representative in Tokelau is the Administrator of Tokelau and has the power to overturn rules passed by the General Fono (parliament). In referenda conducted in 2006 and 2007 by New Zealand at the United Nations' request, the people of Tokelau failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to attain a system of governance with equal powers to that of Niue and the Cook Islands.
Within New Zealand there exists some support for a New Zealand republic. Should New Zealand become a republic it will retain the Ross Dependency and Tokelau as dependent territories and the Realm of New Zealand would continue to exist without New Zealand, the Ross Dependency and Tokelau. This would not be a legal hurdle to a New Zealand republic as such, and both the Cook Islands and Niue would retain their free association with New Zealand. However, a New Zealand republic would present the issue of independence to the Cook Islands and Niue. Thus, a number of options for the future of the Realm of New Zealand exist should New Zealand become a republic:
The Constitution of New Zealand is the sum of laws and principles that make up the body politic of the realm. It concerns the relationship between the individual and the state, and the functioning of government. Unlike many other nations, New Zealand has no single constitutional document. The Constitution Act 1986 comprises only a portion of the uncodified constitution, along with a collection of statutes (Acts of Parliament), the Treaty of Waitangi, Orders in Council, letters patent, decisions of the courts and unwritten conventions.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. This system is based on the Westminster system, although that term is increasingly inapt given constitutional developments particular to New Zealand. The head of state, the monarch of New Zealand is represented in the Realm of New Zealand by the Governor-General and is the source of executive, judicial and legislative power.Exclusive economic zone of New Zealand
New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) covers 4,083,744 km2, which is approximately fifteen times the land area of the country. Sources vary significantly on the size of New Zealand's EEZ; for example, a recent government publication gave the area as roughly 4,300,000 km2. These figures are for the EEZ of New Zealand proper, and do not include the EEZs of other territories in the Realm of New Zealand (Tokelau, Niue, the Cook Islands and the Ross Dependency).Flags depicting the Southern Cross
The Southern Cross or Crux, a constellation visible in the Southern Hemisphere, is depicted on flags and coats of arms of various countries and sub-national entities. This star constellation is visible mostly in the southern hemisphere and it therefore symbolises the southern location of its users.
The term Southern Cross can also refer to the blue saltire as used in various flags of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War.
This list is an incomplete list and some of the flags in this list might not have official status. Also, note that flag proportions may vary between the different flags, and sometimes even vary between different versions of the same flag.Foreign relations of Niue
Niue maintains diplomatic relations with various other countries and multilateral organizations.
Niue is a small island country in the Pacific Ocean in a state of free association with New Zealand. The Queen in right of New Zealand is the head of state of Niue - as such Niue is part of the Realm of New Zealand.
The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs records that in 1988 "New Zealand stated ... that its future participation in international agreements would no longer extend to ... Niue". Niue was granted membership of UNESCO in 1993 and the World Health Organization in 1994. Also in 1994, the United Nations Secretariat "recognized the full treaty-making capacity ... of Niue".New Zealand retains a constitutional link with Niue in relation to citizenship, with people from Niue being citizens of New Zealand.Niue conducts bilateral relations with other countries and interacts with the international community as an independent state.Despite self-rule, New Zealand manages its defence and foreign affairs on Niue's request. Like the Cook Islands, however, Niue has begun to establish formal diplomatic relations with sovereign states. As of September 2016, 20 other states maintain diplomatic relations with Niue. China's ambassador to New Zealand, Zhang Limin, is accredited to Niue, and became the first Chinese ambassador to present his credentials there in October 2008.Governor-General of New Zealand
The Governor-General of New Zealand (Māori: Te Kāwana Tianara o Aotearoa) is the viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and lives in the United Kingdom (as her principal residence), she, on the advice of her Prime Minister of New Zealand, appoints a governor-general to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand.
The current office traces its origins to when the administration of New Zealand was placed under the Colony of New South Wales in 1839 and its governor was given jurisdiction over New Zealand. However, New Zealand would become its own colony the next year with its own governor. The modern "governor-general" and his or her functions came into being in 1917 and the office is currently mandated by letters patent issued in 1983, constituting "the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Realm of New Zealand". Constitutional functions of the governor-general include presiding over the Executive Council, appointing ministers and judges, granting Royal Assent to legislation, and summoning and dissolving parliament. These functions are generally exercised only according to the advice of an elected government. The governor-general also has an important ceremonial role: hosting events at Government House in Wellington, and travelling throughout New Zealand to open conferences, attend services and commemorations and generally provide encouragement to individuals and groups who are contributing to their communities. When travelling abroad, the governor-general is seen as the representative of New Zealand; for this reason, the governor-general is viewed by some as the de facto head of state.The governor-general (titled "governor" before 1917) initially represented the British monarch and the British Government. Therefore, many past officeholders were British, including a succession of minor aristocrats from the 1890s onwards. In a gradual process, culminating with the adoption of the Statute of Westminster in 1947, the governor-general has become the independent, personal representative of the New Zealand monarch. In 1972, Sir Denis Blundell became the first New Zealand resident to be appointed to the office.
Governors-general are not appointed for a specific term, but are generally expected to serve for five years. The current Governor-General is Dame Patsy Reddy, who has served since 28 September 2016; Prime Minister John Key recommended her to succeed Sir Jerry Mateparae. Administrative support for the governor-general is provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.LGBT rights in Oceania
Oceania is, like other regions, quite diverse in its laws regarding homosexuality. This ranges from significant rights granted to the LGBT community in New Zealand, Australia, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and the Pitcairn Islands to remaining criminal penalties for homosexual activity in 6 countries and one territory. Although acceptance is growing across the Pacific, violence and social stigma remain issues for LGBTI communities. This also leads to problems with healthcare, including access to HIV treatment in countries such as Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands where homosexuality is criminalised.The British Empire introduced conservative social attitudes and anti-LGBT laws throughout its colonies, including those located in the Pacific Ocean. Opponents of LGBT rights in Oceania have justified their stance by arguing it is supported by tradition and that homosexuality is a "Western vice", despite anti-LGBT laws themselves being a colonial British legacy. Several Pacific countries have ancient traditions predating colonisation that reflect a unique local perspective of sexuality and gender, such as the fa'afafine in Samoa and fakaleiti in Tonga.List of Australian High Commissioners to New Zealand
The High Commissioner of Australia to New Zealand is an officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the head of the High Commission of the Commonwealth of Australia to New Zealand in Wellington. The High Commissioner has the rank and status of an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and is currently Peter Woolcott, who also holds non-resident accreditation to the Realm of New Zealand, including the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, as well as the Pitcairn Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The posting is one of Australia's oldest, with the first High Commissioner appointed in 1943, although it dates much earlier to 1934 when an Australian Government Trade Commissioner was appointed to Wellington. There is also a Consulate-General in Auckland maintained by Austrade.List of countries and territories with the Union Jack displayed on their flag
This is a list of countries and territories with a flag that incorporates the Union Flag. Six Commonwealth nations have the Union Flag on their national flag. The first Commonwealth country to drop the Union Flag was Canada in 1965, after adopting a new national flag. The most recent country to drop the Union Flag from its flag was South Africa in 1994, after adopting a new national flag. The only overseas territory without the Union Flag on its current flag is Gibraltar.
The list also includes overseas territories, provinces and states.List of islands of New Zealand
The following is a list of islands of New Zealand. New Zealand consists of a large number of islands, estimated around six hundred, mainly remnants of a larger land mass now beneath the sea.
Each of the two larger main islands, where most of the population lives, has two official names, in English and in the Māori language. They are the North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island or Te Waipounamu. Various Māori iwi sometimes use different names, with some preferring to call the South Island Te Waka o Aoraki. The islands are separated by the Cook Strait. The South Island is sometimes informally referred to as the "mainland", especially by its residents, because it is somewhat larger, albeit with a smaller population. However, in general practice, the "mainland" refers to the North Island and South Island collectively, in contrast with the smaller offshore islands.
Stewart Island or Rakiura, in the south, is the largest of the smaller islands, although Waiheke Island in the urban Auckland region has the largest population of the smaller islands.Monarchy in the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are a constitutional monarchy within the Realm of New Zealand. Under the Cook Islands Constitution, the Sovereign in Right of New Zealand (currently Elizabeth II) has been Head of State of the Cook Islands since 4 August 1965. The Sovereign is represented by the Queen's Representative; as such, the Queen is the de jure head of state, holding several powers that are hers alone, while the Queen's Representative is sometimes referred to as the de facto head of state. The viceregal position is currently held by Tom Marsters.
The Queen's official title is: Elizabeth the Second, By the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
The heir apparent is Elizabeth II's eldest son, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.Monarchy of New Zealand
The monarchy of New Zealand is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of New Zealand. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952.
All executive authority is vested in the monarch and her assent is required for parliament to enact laws and for letters patent and Orders in Council to have legal effect. However, the monarch's authority is subject to the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, and her direct participation in these areas of governance is limited. Most of the related powers are instead exercised by the elected members of parliament, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and justices of the peace. Other powers vested in the monarch, such as the appointment of a prime minister, are significant, but are treated only as reserve powers and as an important security part of the role of the monarchy.
The New Zealand monarchy has its roots in the British Crown, from which it has evolved to become a distinctly New Zealand institution, represented by unique symbols. New Zealand's monarch is today a personal union where the Sovereign is head of state concurrently with 15 other countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, all being independent and the monarchy of each legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled Queen of New Zealand (Māori: Kuini o Aotearoa) and, in this capacity, she, her consort, and other members of the royal family undertake various public and private functions across New Zealand and on behalf of the country abroad. However, the Queen is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role. While several powers are the sovereign's alone, because she lives predominantly in the United Kingdom, most of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties in the Realm of New Zealand are typically carried out by the Queen's viceregal representative, the governor-general. The role of the monarchy in New Zealand is a recurring topic of public discussion.National anthems of New Zealand
New Zealand is one of only two countries in the world—the other being Denmark—with two official national anthems of equal status. The traditional anthem "God Save the Queen" is generally used only on regal and viceregal occasions. "God Defend New Zealand" is more commonly used on occasions when the national identity of New Zealand is the focus, such as sports events, where it is sung with English and Māori verses. On a few occasions both anthems may be used.Outline of New Zealand
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to New Zealand:
New Zealand is an island nation located in the western South Pacific Ocean comprising two large islands, the North Island and the South Island, and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori originally called the North Island Aotearoa, commonly translated into English as "The Land of the Long White Cloud"; "Aotearoa" is now used as the Maori language name for the entire country.New Zealand is situated about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, its closest neighbours to the north being 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.
The population is mostly of European descent, with the indigenous Māori being the largest minority. Asians and non-Māori Pacific Islanders are also significant minorities, especially in the cities. Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the head of state and, in her absence, is represented by a non-partisan governor-general. Political power is held by the democratically elected New Zealand Parliament under the leadership of the Prime Minister, who is the head of government. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, which are self-governing but in free association; Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).Political status of the Cook Islands and Niue
The political status of the Cook Islands and Niue is formally defined as being states in free association within the Realm of New Zealand, which is made up of the Cook Islands, Niue, New Zealand and its territories: Tokelau and the Ross Dependency.
New Zealand is officially responsible for the defence and foreign affairs of the Cook Islands and Niue. However, these responsibilities confer New Zealand no rights of control and can only be exercised at the request of the Cook Islands and Niue. The Cook Islands and Niue have been recognised as sovereign states by some countries, and maintain diplomatic relations under their own name. Moreover, the Secretary General of the United Nations has determined that the admission of the Cook Islands and Niue into the World Health Assembly means that they have been accepted as states by the international community.However, even though both the Cook Islands and Niue behave as sovereign states in international law, their constitutional statuses within the Realm of New Zealand (i.e., for matters of New Zealand domestic law) is different from that of a fully independent state, considering that all of Niue's and the Cook Islands' nationals are automatically New Zealand citizens, and both have New Zealand's head of state, Elizabeth II, as their own. On the basis of these arrangements, Prime Minister Helen Clark declared in 2001 that if the Cook Islands were to join the United Nations, the act would be interpreted by New Zealand as a declaration of independence, leading Cook Islanders to lose the right to New Zealand citizenship. This was reiterated by PM John Key in 2015. Some scholars have argued that this position by New Zealand places an effective limit on the ability of the Cook Islands to act as a sovereign entity, while others have argued that the participation of the Cook Islands in international organisations (such as the Pacific Islands Forum) shows that Cook Islands sovereignty is not limited by the free association arrangement.Some states, based on the close relationship the Cook Islands and Niue have with New Zealand, have declared that they do not consider them to be sovereign entities. These states are listed below.Politics of Tokelau
The politics of Tokelau takes place within a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency. The head of state of Tokelau is Queen Elizabeth II in right of her Realm of New Zealand, who is represented by an Administrator (as of 2018, Ross Ardern). The monarch is hereditary, the Administrator is appointed by the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The head of government is Afega Gaualofa, who presides over the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau, which functions as a cabinet. The Council consists of the faipule (leader) and pulenuku (village mayor) of each of the three atolls. The office of head of government rotates between the three faipule for a one-year term.The Tokelau Amendment Act of 1996 confers legislative power on the General Fono, a unicameral body. The number of seats each atoll receives in the Fono is determined by population — Fakaofo and Atafu each have eight and Nukunonu has seven. Faipule and pulenuku (atoll leaders and village mayors) also sit in the Fono.Queen's Representative
The Queen's Representative is the formal title given to the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of New Zealand, in the Cook Islands. The office of Queen's Representative is different from that of the Governor-General of New Zealand.
The representative of the Queen in each Commonwealth realm is the governor-general. However, the self-government provisions for the Cook Islands within the Realm of New Zealand allow the Queen to be represented as head of state in Cook Islands affairs by the Queen's Representative, while the Governor-General of New Zealand represents the Queen in matters pertaining to the entire Realm.Realm
A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign rules. The term is commonly used to describe a kingdom or other monarchical or dynastic state. A realm may also be a subdivision within an empire, if it has its own monarch, e.g. the German Empire.
The Old French word reaume, modern French royaume, was the word first adopted in English; the fixed modern spelling does not appear until the beginning of the 17th century. The word supposedly derives from medieval Latin regalimen, from regalis, of or belonging to a rex (king). The word rex itself is derived from the Latin verb regere, which means "to rule". Thus the literal meaning of the word realm is the territory of a ruler, traditionally a monarch (emperor, king, grand duke, prince, etc.).
"Realm" is particularly used for those states whose name includes the word kingdom (for example, the United Kingdom), as elegant variation, to avoid clumsy repetition of the word in a sentence (for example, "The Queen's realm, the United Kingdom..."). It is also useful to describe those countries whose monarchs are called something other than "king" or "queen"; for example, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a realm but not a kingdom, since its monarch holds the title Grand Duke rather than King.
The term may commonly also be used to describe any one of the "Commonwealth realms", which are kingdoms in their own right and share the same person as monarch, though they are fully independent of each other.
More broadly, a "realm" may encompass territories that are subject to a monarch, yet are not a physical part of his or her "kingdom"; for example, the Cook Islands and Niue are considered parts of the Realm of New Zealand, although they are not part of New Zealand proper.
Realm may also be used metaphorically to refer to an area of knowledge, expertise or habitat within which an individual or denizen is pre-eminent or dominant, e.g., "Shakespeare's realm was English drama," or "A lion's realm is the jungle".Republicanism in New Zealand
Republicanism in New Zealand is a political position that holds that New Zealand's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
New Zealand republicanism dates back to the 19th century, although until the late 20th century it was a fringe movement. The current main republican lobby group, New Zealand Republic, was established in 1994. Because New Zealand's constitution is uncodified, a republic could be enacted by statute, as a simple act of parliament. However, it is generally assumed that this would only occur following a nationwide referendum. Several prime ministers and governors-general have identified themselves as republicans, although no government has yet taken any meaningful steps towards enacting a republic. Public opinion polls have generally found that a majority of the population favour retaining the monarchy.Te Atua o Tokelau
"Te Atua o Tokelau" or "Tokelau mo te Atua" is the anthem of Tokelau, a territory within the Realm of New Zealand.
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|