New Zealand( Australia-Oceania )

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The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. That same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both world wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Geographic coordinates:
41 00 S, 174 00 E
total: 267,710 sq km
land: 267,710 sq km
water: NA
note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands
Area comparative:
almost twice the size of North Carolina; about the size of Colorado
<a href="">Area comparison map</a>
Land boundaries:
0 km
15,134 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
temperate with sharp regional contrasts
predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m
Natural resources:
natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 1.76%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 97.98% (2011)
Irrigated land:
6,193 sq km (2007)
Total renewable water resources:
327 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 4.75 cu km/yr (23%/5%/72%)
per capita: 1,200 cu m/yr (2010)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island
Environment current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species
Environment international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation
Geography note:
almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world
People and Society
noun: New Zealander(s)
adjective: New Zealand
Ethnic groups:
European 71.2%, Maori 14.1%, Asian 11.3%, Pacific peoples 7.6%, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African 1.1%, other 1.6%, not stated or unidentified 5.4%
note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic group (2013 est.)
English (de facto official) 89.8%, Maori (de jure official) 3.5%, Samoan 2%, Hindi 1.6%, French 1.2%, Northern Chinese 1.2%, Yue 1%, Other or not stated 20.5%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official)
note: shares sum to 120.8% due to multiple responses on census (2013 est.)
Christian 44.3% (Catholic 11.6%, Anglican 10.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 7.8%, Methodist, 2.4%, Pentecostal 1.8%, other 9.9%), Hindu 2.1%, Buddhist 1.4%, Maori Christian 1.3%, Islam 1.1%, other religion 1.4% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha'i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 38.5%, not stated or unidentified 8.2%, objected to answering 4.1%
note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because people were able to identify more than one religion (2013 est.)
4,401,916 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 450,985/female 429,184)
15-24 years: 13.9% (male 313,711/female 298,427)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 890,678/female 888,565)
55-64 years: 11.4% (male 245,084/female 255,879)
65 years and over: 14% (male 290,429/female 338,974) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 52.5 %
youth dependency ratio: 30.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 21.8 %
potential support ratio: 4.6 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.6 years
male: 36.7 years
female: 38.4 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.83% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
13.4 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 86.2% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.09% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
Auckland 1.452 million; WELLINGTON (capital) 410,000 (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
15 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.93 years
male: 78.88 years
female: 83.08 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.05 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
Health expenditures:
10.1% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
2.74 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density:
2.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
2,500 (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
28.3% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
Education expenditures:
7.4% of GDP (2012)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 19 years
male: 19 years
female: 20 years (2011)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 17.7%
male: 17.3%
female: 18.1% (2012)
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
Government type:
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
name: Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 18 S, 174 47 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
note: New Zealand has two time zones - New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)
Administrative divisions:
16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast
26 September 1907 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)
Constitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005 (2013)
Legal system:
common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Simon William ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, 50 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 November 2011 (next to be held not later than November 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 48%, Labor Party 27.1%, Green Party 10.6%, NZ First 6.8%, Maori 1.4%, ACT Party 1.1%, Mana 1%, United Future 0.6%, other 3.43%; seats by party - National Party 60, Labor Party 34, Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori 3, ACT Party 1, Mana 1, United Future 1
note: results of 2011 election saw the total number of seats decline to 121
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices including the chief justice )
note - the Supreme Court in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London, as the final appeals court
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the attorney-general; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; tribunals and authorities; district courts; specialized courts for issues related to employment, environment, Maori lands, and military
Political parties and leaders:
ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]
Green Party [Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI]
Mana Party [Hone HARAWIRA]
Maori Party [Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES]
New Zealand National Party [John KEY]
New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS]
New Zealand Labor Party [Phil GOFF]
Jim Anderton's Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]
United Future New Zealand [Peter DUNNE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL
other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
International organization participation:
ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Kenneth MOORE (since 5 August 2010)
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), Santa Monica (CA)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Marie C. DAMOUR note - also accredited to Samoa
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
consulate(s) general: Auckland
Flag description:
blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation
National symbol(s):
Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars); kiwi (bird), silver fern
National anthem:
name: "God Defend New Zealand"
lyrics/music: Thomas BRACKEN [English], Thomas Henry SMITH [Maori]/John Joseph WOODS
note: adopted 1940 as national song, adopted 1977 as co-national anthem; New Zealand has two national anthems with equal status; as a commonwealth realm, in addition to "God Defend New Zealand," "God Save the Queen" serves as a national anthem (see United Kingdom); "God Save the Queen" normally is played only when a member of the royal family or the governor-general is present; in all other cases, "God Defend New Zealand" is played
Economy overview:
Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for ten consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy pulled out of recession late in 2009, and achieved 2-3% per year growth in 2010-13. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$136 billion (2013 est.)
$132.7 billion (2012 est.)
$129.2 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$181.1 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
2.5% (2013 est.)
2.7% (2012 est.)
1.4% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$30,400 (2013 est.)
$29,900 (2012 est.)
$29,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
15.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 58.1%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.2%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 30%
imports of goods and services: -28.7%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 25.5%
services: 69.5% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
dairy products, lamb and mutton; wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef; fish
food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking, insurance, tourism, mining
Industrial production growth rate:
1.9% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
2.413 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 7%
industry: 19%
services: 74% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
6.4% (2013 est.)
6.9% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income Gini index:
36.2 (1997)
revenues: $69.17 billion
expenditures: $72.65 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
38.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
38.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
38.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
note: this is the fiscal year for tax purposes
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2013 est.)
1.1% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
2.5% (31 December 2009)
5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.7% (31 December 2013 est.)
5.82% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$30.03 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$29.87 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$91.28 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$84.55 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$256.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$265.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2012 est.)
$71.66 billion (31 December 2011)
$71.83 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance:
-$8.358 billion (2013 est.)
-$8.508 billion (2012 est.)
$37.84 billion (2013 est.)
$37.87 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery
Exports partners:
Australia 21.1%, China 15%, US 9.2%, Japan 7% (2012)
$37.35 billion (2013 est.)
$37.04 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
machinery and equipment, vehicles, aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics
Imports partners:
China 16.4%, Australia 15.2%, US 9.3%, Japan 6.5%, Singapore 4.8%, Germany 4.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$20.01 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$17.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$81.36 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$85.18 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
$84.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$81.36 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
$59.08 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates:
New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
1.247 (2013 est.)
1.2334 (2012 est.)
1.3874 (2010 est.)
1.6002 (2009)
1.4151 (2008)
Electricity production:
43.54 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity consumption:
40.76 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
9.679 million kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
31.7% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
54.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
14% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
48,190 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
47,290 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
99,810 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
81.4 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
109,700 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
148,900 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
2,471 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
41,170 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
4.59 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
4.537 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
29.42 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
37.17 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
4.922 million (2012)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent domestic and international systems
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 64; the Southern Cross submarine cable system provides links to Australia, Fiji, and the US; satellite earth stations - 8 (1 Inmarsat - Pacific Ocean, 7 other) (2011)
Telephones main lines in use:
1.88 million (2012)
Broadcast media:
state-owned Television New Zealand operates multiple TV networks and state-owned Radio New Zealand operates 3 radio networks and an external shortwave radio service to the South Pacific region; a small number of national commercial TV and radio stations and many regional commercial television and radio stations are available; cable and satellite TV systems are available (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
3.4 million (2009)
Internet hosts:
3.026 million (2012)
123 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
total: 39
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports with unpaved runways:
total: 84
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 48 (2013)
condensate 331 km; gas 1,936 km; liquid petroleum gas 172 km; oil 288 km; refined products 198 km (2013)
total: 4,128 km
narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2008)
total: 94,160 km
paved: 62,759 km (includes 199 km of expressways)
unpaved: 32,143 km (2012)
Merchant marine:
total: 15
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 7 (Germany 2, Hong Kong 1, South Africa 1, Switzerland 2, UK 1)
registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Cook Islands 2, Samoa 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington
Military branches:
New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF): New Zealand Army; Royal New Zealand Navy; Royal New Zealand Air Force (Te Hokowhitu o Kahurangi, RNZAF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription; 3 years of secondary education required; must be a citizen of NZ, the UK, Australia, Canada, or the US, and resident of NZ for the previous 5 years (2013)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,019,798
females age 16-49: 1,003,429 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 843,526
females age 16-49: 828,779 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 30,846
female: 28,825 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.13% of GDP (2012)
1.12% of GDP (2011)
1.13% of GDP (2010)
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Trafficking in persons: