COUNTRY STATISTICS Area: 103,500 sq.miles (268,000 sq.km) Population: 3,575,000 Currency: 1 NZ dollar = 100 cents Exchange Rate: NZ$ 1.862 = US$ 1 Capital: Wellington Languages: English, Maori Total GDP: US$ 53,400,000,000 Imports: US$ 10,400,000,000 Population Growth: 1.24% Death Rate: 8.4/1000 people
Life Expectancy: 75.5 years Number of Goats: 484,000Per Capita PPP: US$ 11,360 Exports: US$ 11,200,000,000 Population Density: 13 people/sq.km Birth Rate: 17.3/1000 people Infant Mortality: 9/1000 live births Number of Pigs: 430,000 Main Cities: Auckland, Christchurch, Religions: Anglican, Presbyterian, Hamilton Roman Catholic
Rainforest with ferns,the national symbol of New Zealand
Introduction & history This is the land of the Maori, kiwi, tuatara, and more sheep than people. New Zealand was uninhabited (by humans) until the Maori, a Polynesian people, arrived in the 14th century. They refused to let the first European explorers set foot on their shores. In 1840 Maori chiefs and British officials entered into the Treaty of Waitangi, which handed New Zealand government over to England. Skirmishes and outright Maori wars,mostly over settlement land
deals, continued for the next 30 years. New Zealand was freed from colonial status in 1907 but retained the reigning British monarch as its head of state. It is a stable, harmonious, progressive parliamentary democracy. New Zealand remains responsible for the defense and international relations of independent territories Niue and Cook Islands. Today the land is still mostly unspoiled countryside. On South Island lives the world's only mountain- dwelling parrot, the social but fearless kea.
Wellington,the capital of New Zealand and its harbor
Hot Sulphur springs at Rotorua in New Zealands North Island
GEOGRAPHY & TOURISM Made up of two main islands (North and South, divided by the Cook Strait), Stewart Island, and a number of smaller islands, New Zealand is less than 1/28th the size of neighboring Australia. The Southern Alps run through the middle of South Island, providing some of the best skiing in the southern hemisphere. North Island's central volcanic mountainous region, where there are hot springs
and geysers, reaches to more than 9,000 ft (2,736 m) at Mount Ruapehu and contains Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. Most of the population lives on North Island, home to the capital, Wellington, and the largest city, Auckland. The biggest cities on South Island are Christchurch and Dunedin. New Zealand's scenery is remarkably beautiful and lush, and the climate, ranging from almost tropical in the north to alpine in the south, attracts many visitors.