2 New Zealand Fact file Official symbols Geographical position History timelinePolitical structureSights and citiesFamous peopleNatural worldEntertainmentLinks
3 Fact File Official name: New Zealand Size: 103,737 square miles; about the size of ColoradoPopulation: 4,035,461 as of July 2005Capital: WellingtonOfficial Language: English, MaoriCurrency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)Literacy: 99%Climate: Winter is wet and blustery and summer is clear and sunnyAgricultural Products: Wheat, barley, potatoes, grapes, kiwifruit, dairy products, wool, beefMajor industries (businesses): Wood and paper, machinery, clothing, mining, tourism
4 The New Zealand Flag.The New Zealand Flag is New Zealand’s national symbol. Its royal blue background represents the blue sea and sky surrounding us, and the stars of the Southern Cross signify the place in the South Pacific Ocean. The Union Flag recognizes the historical foundations and that New Zealand was once a British colony and dominion. The New Zealand Flag can be flown any day of the year, especially on days of national commemoration, such as Anzac Day, and other important occasions. The New Zealand Flag represents the people of New Zealand and should be treated with respect.
5 Coat of ArmsThe centre point of the coat of arms is a quartered shield - the first quarter depicts four stars as representative of the Southern Cross; the second, a fleece representing the farming industry; the third, a wheat sheaf representing agriculture; and the fourth, two hammers representing mining. Down the centre of the shield are three ships, symbolizing the importance of sea trade. On the left is a Pakeha (European) woman holding a New Zealand flag, and on the right a Maori chieftain holding a taiaha (Maori staff).
6 Anthem of New Zealand"God Defend New Zealand" is one of the national anthems of New Zealand, together with "God Save the Queen". Although they both have equal status, "God Defend New Zealand" is the anthem that is in common use and is popularly referred to as "the national anthem".
7 May our mountains ever be Freedom's ramparts on the seaMake us faithful unto TheeGod defend our free landGuide her in the nations' vanPreaching love and truth to manWorking out Thy Glorious planGod defend New ZealandGod of nations! at Thy feetIn the bonds of love we meet,Hear our voices, we entreat,God defend our Free Land.Guard Pacific's triple star,From the shafts of strife and war,Make her praises heard afar,God defend New ZealandPeace, not war, shall be our boastBut should our foes assail our coastMake us then a mighty hostGod defend our free landLord of battles, in Thy mightPut our enemies to flightLet our cause be just and rightGod defend New ZealandLet our love for Thee increaseMay Thy blessings never ceaseGive us plenty, give us peaceGod defend our free landFrom dishonour and from shameGuard our country's spotless nameCrown her with immortal fameGod defend New Zealand
8 Geographical Position New Zealand is an island country in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. It lies about km southeast of Australia and about km southwest of California. New Zealand belongs to a large island group called Polynesia. The country is situated on two main islands - the North Island and the South Island - and several dozen smaller islands. Most of the smaller islands are hundreds of kilometers from the main ones.
9 Geographical Position The islands were created just 23 million years ago when land was thrust out of the ocean by volcanic forces. New Zealand has more than 50 volcanoes, some of which are still active today. Sharp snowy peaks, rocky shores, and pastures create a majestic landscape.The South Island is home to the highest mountain peak in New Zealand, Mount Cook, which rises to 12,316 feet (3,754 meters) and is called «Cloud Piercer» by the Maori people.
10 History Timeline600 A.D A.D.: The first inhabitants of New Zealand, the Maori, arrive from eastern Polynesia.1642: Dutch sailor Abel Janszoon Tasman becomes the first European to reach New Zealand.1769: English explorer Captain James Cook makes the first of his three voyages to the islands. His journals inspire other Europeans to explore New Zealand.1840: The Maori sign the Treaty of Waitangi giving control to the British in exchange for protection and guaranteed Maori possession of their lands.1860: A decade of land wars begins between the Maoris and European settlers.1861: Gold is discovered in Tuapeka. This leads to a gold rush.1893: New Zealand becomes the first country to give women the right to vote.
11 1907: The country becomes a dominion, or self-governing community, within the British empire. 1947: New Zealand gains independence from Great Britain.1953: New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary becomes the first person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.1985: New Zealand no longer allows U.S. nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships to enter its ports. French secret service agents blow up a Greenpeace ship called Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbor.1987: TNew Zealand hosts and wins the inaugural Rugby World Cup.1997: Jennifer Shipley becomes the country's first female prime minister.2005: Prime Minister Helen Clark wins her third election.
12 Political StructureNew Zealand functions as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. New Zealand’s government is based on the parliamentary democracy based on the system used in Britain. There are 122 seats in the House of Representatives and each is elected for a three-year term. Seven seats are reserved for the Maori and they are chosen by Maori voters. There are two main parties, National and Labour. The party with the most elected representatives forms the government. The leader of the party is the Prime Minister.
13 New Zealand's head of state is the Queen of New Zealand, currently Elizabeth II. The New Zealand monarchy has been distinct from the British monarchy since the New Zealand Royal Titles Act of 1953, and all Elizabeth II's official business in New Zealand is conducted in the name of the Queen of New Zealand, not the Queen of the United Kingdom. In practice, the functions of the monarchy are conducted by a Governor-General, appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. As of 2004, the Governor-General is Silvia Cartwright
14 EconomyNew Zealand's economy has traditionally been based on a foundation of exports from its very efficient agricultural system. Leading agricultural exports include meat, dairy products, forest products, fruit and vegetables, fish, and wool. New Zealand has got heavy industry. There are many plants in the country. New Zealand was a direct beneficiary of many of the reforms achieved under the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, with agriculture in general and the dairy sector in particular enjoying many new trade opportunities. The country has substantial hydroelectric power and sizable reserves of natural gas. Leading manufacturing sectors are food processing, metal fabrication, and wood and paper products.
16 The Akaroa MuseumThe Akaroa Museum is spread over several historic buildings, including the old courthouse, the tiny Custom House by Daly's Wharf, and one of New Zealand's oldest houses, Langlois-Eteveneaux. It has modest displays on the peninsula's once-significant Maori population, a courtroom diorama, a 20-minute audiovisual on peninsular history, and Akaroa community archives.
17 WellingtonWellington is New Zealand's capital city. It is home to the Parliament building (pictured to the left) and many other cultural treasures. The city rests between rolling green hills and a wide waterfront. A highlight of the city's arts, cultural and historical attractions is Te Papa, the national museum. It is one of the largest national museums in the world and holds many Maori pieces, including a carved meetinghouse. It also displays the original Treaty of Waitangi.
18 AucklandAuckland was first settled by Maori tribes around By the time European settlers arrived in 1840, it was almost deserted. Today, Auckland is New Zealand's largest and fastest growing city. Snuggled between two coasts, Auckland has many harbors and is said to have the most pleasure boats per person of any city in the world. The Sky Tower (pictured to the left) is the city's most distinctive landmark. At 1,076 feet tall, the tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere!
19 ChristchurchChristchurch is the largest city in New Zealand's South Island. In the past, the city was centered on agriculture. Today it is a refined modern city. The beautiful Christ Church Cathedral (pictured to the left) can be found in the city's Cathedral Square. The Avon River winds through the city and is one of Christchurch's major attractions. Visitors and locals enjoy walking along the paths and bridges that dot the river. They also can be found floating downstream in boats.
20 DunedinThe first settlers to arrive in the area surrounding Dunedin were Scottish. The city's Scottish roots give it a unique character. Dunedin was New Zealand's business center during the gold rush in the 1860s. At that time, leaders built the city center, called the Octagon, to be the central focus. Today it remains a popular gathering spot for picnics, festivals and meetings.
21 Aoraki/Mount CookAt 12,349 feet, Aoraki/Mount Cook is New Zealand's tallest mountain. Legend says that a boy named Aoraki and his three brothers were at sea when their canoe overturned on a reef. When the brothers climbed on top of their canoe, freezing wind turned them to stone. The canoe became the South Island and Aoraki and his brothers became the peaks of the mountains. Aoraki/Mount Cook is where famous New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary trained before he made his historic trek up Mount Everest.
22 Lambton QuayLambton Quay is one of the main shopping areas in Wellington. It has some good places to shop, some fine drinking establishments and some cafes. Lambton Quay is full of some wonderful old buildings. For example, there's the Public Trust Building ( Lambton Quay), a gorgeous Edwardian Baroque building, and nearby on Customhouse Quay and Hunter St. there is the AMP building.
23 Art Deco NapierLying on the east coast of the North Island in Hawke's Bay, Napier was rebuilt after a huge earthquake in the 1930s and displays a distinct period look and persona. The variety of 1930s buildings is staggering and the yearly Art Deco Weekend festival is a must for those inclined. Stripped Classical and Spanish Mission architecture are also displayed along with the ubiquitous Art Deco style of the 2020th century, while Maori motifs emblazon some buildings. Napier also happens to be bounded by grape growing plains and the beautiful South Pacific, although swimming is not recommended here.
24 Auckland War Memorial Museum Perhaps the finest building in all of Auckland, the War Memorial Museum is situated on a high vantage point that affords amazing views over the Cenotaph, the city and Waitemata Harbour. Inside is the country’s biggest collection of Maori and Pacific Island treasures as well as a hands-on discovery centre for kids. The Scars on the Heart exhibition and a 20-minute Maori cultural performance are both must be seen.
25 Colin Albert MurdochColin Albert Murdoch (6 February 1929 – 4 May 2008) was a New Zealand pharmacist and veterinarian who made a number of significant inventions, in particular the tranquilliser gun, the disposable hypodermic syringe and the child-proof medicine container. In 1976 he won three gold medals and a bronze at the in Brussels. The has also honoured him and in 2000 he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Time Magazine included him in a list of the 100 most influential people of the South Pacific Despite the relative ubiquity of his inventions, Murdoch did not become rich because of them. In his final years he lived quietly in Timaru until his death from cancer.
26 Patricia Frances Grace Patricia Frances Grace, (born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1937) is a notable Māori writer of novels, short stories, and children's books. Her first published work, Waiariki (1975) was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She has been described as "A key figure in contemporary world literature and in Maori literature in English"
27 Michael Shane Campbell Michael Shane Campbell, (born 23 February 1969) is a New Zealand golfer who is best-known for having won the 2005 U.S. Open and the richest prize in golf, the £1,000,000 HSBC World Match Play Championship, in the same year. He is a member of the European Tour. Ethnically, he is predominantly Māori, from the Ngati Ruanui (father's side) and Nga Rauru (mother's side) iwi. He also has some Scottish ancestry, being a great-great-great-grandson of John Logan Campbell, a Scottish emigrant to New Zealand.
28 NatureNew Zealand has one of the most amazing landscapes on the planet; primeval forests, endless sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, snow-capped mountain peaks, bubbling volcanic pools, fast-flowing rivers and glacier-fed lakes.
29 Local PeopleThe first people who settled in New Zealand were a brown-skinned people called Maoris. They came from Polynesian islands located northeast of New Zealand. The country was discovered by Europeans in 1642, but they did not start to settle in the islands until the late 1700's. Today, most New Zealanders are descendants of the early European settlers. Maoris make up about 12% of the country's population. New Zealand has one of the highest standard of living in the world.
30 Maori CommunityToday Maori people live throughout New Zealand, and many are actively involved with keeping their culture and language alive. Within any Maori community, the marae provides a focus for social, cultural and spiritual life. The term marae describes a communal 'plaza' area that includes a wharenui (meeting house) and wharekai (dining room).
31 EntertainmentOne of New Zealand’s wackier inventions, zorbing involves being strapped inside a giant, soft, plastic sphere and rolled down a hill. Zorbing takes place all over New Zealand but was started in the Agrodome in Rotorua. You can even do a wet zorb, where a bucket of water is thrown inside the zorb and you float down the hill un-strapped. For the more adventurous, zorbonauts can be pushed off a small cliff, although this is not recommended for kids.
32 The diversity of the terrain and small amount of traffic on roads and tracks makes biking in New Zealand perfect. Visitors can go mountain, tandem, motor, and quad biking, and there are centres set up all over the country. The South Island has the best mountain biking and the gradients can be as dramatic as you like. The best time to go cycling is between February and April, and in October and November.
33 Invented in New Zealand by sporting adventurer extraordinaire AJ Hackett, bungee jumping is still the ultimate head-rush. There are jumps all over the country but the best are in Queensland, New Zealand’s adventure capital. There are now several jumps here including the original AJ Hackett bridge jump and the massive Pipeline jump. The latter is a great day out, being accessed by the treacherous Skippers Canyon road. For a bit more expense, you can even bungee from a helicopter.
34 Canyoning is well established in New Zealand and involves clambering and sliding down a gorge with water gushing all around. Canyoning can be had near Auckland, Queenstown, and Wanaka.
35 Another New Zealand invention, jet-boating offers a different type of rush and is best done in the South Island around Queenstown. Jet-boats are flat-bottomed and work by sucking the water though a turbine to drive the boat and squirting the water out of a nozzle to control direction. The Shotover River running along Skippers Canyon has the best established jet-boat operation in New Zealand, where cruises blast you within inches of canyon walls. One company also operates a huge jet-boat on Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu.
36 While rock climbing is fairly popular in New Zealand, mountaineering is more established with better terrain and facilities available than for climbing. The routes here are not really for beginners. Those who simply fancy a taster should first try one of the tramps such as the Milford Track (South Island), Tongariro Crossing (North Island), or Mount Ruapehu’s eastern edge, the North Island's highest point. For serious mountaineering, it’s best to pay for a guided ascent of one of the South Island’s classic peaks.
37 Not only great walking, New Zealand also has great tramping, trekking and hiking in and around its profusion of national parks and reserves. Visitors can partake in short, half-day, full-day and multi-day treks. The Milford track is arguably the finest walk in the world and goes through some of the planet’s most outstanding scenery, passing mile after mile of pristine wilderness as it takes you over mountain passes and along waterways. Volcanic and coastal regions, such as the Tongariro crossing and the Abel Tasman on the North and South islands respectively are also superb. Trekking the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers is another scope altogether.