New Zealand is a small country, similar in size to Great Britain or Japan. With a population of only four million people, it’s also gloriously uncrowded.
New Zealand has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting our unique mix of Māori and European culture.
Māori were the first to arrive in New Zealand, journeying in canoes from Hawaii about 1,000 years ago. A Dutchman, Abel Tasman, was the first European to sight the country but it was the British who made New Zealand part of their empire.
You’ll find amazing Māori historic sites and taonga (treasures) – as well as beautiful colonial-era buildings – dotted throughout the country. A walk around any New Zealand city today shows what a culturally diverse and fascinating country we have become.
New Zealand has a temperate climate with moderately high rainfall and many hours of sunshine. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C (14°F) in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures. The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90°F) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60°F).
New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations 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 isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life; most notable are the large number of unique bird species. The country’s varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
Polynesians settled New Zealand in 1250–1300 CE and developed a distinctive Māori culture. Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to sight New Zealand in 1642 CE. The introduction of potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among Māori early during the 19th century, which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. In 1840 the British and Māori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars, which resulted in Māori land being confiscated in the mid North Island. Economic depressions were followed by periods of political reform, with women gaining the vote during the 1890s, and a welfare state being established from the 1930s. After World War II, New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty, although the United States later suspended the treaty. New Zealanders enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a deep recession, worsened by oil shocks and the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Economic Community. The country underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist protectionist to a liberalized free trade economy; once-dominant exports of wool have been overtaken by dairy products, meat, and wine.
The majority of New Zealand’s population is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Māori Polynesians. English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages, with English predominant. Much of New Zealand’s culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers. Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits of Māori. A recent resurgence of Māori culture has seen their traditional arts of carving carving, weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. The country’s culture has also been broadened by globalization and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands and Asia. The New Zealand’s diverse landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and has provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.
New Zealand is organized into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; these have less autonomy than the country’s long defunct provinces did. Nationally, executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is the country’s head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. The Queen’s Realm Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); 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, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Courtesy & Source : YouTube, Wikipedia and Discovery Channel
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