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New Zealand

Official Name New Zealand (English), Aotearoa(Maori)
Capital Wellington
Population 3.8 million
Area 269,057 sq km or 103,883 sq mi
Currency New Zealand Dollar ($1=2.30)
Religion Christianity
Literacy 100%
Languages English & Morari
Major Cities Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton
Climate Mild climate with four seasons
New Zealand (in Maori, Aotearoa, "Land of the Long White Cloud") is an independent island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
New Zealand Map
Physical Map of New Zealand:
The North and South islands contain most of the country. The islands lie across a northeast by southwest axis. They extend for about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) from north to south, and for 450 km (280 mi) from east to west.

Lake Taupo is the largest lake and covers an area of 606 sq km (234 sq mi) in the central volcanic plateau of the North Island.

New Zealand Location Map
Location Map of New Zealand
New Zealand is situated about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) southeast of Australia and is made up of two large islands - North Island and South Island. Cook Strait, a channel between the South Pacific Ocean on the east and the Tasman Sea on the west separates these islands.

New Zealand Flag
Flag of New Zealand
New Zealand's flag is blue in color. It has 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

Flora And Fauna of New Zealand
New Zealand's flora includes almost 1,500 indigenous species, including the golden kowhai and the scarlet pohutukawa. However introduced plant species are equally large in number. Most of the vegetation is evergreen. Grasses predominate the lowland plains and the eastern flanks of the lower slopes of the Southern Alps.

Due to isolation from other landmasses and lack of predatory mammals in the early times birds, bats, and reptiles flourished. Without predators, many bird species in New Zealand became flightless or semi-flightless, often nesting on the ground. The only indigenous mammals in New Zealand are bats. All other wild mammals in New Zealand arrived with humans.

Climate of New Zealand
Due to New Zealand's location in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are inversed. The warmest months are January and February and the coldest months are June and July. Located in the Southern Temperate Zone, south of the tropics, it has a mild climate with four seasons. Inland areas have cooler winters and warmer summers than coastal areas, where the ocean moderates the climate to temperate.

People of New Zealand
New Zealanders of European descent, often referred to by the Maori name Pakeha, comprise about 75 percent of the population. Usually described as the largest ethnic group, they are in fact an ethnic mix. People of English, Scottish, and Irish descent comprise the largest groups (in that order), though there are people of German, Australian, Scandinavian, Croatian, and Dutch descents too.

Arts, Culture and Music of New Zealand
The earliest cultural traditions are that of the Maori, who developed a rich and diverse Polynesian culture in geographic isolation. European settlers put their own traditional stamp and eventually dominated the cultural life. Immigration of peoples from the Pacific Islands and Asia, since the 1950s, has further diversified the cultural fabric of New Zealand.

Since the 19th century, New Zealand's economy has relied on overseas trade and capital. With changing trends and prices the economy suffered greatly. The government initiated a program of economic restructuring along free-market lines, but the reforms failed to improve the economy. Half of the country's export earnings come from agriculture, forestry, and fishing.