New Zealand is a small country about the about the size of Japan or California, that is located in the n the South Pacific, between latitudes 34'S and 47'S. Its two main islands cover 268,798 Sq Km, about the size of Japan or California and slightly larger than Great Britain.
One of the things that New Zealanders pride most, is their clean green image, and rightly so. From its Northern Island with its many hot springs and volcanic peaks, to its South Island with it's alps and glaciers, New Zealand is a place of marvellous scenery and views. The forests on New Zealand are home to endemic plants and animals, found nowhere else on earth. The Lord of the Ring movie trilogy show cased New Zealand's pristine image, with filming being done throughout the country. Nothing yet comes close though, to gazing over the closest place to the garden of Eden.
The first recorded inhabitants of New Zealand was the Maoris, who arrive between 1000 and 1200. According to the Maoris oral history, they arrived in seven canoes from other areas of Polynesia. A Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman, explored New Zealand in 1642, and British captain James Cook made three voyages to New Zealand from 1769.
1840. The Treaty of Waitangi, was signed between the British and several Maori tribes promised to protect the Maori customary entitlement to the land if the Maoris recognized British rule.
1893. New Zealand was the world's first country to give women the right to vote.
1945. New Zealand became a founding member of the UN.
1951. New Zealand signed the ANZUS Treaty with Australia and the US.
1985. New Zealand banned nuclear weapons and nuclear power ships from its ports, which resulted in the US withdrawing guarantees of security to NZ under the ANZUS treaty and later imposing a trade freeze.
1999. It became part of the UN peacekeeping force sent to East Timor.
2002. Prime Minister Helen Clark apologized to Samoans for the unfair treatment they received during colonial rule.
2003. Parliament legalized prostitution.
- The capital city is Wellington.
- The total area is 268,798 Sq Km (excluding dependencies).
- Population is 4,000,000.
- Weather can be highly changeable throughout the year.
- All months are moderately wet while the high mountains carry snow throughout the year.
- Average annual precipitation varies between 600 and 1,500 mm (24 and 59 inches).
- Average temperature ranges in Wellington are from 6 to 12 degrees Celsius (43 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit) in July to 13 to 21 degrees Celsius (55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) in January.
- New Zealand is famous for its clean air and pleasant year round climate.
- The official currency is the Dollar (NZD) divided into 100 Cents.
- Main trading partners are Australia, the UK, Japan and the USA.
- Primary products are Cattle, Cereals, Coal, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Iron, Natural Gas, Sheep and Timber.
- Major industries are Agriculture, Aluminium Smelting, Cement, Fertilizers, Fishing, Glass, Iron and Steel, Meat and Dairy Processing, Machinery, Natural Gas Processing, Paper, Tanning, Timber Milling, Transport Equipment, Tourism, Wine Making, Wool and Textiles and Wood Processing.
- Main exports are Dairy Products, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Hides and Skins, Meat, Timber Products, Wood Pulp, Paper, and Wool.
- First place in the world to see each new day.
- New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
- In summer New Zealand has Daylight Saving when clocks are put forward one hour.
- Day Light Saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the last Sunday of the following March.