Portal:New Zealand
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Portal:New Zealand

The New Zealand Portal

Location of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand

New Zealand (M?ori: Aotearoa [a?'t?aa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses--the North Island (Te Ika-a-M?ui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)--and around 600 smaller islands, covering a total area of 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country's varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

Owing to their remoteness, the islands of New Zealand were the last large habitable lands to be settled by humans. Between about 1280 and 1350, Polynesians began to settle in the islands and then developed a distinctive M?ori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and M?ori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire, and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full statutory independence in 1947, and the British monarch remained the head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 5 million is of European descent; the indigenous M?ori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from M?ori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, M?ori, and New Zealand Sign Language, with English being very dominant.

A developed country, New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, government transparency, and economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. The service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, and agriculture; international tourism is a significant source of revenue. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, currently Jacinda Ardern. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. (Full article...)

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The great spotted kiwi, great grey kiwi or roroa (Apteryx haastii) is a species of kiwi endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. The great spotted kiwi, as a member of the ratites, is flightless. It is the largest of the kiwi. The rugged topography and harsh climate of the high altitude alpine part of its habitat render it inhospitable to a number of introduced mammalian predators, which include dogs, ferrets, cats, and stoats. Because of this, populations of this species have been less seriously affected by the predations of these invasive species compared to other kiwi. Nonetheless, there has been a 43% decline in population in the past 45 years, due to these predators and habitat destruction. This has led it to be classified as vulnerable. There are less than 16,000 great spotted kiwis in total, almost all in the more mountainous parts of northwest Nelson, the northwest coast, and the Southern Alps. A minority live on island reserves.

This kiwi is highly aggressive, and pairs will defend their large territories against other kiwi. Great spotted kiwi are nocturnal, and will sleep during the day in burrows. At night, they feed on invertebrates and will also eat plants. Great spotted kiwi breed between June and March. The egg is the largest of all birds in proportion to the size of the bird. Chicks take 75 to 85 days to hatch, and after hatching, they are abandoned by their parents. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various New Zealand-related articles on Wikipedia.

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...there are more M?ori people of Ng? Puhi descent than there are of any other iwi?

...that there are three different rivers in New Zealand called Waiau River?

...that many of New Zealand's cricket pitches use soil from Kakanui, near Oamaru?

...that cricketer Lee Germon captained the New Zealand cricket team in his very first international?


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New Zealand 0577.jpg
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the M?ori name for a hill, 305 metres (1,001 ft) high, close to Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. The name is often shortened to Taumata by the locals for ease of conversation.

It is featured in a Mountain Dew jingle and it is also in the 1979 single "Lone Ranger" by British band Quantum Jump. It is the subject of a 1960 song by the New Zealand balladeer Peter Cape[1], as well as Hardcore DJ's Darkraver and DJ Vince in the song 'Thunderground'.

The name of this hill translates roughly as

At 85 letters, it has been listed in the Guinness World Records as one of the longest place names in the world. (Full article...)

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Kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand.

Abel Tasman National Park is located at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It consists of an area of forested hill country to the north of the valleys of the Takaka and Riwaka Rivers, and is bounded to the north by the waters of Golden Bay and Tasman Bay. Tramping, kayaking, camping and sightseeing are popular activities in the park.

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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