The New Zealand Portal
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...
The following are images from various New Zealand-related articles on Wikipedia.
The Mission House at Kerikeri is New Zealand's oldest surviving building, having been completed in 1822
The Waikato River flowing out of Lake Taupo
Topography of Zealandia, the submerged continent, and the two tectonic plates
New Zealand is antipodal to points of the North Atlantic, the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco.
The scalloped bays indenting Lake Taupo's northern and western coasts are typical of large volcanic caldera margins. The caldera they surround was formed during the huge Oruanui eruption.
New Zealand children and young adult's author Margaret Mahy, July 2011.
Elizabeth II and Muldoon's Cabinet, taken during the Queen's 1981 visit to New Zealand
Michael Joseph Savage, Labour Prime Minister 1935-1940. This portrait was hung on the walls of many supporters.
Rural landscape close to Mt Ruapehu
Putting down a h?ngi (earth oven)
The M?ori are most likely descended from people who emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia and then travelled east through to the Society Islands. After a pause of 70 to 265 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.
A 1943 poster produced during the war. The poster reads: "When war broke out ... industries were unprepared for munitions production. To-day New Zealand is not only manufacturing many kinds of munitions for her own defence but is making a valuable contribution to the defence of the other areas in the Pacific..."
Hinepare of Ngati Kahungunu, is wearing a traditional korowai cloak adorned with a black fringe border. The two huia feathers in her hair, indicate a chiefly lineage. She also wears a pounamu hei-tiki and earring, as well as a shark tooth (mako) earring. The moko-kauae (chin-tattoo) is often based on one's role in the iwi.
Pavlova, a popular New Zealand dessert, garnished with cream and strawberries.
HMS North Star destroying Pomare's P? during the Northern/Flagstaff War, 1845, Painting by John Williams.
M?ori wh?nau from Rotorua in the 1880s. Many aspects of Western life and culture, including European clothing and architecture, became incorporated into M?ori society during the 19th century.
Vigil in Wellington for the victims of the Christchurch mosques attacks
Central Plateau in winter
Richard Seddon, Liberal Prime Minister from 1893 to his death in 1906
Men of the M?ori Battalion, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, after disembarking at Gourock in Scotland in June 1940
The Forty-Fours viewed from the north; the leftmost islet is the easternmost point of New Zealand.
Fiordland is dominated by steep, glacier-carved valleys
"First Scottish Colony for New Zealand" - 1839 poster advertising emigration from Scotland to New Zealand. Collection of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.
Percentages of people reporting affiliation with Christianity at the 2001, 2006 and 2013 censuses; there has been a steady decrease over twelve years.
Strong winds in the Cook Strait produce high waves which erode the shore, as shown in this image
European settlers developed an identity that was influenced by their rustic lifestyle. In this scene from 1909, men at their camp site display a catch of rabbits and fish.
The kiwi has become a New Zealand icon.
New Zealand Division in 1916
More Did you know? -
Selected article -
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, as well as Hardcore DJ's Darkraver and DJ Vince in the song 'Thunderground'.
The name of this hill translates roughly as
||The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.
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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Did you know? -
- ... that the All Blacks were once defeated by Rhodesia, a non-test rugby playing country?
- ... that none of the 17 anchor projects put forward for recovery from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand have been delivered on time?
- ... that the alpine skier Corey Peters won a silver medal for New Zealand at the 2014 Winter Paralympics?
- ... that Nigel, nicknamed "the world's loneliest gannet", attempted to mate with a concrete decoy bird on Mana Island, New Zealand?
- ... that 42 new MPs were elected to the 53rd New Zealand Parliament: 23 for Labour, including Arena Williams, Ibrahim Omer, Helen White, Neru Leavasa, Ingrid Leary, Rachel Brooking, Anna Lorck, Tracey McLellan, and Shanan Halbert; 5 for National, including Joseph Mooney, Simon Watts, and Penny Simmonds; 9 for ACT New Zealand, including Toni Severin, Simon Court, Brooke van Velden, and Chris Baillie; 3 for the Greens, including Ricardo Menéndez March and Teanau Tuiono; and 2 for the M?ori Party, including Rawiri Waititi?
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