The Full Wiki

More info on New Zealand

New Zealand: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on New Zealand

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Zealand
Aotearoa  (Māori)
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem"God Defend New Zealand"
"God Save the Queen"1
Capital Wellington
41°17′S 174°27′E / 41.283°S 174.45°E / -41.283; 174.45
Largest city Auckland2
Official language(s) English (98%)3
Māori (4.2%)3
NZ Sign Language (0.6%)3
Ethnic groups  78% European/Other4
14.6% Māori4
9.2% Asian4
6.9% Pacific peoples4
Demonym New Zealander,
Kiwi (colloquial)
Government Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
 -  Head of State HM Queen Elizabeth II
 -  Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand
 -  Prime Minister John Key
 -  Speaker Dr Lockwood Smith
 -  Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias
Independence from the United Kingdom 
 -  1st Parliament 25 May 18545 
 -  Dominion 26 September 19075 
 -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931 (adopted 25 November 1947) 
 -  Constitution Act 1986 13 December 1986 
 -  Total 268,021 km2 (74th)
103,483 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2.1
 -  2010 estimate 4,361,497[1] (123rd)
 -  2006 census 4,027,9476 
 -  Density 16.1/km2 (201st)
41.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $115.809 billion[2] (60)
 -  Per capita $27,083[2] (34)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $128.409 billion[2] (54)
 -  Per capita $30,030[2] (28)
Gini (1997) 36.2 (medium
HDI (2009) 0.950[3] (very high) (20th)
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Time zone NZST7 (UTC+12)
 -  Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
(Sep to Apr)
Date formats dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .nz8
Calling code +64
1 "God Save the Queen" is officially a national anthem but is generally used only on regal and vice-regal occasions. [4][5]
2 Auckland is the largest urban area; Auckland City is the largest incorporated city.
3 Percentages add to more than 100% because some people speak more than one language. They exclude unusable responses and those who spoke no language (e.g. too young to talk).[6]
4 Percentages add to more than 100% because some people identify with more than one ethnic group.[7]
5 There is a multitude of dates that could be considered to mark independence (see Independence of New Zealand).
6 Number of people who usually live in New Zealand.[8]
7 The Chatham Islands have a separate time zone, 45 minutes ahead of the rest of New Zealand.
8 The territories of Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau have their own cctlds, .nu, .ck and .tk respectively.

New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori language name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, commonly translated as The Land of the Long White Cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).

New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation: it is situated about 2,000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals they introduced.

The majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority. Asians and non-Māori Polynesians are also significant minority groups, especially in urban areas. The most commonly spoken language is English.

New Zealand is a developed country that ranks highly in international comparisons on human development, quality of life, life expectancy, literacy, public education, peace,[9] prosperity, economic freedom, ease of doing business, lack of corruption, press freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.[10] Its cities also consistently rank among the world's most liveable.

Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the country's head of state and is represented by a ceremonial Governor-General who holds reserve powers.[11] The Queen has no real political influence, and her position is essentially symbolic. Political power is held by the democratically elected Parliament of New Zealand under the leadership of the Prime Minister, who is the head of government.



It is unknown whether Māori had a name for New Zealand as a whole before the arrival of Europeans, although they referred to the North Island as Te Ika a Māui (the fish of Māui) and the South Island as Te Wai Pounamu (the waters of greenstone) or Te Waka o Aoraki (the canoe of Aoraki).[12] Until the early 20th century, the North Island was also referred to as Aotearoa (colloquially translated "land of the long white cloud");[13] in modern Māori usage, this name refers to the whole country. Aotearoa is also commonly used in this sense in New Zealand English, where it is sometimes used alone, and in some formal uses combined with the English name to express respect to the original inhabitants of the country, for example in the form of "[Organisation name] of Aotearoa New Zealand".

1657 map showing western coastline of "Nova Zeelandia"

The first European name for New Zealand was Staten Landt, the name given to it by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European to see the islands. Tasman assumed it was part of a southern continent connected with land discovered in 1615 off the southern tip of South America by Jacob Le Maire, which had been named Staten Landt, meaning "Land of the (Dutch) States-General".[14][15]

The name New Zealand originated with Dutch cartographers, who called the islands Nova Zeelandia, after the Dutch province of Zeeland.[15] No one is certain exactly who first coined the term, but it first appeared in 1645 and may have been the choice of cartographer Johan Blaeu.[16] British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. There is no connection to the Danish island Zealand.

Although the North and South Islands have been known by these names for many years, the New Zealand Geographic Board has stated that as of 2009, they have no official names. The board intends to make these their official names, along with alternative Māori names. Although several Māori names have been used, Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare sees Te Ika-a-Māui and Te Wai Pounamu respectively as the most likely choices.[17]


New Zealand is one of the most recently settled major landmasses. The first known settlers were Eastern Polynesians who, according to most researchers, arrived by canoe in about AD 1250–1300.[18] Some researchers have suggested an earlier wave of arrivals dating to as early as AD 50–150; these people then either died out or left the islands.[12][19][20] Over the following centuries these settlers developed into a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into Iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes) which would cooperate, compete and sometimes fight with each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to the Chatham Islands where they developed their distinct Moriori culture.[21][22]

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman and his crew in 1642.[23] Māori killed several of the crew and no Europeans returned to New Zealand until British explorer James Cook's voyage of 1768–71.[23] Cook reached New Zealand in 1769 and mapped almost the entire coastline. Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. They traded European food and goods, especially metal tools and weapons, for Māori timber, food, artefacts and water. On occasion, Europeans traded goods for sex.[24]

The potato and the musket transformed Māori agriculture and warfare, although the resulting Musket Wars died out once the tribal imbalance of arms had been rectified. From the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries began to settle New Zealand, eventually converting most of the Māori population, who had become disillusioned[25] with their indigenous faith by the introduction of Western culture.

Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Becoming aware of the lawless nature of European settlement and of increasing French interest in the territory, the British government sent William Hobson to New Zealand to claim sovereignty and negotiate a treaty with the Māori.[i] The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840. The drafting was done hastily and confusion and disagreement continue to surround the translation. The Treaty however remains regarded as New Zealand's foundation as a nation and is revered by Māori as a guarantee of their rights.

Initially under British rule, New Zealand had been part of the colony of New South Wales. Hobson initially selected Okiato as the capital in 1840, before moving the seat of government to Auckland in 1841, when New Zealand became a separate colony, and there were increasing numbers of European settlers to New Zealand particularly from the British Isles. The Māori were initially eager to trade with the 'Pakeha', as they called them, and many iwi became wealthy. As settler numbers increased, conflicts over land led to the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, resulting in the loss of much Māori land. The details of European settlement and the acquisition of land from Māori remain controversial.

Gustavus von Tempsky is shot during the land wars

Representative government for the colony was provided for in 1852 when the United Kingdom passed the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852. The 1st New Zealand Parliament met in 1854. In 1856 the colony became effectively self-governing with the grant of responsible government over all domestic matters other than native policy. Power in this respect would be transferred to the colonial administration in the 1860s.

In 1863 Premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution that the capital transfer to a locality in Cook Strait, apparently due to concern that the South Island might form a separate colony. Commissioners from Australia (chosen for their neutral status) advised that Wellington was suitable because of its harbour and central location, and parliament officially sat there for the first time in 1865. In 1893 the country became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote.

20th century

In 1907 New Zealand became a Dominion within the British Empire, and an independent Commonwealth realm in 1947 when the Statute of Westminster was adopted, although in practice Britain had long since ceased to play a significant role in governing New Zealand. As New Zealand became more politically independent it became more dependent economically; in the 1890s, refrigerated shipping allowed New Zealand to base its economy on the export of meat and dairy products to Britain.

Infantry from the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Regiment in the Battle of the Somme, September 1916.

New Zealand was an enthusiastic member of the British Empire, fighting in the Boer War, World War I and World War II, especially in the Battle of Britain, and supporting Britain in the Suez Crisis. The country was very much a part of the world economy and suffered as others did in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The depression led to the election of the first Labour government, which established a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionist economy.

New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity following World War II. However, some social problems were developing; Māori had begun to leave traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work. A Māori protest movement eventually developed, which criticised Eurocentrism and worked for more recognition of Māori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi, which they felt had not been fully honoured.

In 1975 a Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate alleged breaches of the Treaty, and it was enabled to investigate historic grievances in 1985. In common with other developed countries, social developments accelerated in the 1970s and social and political mores changed.

Britain's membership of the European Economic Community in 1973 drastically reduced access for New Zealand exporters to their previous largest market. This and the oil shocks of the 1970s led to significant economic and social changes during the 1980s under the 4th Labour government largely led by Finance Minister Roger Douglas, whose policies are commonly referred to as "Rogernomics."



New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy.[26] Although it has no codified constitution, the Constitution Act 1986 is the principal formal statement of New Zealand's constitutional structure.[27] The constitution has been described as "largely unwritten" and a "mixture of statutes and constitutional convention." [27] Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state and is titled Queen of New Zealand under the Royal Titles Act 1974. She is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the exclusive advice of the Prime Minister. The current Governor-General is Anand Satyanand.

The Governor-General exercises the Crown's prerogative powers, such as the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and to dissolve Parliament, and in rare situations, the reserve powers. The Governor-General also chairs the Executive Council, which is a formal committee consisting of all ministers of the Crown. The main constitutional function of the governor-general is to "arrange for the leader of the majority political party to form a government"; by constitutional convention, the governor-general "acts on the advice of ministers who have majority support in parliament."[28]

Members of the Executive Council are required to be Members of Parliament, and most are also in Cabinet. Cabinet is the most senior policy-making body and is led by the Prime Minister, who is also, by convention, the Parliamentary leader of the governing party or coalition. This is the highest policymaking body in the government.[29]

The New Zealand Parliament has only one chamber, the House of Representatives, which usually seats 120 Members of Parliament.[30]

Parliamentary general elections are held every three years under a form of proportional representation called Mixed Member Proportional. The Economist magazine explains: "Under MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) there is usually a 120-seat parliament; an extra seat can sometimes be added to ensure truly proportional representation. Of the total number of seats, 65 electorate (directly elected constituency) seats are contested on the old first-past-the-post basis, including seven seats reserved for the indigenous Māori people. The remaining 55 or so seats are allocated so that representation in parliament reflects overall support for each party (the party vote).

Under the MMP system, a party has either to win a constituency seat or more than 5% of the total party vote in order to gain representation in parliament. The government can continue to rule only if it retains majority support in the House of Representatives, or can secure the support of other political parties to give it a majority to pass legislation and survive parliamentary confidence votes."[31] The 2008 General Election created an 'overhang' of two extra seats, occupied by the Māori Party, due to that party winning more seats in electorates than the number of seats its proportion of the party vote would have given it.[29]

From October 2005 until November 2008, the Labour-led government was in formal coalition with the Progressive Party, Jim Anderton being its only MP. In addition, New Zealand First and United Future provided confidence and supply in return for their leaders being ministers outside cabinet. An arrangement was also made with the Green Party, which gave a commitment not to vote against the government on confidence and supply. In 2007 Labour also had the proxy vote of Taito Phillip Field, a former Labour MP. These arrangements assured the government of a majority of seven MPs on confidence votes.

Labour was defeated by the National Party in the general elections of November 8, 2008. Following the victory, National leader John Key moved quickly to form a government, negotiating coalition agreements with the right-wing ACT party, led by Rodney Hide, the centrist United Future party, albeit with its single seat held by leader Peter Dunne, and the Māori Party, led by Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples. Each of these leaders are to hold ministerial posts but remain outside of Cabinet. There are three parties in Opposition: the Labour Party, led by Phil Goff; the Greens, co-led by Metiria Turei and Russel Norman and the Progressive Party, under Jim Anderton.

The new executive was sworn in on 19 November 2008.

The highest court in New Zealand is the Supreme Court of New Zealand, established in 2004 following the passage of the Supreme Court Act 2003. The act abolished the option to appeal to the Privy Council in London.[29] The current Chief Justice is Dame Sian Elias. New Zealand's judiciary also includes the Court of Appeal; the High Court, which deals with serious criminal offences and civil matters at the trial level and with appeals from lower courts and tribunals; and subordinate courts.

While the Judiciary can sometimes place limits on acts of Parliament, and the 1990 New Zealand Bill of Rights enables some review by the Judiciary of executive action, there is no document ascertaining formal power of judicial review.[29] Its constitutional independence from Parliament is maintained by non-political appointments and strict rules regarding tenure in office.[29]

New Zealand is the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land have been occupied simultaneously by women: Queen Elizabeth II, Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, Prime Minister Helen Clark, Speaker of the House of Representatives Margaret Wilson and Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias were all in office between March 2005 and August 2006.[32] New Zealand's largest listed company, Telecom New Zealand, had a woman – Theresa Gattung – as its CEO at the time.

Foreign relations and the military

New Zealand maintains a strong profile on environmental protection, human rights and free trade, particularly in agriculture. New Zealand is a member of Commonwealth of Nations, OECD, Five Powers Defence Arrangements, APEC, East Asia Summit, and the United Nations. New Zealand is party to a number of free trade agreements, of which the most important are the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and Closer Economic Relations with Australia.

For its first hundred years, New Zealand followed the United Kingdom's lead on foreign policy. In declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Michael Savage proclaimed, "Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand".

2007 ANZAC Dawn Service in Wellington. From left to right, the flags of NZ, the UK and Australia

The two world wars had a marked impact, with New Zealand losing many young men in places like Gallipoli (where the ANZAC tradition was formed with Australia), Crete, El Alamein and Cassino. New Zealand also played a key part with Britain in the two famous battles, the naval Battle of the River Plate and the Battle of Britain fought in the air. During the Pacific part of World War II, the United States had more than 400,000 American military personnel stationed in New Zealand to prepare for crucial battles such as Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Saipan and Iwo Jima.

After the war the United States exerted an increased influence on culture and the New Zealand people gained a clearer sense of national identity. New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty in 1951, and later fought alongside the United States in both the Korean and the Vietnam Wars. In contrast, the United Kingdom became increasingly focused on its European interests following the Suez Crisis, and New Zealand was forced to develop new markets after the UK joined the EEC in 1973.[33]

New Zealand has traditionally worked closely with Australia, whose foreign policy followed a similar historical trend. This close bond was formed in Gallipoli and is part of the "ANZAC spirit", which forms a cornerstone in both countries. In turn, many Pacific Islands such as Western Samoa have looked to New Zealand's lead. The American influence on New Zealand was weakened by the disillusionment with the Vietnam War, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior by France (which Britain and the US failed to criticise), and by disagreements over environmental and agricultural trade issues and New Zealand's nuclear-free policy.

HMNZS Canterbury is a multi-role vessel (MRV) of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

While the ANZUS treaty was once fully mutual between Australia, New Zealand and the United States, this is no longer the case. In February 1985, New Zealand refused nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships access to its ports. New Zealand became a Nuclear-free zone in June 1987, the first Western-allied state to do so.[34][35][36] In 1986 the United States announced that it was suspending its treaty security obligations to New Zealand pending the restoration of port access.

The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987 prohibits the stationing of nuclear weapons on the territory of New Zealand and the entry into New Zealand waters of nuclear armed or propelled ships. This legislation remains a source of contention and the basis for the United States' continued suspension of treaty obligations to New Zealand.

Within New Zealand, there have been various wars between iwi, and between the British settlers and iwi. New Zealand has fought in the Second Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency (and committed troops, fighters and bombers to the subsequent confrontation with Indonesia), the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the Afghanistan War. It has also sent a unit of army engineers to help rebuild Iraqi infrastructure for one year during the Iraq War. As of October 2009, New Zealand forces were still active in Afghanistan.[37]

The New Zealand Defence Force has three branches: the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. New Zealand considers its own national defence needs to be modest; it dismantled its air combat capability in 2001. New Zealand has contributed forces to recent regional and global peacekeeping missions, including those in Cyprus, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sinai, Angola, Cambodia, the Iran/Iraq border, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands.[38]

Local government and external territories

Major cities and towns in New Zealand

The early European settlers divided New Zealand into provinces. These were abolished in 1876 so that government could be centralised, for financial reasons. As a result, New Zealand has no separately represented subnational entities such as provinces, states or territories, apart from local government. However the spirit of the provinces lives on, and there is fierce rivalry exhibited in sporting and cultural events. Since 1876, local government has administered the various regions of New Zealand.

In 1989, the government completely reorganised local government, implementing the current two-tier structure of regional councils and territorial authorities constituted under the Local Government Act 2002. In 1991, the Resource Management Act 1991 replaced the Town and Country Planning Act as the main planning legislation for local government.

New Zealand has 12 regional councils for the administration of regional environmental and transport matters and 73 territorial authorities that administer roading, sewerage, building consents, and other local matters. The territorial authorities are 16 city councils, 57 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council.

Four of the territorial councils (one city and three districts) and the Chatham Islands Council also perform the functions of a regional council and are known as unitary authorities. Territorial authority districts are not subdivisions of regional council districts, and a few of them straddle regional council boundaries.

The regions are (asterisks denote unitary authorities): Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne*, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Wellington, Marlborough*, Nelson*, Tasman*, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago, Southland, Chatham Islands*.

As a major South Pacific nation, New Zealand has a close working relationship with many Pacific Island nations, and continues a political association with the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. New Zealand operates Scott Base in its Antarctic territory, the Ross Dependency. Other countries also use Christchurch to support their Antarctic bases and the city is sometimes known as the "Gateway to Antarctica".

Geography and environment

Topography of New Zealand
Aoraki/Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand

New Zealand comprises two main islands, the North and South Islands, Te Ika a Maui and Te Wai Pounamu respectively in Māori, and a number of smaller islands, located near the centre of the water hemisphere. Cook Strait, 20 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, separates the North and South Islands. The total land area, 268,021 square kilometres (103,483 sq mi),[39] is a little less than that of Italy or Japan, and a little more than the United Kingdom. The country extends more than 1600 km (1000 mi) along its main, north-north-east axis, with approximately 15,134 km (9,404 mi) of coastline. The most significant of the smaller inhabited islands include Stewart Island/Rakiura; Waiheke Island, in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf; Great Barrier Island, east of the Hauraki Gulf; and the Chatham Islands, named Rēkohu by Moriori. The country has extensive marine resources, with the seventh-largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, covering over four million square kilometres (1.5 million square miles), more than 15 times its land area.[40]

The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,320 ft). There are 18 peaks over 3000 metres (9843 ft) in the South Island. The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highest North Island mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2797 m, 9177 ft), is an active cone volcano. The dramatic and varied landscape of New Zealand has made it a popular location for the production of television programmes and films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the The Last Samurai.

New Zealand from space. The snow-capped Southern Alps dominate the South Island, while the North Island's Northland Peninsula stretches towards the subtropics

The country owes its varied topography, and perhaps even its emergence above the waves, to the dynamic boundary it straddles between the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates. New Zealand is part of Zealandia, a continent nearly half the size of Australia that is otherwise almost completely submerged. About 25 million years ago, a shift in plate tectonic movements began to pull Zealandia apart forcefully, with this now being most evident along the Alpine Fault and in the highly active Taupo volcanic zone. The tectonic boundary continues as subduction zones east of the North Island along the Hikurangi Trench to continue north of New Zealand along the Kermadec Trench and the Tonga Trench which is mirrored in the south by the Puysegur Trench.

New Zealand is culturally and linguistically part of Polynesia, and is the south-western anchor of the Polynesian Triangle.

The latitude of New Zealand, from approximately 34 to 47° S, corresponds closely to that of Italy in the Northern Hemisphere. However, its isolation from continental influences and exposure to cold southerly winds and ocean currents give the climate a much milder character. The climate throughout the country is mild and temperate, mainly maritime, with temperatures rarely falling below 0 °C (32 °F) or rising above 30 °C (86 °F) in populated areas. Historical maxima and minima are 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and −21.6 °C (−6.9 °F) in Ophir, Otago.[41] Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to semi-arid (Köppen BSh) in the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland. Of the main cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving only 640 mm (25 in) of rain per year; Auckland, the wettest, receives almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average in excess of 2000 hours of sunshine. The southern and south-western parts of South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1400–1600 hours; the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive approximately 2400–2500 hours.[42]


Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world and its island biogeography, New Zealand has extraordinary flora and fauna, descended from Gondwanan wildlife or since arriving by flying, swimming or being carried across the sea.[43] About 80% of New Zealand's flora is endemic, including 65 endemic genera.[44] The two main types of forest are those dominated by podocarps and/or the giant kauri, and in cooler climates the southern beech. The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grasslands of tussock and other grasses, usually in sub-alpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests.

The endemic flightless kiwi is a national icon

Until the arrival of humans, 80% of the land was forested. Until 2006 it was thought that there were no non-marine native mammals, barring three species of bat (one now extinct). However in 2006 scientists discovered bones that belonged to a long-extinct unique, mouse-sized land animal in the Otago region of the South Island.[45] A diverse range of megafauna inhabited New Zealand's forests, including the flightless moas (now extinct), four species of kiwi, the kakapo and the takahē, all endangered by human actions. Unique birds capable of flight included the Haast's eagle, which was the world's largest bird of prey (now extinct), and the large kākā and kea parrots. Reptiles present in New Zealand include skinks, geckos and living fossil tuatara. There are four endemic species of primitive frogs. There are no snakes and there is only one venomous spider, the katipo, which is rare and restricted to coastal regions. There are many endemic species of insect, including the weta, one species of which may grow as large as a house mouse and is the heaviest insect in the world.

New Zealand has suffered a high rate of extinctions, including the moa, the huia, laughing owl and flightless wrens (which occupied the roles elsewhere occupied by mice). This is due to human activities such as hunting, and pressure from introduced feral animals, such as weasels, stoats, cats, goats, deer and brushtailed possums. Five indigenous vascular plant species are now believed to be extinct, including Adam's mistletoe and a species of forget-me-not.[44]

New Zealand has led the world in island restoration projects, where offshore islands are cleared of introduced mammalian pests and native species are reintroduced. Several islands, including two of the Chatham Islands, are wildlife reserves where common pests such as possums and rodents have been eradicated to allow the reintroduction of endangered species to the islands. A more recent development is the mainland ecological island.


Auckland, New Zealand's most populous city.

New Zealand has a modern, prosperous, developed economy with an estimated GDP (PPP) of $115.624 billion (2008). The country has a relatively high standard of living with an estimated GDP per capita of $27,017 in 2008, comparable to Southern Europe.[46] Since 2000 New Zealand has made substantial gains in median household income. New Zealand, along with Australia, largely escaped the early 2000s recession that affected most other Western countries.[47] However GDP fell in all four quarters of 2008.[48]

New Zealanders have a high level of life satisfaction as measured by international surveys; this is despite lower GDP per-head levels than many other OECD countries. The country was ranked 20th on the 2009 Human Development Index and 15th in The Economist's 2005 worldwide quality-of-life index.[49] The country was ranked 1st in life satisfaction and 5th in overall prosperity in the 2007 Legatum Institute prosperity index.[50][51] In addition, the 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 4th place and Wellington 12th place in the world on its list.[52] Taxation in New Zealand is lighter than in other OECD countries. New Zealand is one of the most free market capitalist economies according to economic freedom indices.

The service sector is the largest sector in the economy (68.8% of GDP), followed by manufacturing and construction (26.9% of GDP) and the farming/raw materials extraction (4.3% of GDP).[53]

New Zealand is a country heavily dependent on free trade, particularly in agricultural products. Exports account for around 24% of its output,[53] which is a relatively high figure (it is around 50% for many smaller European countries).[ii] This makes New Zealand particularly vulnerable to international commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. Its principal export industries are agriculture, horticulture, fishing and forestry. These make up about half of the country's exports. Its major export partners are Australia 20.5%, US 13.1%, Japan 10.3%, China 5.4%, UK 4.9% (2006).[53] Tourism plays a significant role in New Zealand's economy. Tourism contributes $12.8 billion (or 8.9%) to New Zealand’s total GDP and supports nearly 200,000 full-time equivalent jobs (9.9% of the total workforce in New Zealand).[54] Tourists to New Zealand are expected to increase at a rate of 4% annually up to 2013.[54]

The New Zealand dollar is the currency of New Zealand. It also circulates in the Cook Islands (see also Cook Islands dollar), Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands. It is sometimes informally known as the "Kiwi dollar".

The Economist magazine's outlook for New Zealand (2009) foresees the government's fiscal position to remain tenuous because of "weak revenue growth and rising expenditure". Government debt is expected to balloon from 25% (2008) to 40% (2013). GDP growth will contract in 2009 by 2.6%, then average 2.2% from 2010 to 2013 (although there are "downside risks" which may hamper this growth). Government will continue to pursue foreign trade. Inflation will be 1.4% in 2009, 1.3% in 2010 and average 2.3% from 2011 to 2013. The New Zealand dollar is expected to weaken against the dollar through 2010, but begin strengthening again beginning 2011 (but the report notes that exchange rates are volatile and hard to predict). The study doesn't see a change of government from the centre-right National Party until possibly 2011.[55]

Recent history

Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most famous tourist destinations[56]

Historically New Zealand enjoyed a high standard of living which relied on its strong relationship with the United Kingdom, and the resulting stable market for its commodity exports. New Zealand's economy was also built upon on a narrow range of primary products, such as wool, meat and dairy products. High demand for these products created sustained periods of economic prosperity, such as the New Zealand wool boom of 1951. However, in 1973 the United Kingdom joined the European Community which effectively ended this particularly close economic relationship between the two countries. During the 1970s other factors such as the oil crises (1973 and 1979) undermined the viability of the New Zealand economy; which for periods before 1973 had achieved levels of living standards exceeding both Australia and Western Europe.[57] These events led to a protracted and very severe economic crisis, during which living standards in New Zealand fell behind those of Australia and Western Europe, and by 1982 New Zealand was the lowest in per-capita income of all the developed nations surveyed by the World Bank.[58]

Since 1984, successive governments have engaged in major macroeconomic restructuring, transforming New Zealand from a highly protectionist and regulated economy to a liberalised free-trade economy. These changes are commonly known as Rogernomics and Ruthanasia after Finance Ministers Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson. A recession began after the 1987 share market crash and caused unemployment to reach 10% in the early 1990s. Subsequently the economy recovered and New Zealand’s unemployment rate reached a record low of 3.4% in the December 2007 quarter, ranking fifth from twenty-seven OECD nations with comparable data.[59] In 2009, New Zealand's economy ranked as the fifth freest in the world according the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom.[60]

The current government's economic objectives are centred on pursuing free-trade agreements and building a "knowledge economy". On 7 April 2008, New Zealand and China signed the New Zealand China Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement China has signed with a developed country.[61] Ongoing economic challenges for New Zealand include a current account deficit of 7.9% of GDP,[62] slow development of non-commodity exports and tepid growth of labour productivity. New Zealand has experienced a series of "brain drains" since the 1970s,[63] as well as educated youth leaving permanently for Australia, Britain or the United States. "Kiwi lifestyle" and family/whanau factors motivates some of the expatriates to return, while career, culture, and economic factors tend to be predominantly 'push' components, keeping these people overseas.[64] In recent years, however, a brain gain brought in educated professionals from poor countries, as well as Europe, as permanent settlers.[65][66]

In 2003 New Zealand decriminalised the sex trade, and the bold experiment seems to be succeeding. The Economist magazine cited the New Zealand system as the world's "fairest", which allows sex workers to ply their trade more or less freely at home or in brothels or on the street. The new system protects prostitutes from violence while preventing abuse from brothel owners. "In New Zealand, prostitutes can fend for themselves" while in nations like the United States, brothel-owners have more power. A government report reckoned "only about 1% of women in the business were under the legal age of 18". The report noted New Zealand had particular advantages – "the country’s isolation and robust legal system make it relatively free from the problem of trafficking".[67]

Since 2000, New Zealand's fashion industry has grown significantly, doubling exports within a ten year period, according the The Economist magazine. The nation now has "a vibrant and steadily expanding fashion industry, with some 50 established labels, up from a handful ten years ago, half of which sell abroad."[68] Much of this activity is based in Auckland. Clothing exports in 2007 were $315 million, up from $194 million ten years earlier.[68] This is a remarkable turnabout for a nation which has had a reputation for lackluster fashion – "Visiting diplomats have remarked upon the penchant among New Zealand women for short haircuts, backpacks and sensible shoes ... One ambassador accused them of dressing like soldiers; another said they looked as though they were going to a funeral."[68]


New Zealand Primary Energy Supply 2008. Source: Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand

In 2008, oil, gas and coal generated approximately sixty-nine percent of New Zealand's gross energy supply and thirty-one per cent was generated from renewable energy, primarily hydroelectric power and geothermal power.[69]


A Romney ewe with her two lambs.

Agriculture has been and continues to be the main export industry in New Zealand. In the year to June 2007, dairy products accounted for 21% ($7.5 billion) of total merchandise exports,[70] and the largest company of the country, Fonterra, a dairy cooperative, controls almost one-third of the international dairy trade.[71] Other agricultural items were meat 13.2%, wood 6.3%, fruit 3.5% and fishing 3.3%. New Zealand also has a thriving wine industry, which had a bumper year in 2007; wine became New Zealand's "12th most valuable export" in that year, overtaking wool exports.[72]

Livestock are rarely housed, but are sometimes fed small quantities of supplements such as hay and silage, particularly in winter. Grass growth is seasonal, largely dependent on location and climatic fluctuations but normally occurs for between 8–12 months of the year. Stock are grazed in paddocks, often with moveable electric fencing around the farm. Lambing and calving are carefully managed to take full advantage of spring grass growth.

In 1984 the New Zealand Labour Party ended all farm subsidies.[73]


Ethnicity and Immigration
New Zealand's historical population (black) and projected growth (red).

New Zealand has a population of about 4.3 million,[iv] of which approximately 78% identify with European ethnic groups. New Zealanders of European descent are collectively known as Pākehā; this term generally refers to New Zealanders of European descent but some Māori use it to refer to all non-Māori New Zealanders.[74] Most European New Zealanders are of British and Irish ancestry, although there has been significant Dutch, Dalmatian,[75] Italian, and German immigration together with indirect European immigration through Australia, North America, South America and South Africa.[76] According to the 2006 census projections, by 2026 European children will make up 64% of all New Zealand children, compared with 73% in 2006. Māori children will make up 29%, from 24% in 2006, and Asian and Pacific children will make up about 18% each, compared with 9% and 12% in 2006, respectively.[77] The fertility rate as of March 2009 was 2.2 per woman, compared to approximately 2 for the previous 30 years, with the total number of births higher than at any point since 1961. A second fertility estimate was 2.02 children per woman.[78] The fertility rate is expected to decline over the next forty years, according to one estimate.[78] The life expectancy of a child born in 2008 was 81.9 years for a girl, and 77.9 years for a boy.[79] Life expectancy at birth (males and females) is forecast to increase from 80 years to 85 years in 2050.[78] Further, infant mortality is expected to decline substantially from 2009 to 2050.[78] While the overall population is expected to grow to 5,349,000 in 2050, the median age (half younger, half older) will rise from 36 years in 2009 to 43 years in 2050 and the percentage of people sixty years of age and older will rise from 18% (2009) to 29% (2050).[78]

Fertility, life expectancy, infant mortality projections
2005–2010 2010–2015 2015–2020 2020–2025 2045–2050
Fertility (children per woman) &0000000000000002.0200002.02 &0000000000000002.0200002.02 &0000000000000001.9500001.95 &0000000000000001.8800001.88 &0000000000000001.8500001.85
Life expectancy at birth (years) &0000000000000080.00000080 &0000000000000081.00000081 &0000000000000082.00000082 &0000000000000082.00000082 &0000000000000085.00000085
Infant deaths per 1000 live births &0000000000000004.6000004.6 &0000000000000004.2000004.2 &0000000000000003.9000003.9 &0000000000000003.7000003.7 &0000000000000002.7000002.7

Note: Years rounded to whole number. Source: United Nations.[78]

New Zealand's fastest growing ethnic groups are Asian. Here, lion dancers perform at the Auckland Lantern Festival.

Indigenous Māori people are the largest non-European ethnic group, accounting for 14.6% of the population in the 2006 census. While people could select more than one ethnic group, slightly more than half (53%) of all Māori residents identified solely as Māori.[80] People identifying with Asian ethnic groups account for 9.2% of the population, increasing from 6.6% in the 2001 census, while 6.9% of people are of Pacific Island origin.[81] (These percentages add to more than 100% because people can identify with more than one ethnic group.)

New Zealand immigration policy is relatively open; its government is committed to increasing its population by about 1% annually. In 2008–09, a target of 45,000 was set by the New Zealand immigration Service (plus a 5,000 tolerance).[82] Twenty-three percent of the population was born overseas, one of the highest rates in the world. At present, immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland constitute the largest single group, accounting for 29% of those born overseas but immigrants are drawn from many nations, and increasingly from East Asia (mostly mainland China, but with substantial numbers also from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong).[83]

While the demonym is New Zealander, New Zealanders informally call themselves Kiwis.


Until 1987, English was New Zealand's only official language, and remains predominant in most settings; Māori became an official language under the 1987 Māori Language Act and New Zealand Sign Language under the 2006 New Zealand Sign Language Act.[84] The two official spoken languages are also the most widely used; English is spoken by 98% of the population and Māori by 4.1%.[6] Samoan is the most widely spoken non-official language (2.3%),[v] followed by French, Hindi, Yue and Northern Chinese.[6][85]

New Zealand has an adult literacy rate of 99%,[53] and 14.2% of the adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher.[86] For 30.4% of the population, some form of secondary qualification is their highest, while 22.4% of New Zealanders have no formal qualification.[86]

Change in religious beliefs since 1991

According to the 2006 census, Christianity is the predominant religion in New Zealand, held by 55.6% of the population, a decrease from 60.6% at the 2001 census. Another 34.7% indicated that they had no religion, up from 29.6% in 2001, and around 4% affiliated with other religions. The main Christian denominations are Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Presbyterianism and Methodism. There are also significant numbers who identify themselves with Pentecostal and Baptist churches and with the LDS (Mormon) church. The New Zealand-based Ratana church has adherents among Māori. According to census figures, other significant minority religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.[85][87]

Other Statistics

In a survey of the OECD amongst 30 democratic nations, New Zealand ranked an above-average 8th place in terms of the happiness of its populace (defined by the averaged responses to questions about personal contentment and positive feelings experienced recently) even though the country was noted as ranking relatively low amongst the surveyed nations in personal wealth (defined by averaged personal income).[88]

New Zealand is a predominantly urban country, with 72% of the population living in 16 main urban areas and 53% living in the four largest cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton.[89]


Late twentieth-century house-post depicting the navigator Kupe fighting two sea creatures
Twilight bagpipe band practice, Napier
Performers in traditional Māori clothing.


Much of contemporary New Zealand culture is derived from British roots. It also includes significant influences from American, Australian and Māori cultures, along with those of other European cultures and – more recently – non-Māori Polynesian and Asian cultures. Large festivals in celebration of Diwali and Chinese New Year are held in several of the larger centres. The world's largest Polynesian festival, Pasifika, is an annual event in Auckland.

Cultural links between New Zealand and the United Kingdom are maintained by a common language, sustained migration from the United Kingdom, and many young New Zealanders spending time in the United Kingdom on their "overseas experience" (OE). The music and cuisine of New Zealand are similar to that of Australia, Canada, UK, and the US, although both have distinct New Zealand and Pacific qualities.

Māori culture has undergone considerable change since the arrival of Europeans; in particular the introduction of Christianity in the early 19th century brought about fundamental change in everyday life. Nonetheless the perception that most Māori now live similar lifestyles to their Pākehā neighbours is a superficial one. In fact, Māori culture has significant differences, for instance the important role which the marae and the extended family continue to play in communal and family life.

As in traditional times, Māori habitually perform karakia to ensure the favourable outcome of important undertakings, but today the prayers used are generally Christian. Māori still regard their allegiance to tribal groups as a vital part of personal identity, and Māori kinship roles resemble those of other Polynesian peoples.

As part of the resurgence of Māori culture that came to the fore in the late 20th century, the tradition-based arts of kapa haka (song and dance), carving and weaving are now more widely practiced, and the architecture of the marae maintains strong links to traditional forms. Māori also value their connections to Polynesia, as attested by the increasing popularity of waka ama (outrigger canoe racing), which is now an international sport involving teams from all over the Pacific.

Te reo Māori

Use of the Māori language (te reo Māori) as a living, community language remained only in a few remote areas in the post-war years, but is currently undergoing a process of revitalization,[90] thanks in part to Māori language immersion schools and two Māori Television channels.[91] These are the only nationwide television channels to have the majority of its prime-time content delivered in Māori, primarily because only 4% of the population speak the language.[6] However, partly in recognition of the importance of Māori culture to New Zealand, the language was declared one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987.[90]

Film industry

Although films have been made in New Zealand since the 1920s, it was only from the 1970s that New Zealand films began to be produced in significant numbers. Films such as Sleeping Dogs and Goodbye Pork Pie achieved local success and launched the careers of actors and directors including Sam Neill, Geoff Murphy and Roger Donaldson. In the early 1990s, New Zealand films such as Jane Campion's Academy Award-winning film The Piano, Lee Tamahori's Once Were Warriors and Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures began to garner international acclaim.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in New Zealand, using mostly New Zealand crew and extras. Whale Rider, originally a novel by Witi Ihimaera, was produced in 2002 and received recognition from various festivals and awards. New Zealand features as a primary or additional location for many international productions, examples include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Bridge to Terabithia and Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.


The New Zealand media industry is dominated by a small number of companies, most of which are foreign-owned,[iii] although the state retains ownership of some television and radio stations. New Zealand television broadcasts mostly American and British programming, along with a small number of Australian and New Zealand shows.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority and the New Zealand Press Council can investigate allegations of bias and inaccuracy in the broadcast and print media. Combined with New Zealand's libel laws, this means that the New Zealand news media is fairly tame by international standards, but also reasonably fair and impartial. New Zealand receives high rankings in press freedom. Between 2003 and 2008, Reporters Without Borders has consistently ranked the country in the top twenty, placing it seventh in 2008.[92]


The All Blacks perform a haka before a match against France in 2006

Sport has a major role in New Zealand's culture, with the unofficial national sport of rugby union being particularly influential. Other popular participatory sports include cricket, bowls, netball, soccer, motorsport, golf, swimming and tennis.[93] New Zealand has strong international teams in several sports including rugby union, netball, cricket,[94][95] rugby league, and softball. New Zealand also has traditionally done well in the sports of rowing, yachting and cycling. The country is internationally recognised for performing well on a medals-to-population ratio at Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.[96][97]

Rugby union, commonly referred to as rugby, is closely linked to the country's national identity. The national rugby team, the All Blacks, has the best win to loss record of any national team,[98] and is well known for the haka (a traditional Māori challenge) performed before the start of international matches.[99] Rugby league is also widely played in New Zealand. The New Zealand Warriors compete in the Australian NRL competition, and in 2008 the national side, the Kiwis, won the Rugby League World Cup.[100]

Cricket was introduced to New Zealand in the 1800s[94] and is reputedly the second most popular sport in the country, with one source stating there are 98,000 registered cricket players.[101] The New Zealand team is known as the Blackcaps[102] and the national women's team is the White Ferns.[101]

Horse racing is a popular spectator sport which has spawned such national icons as Cardigan Bay and Phar Lap, and was part of the traditional "Rugby, Racing and Beer" culture.

New Zealand is also well known for its extreme sports and adventure tourism.[103] Its reputation in extreme sports extends from the establishment of the world's first commercial bungy jumping site at Queenstown in the South Island in November 1988.[104] The country also has a strong mountaineering tradition, with the country's most famous climber being the late Sir Edmund Hillary, jointly with Tenzing Norgay the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

International rankings

Organization Survey Ranking
Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index[105] 1 out of 144
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 20 out of 182
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 1 out of 180
World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 20 out of 133

See also



  • Allan, H.H. (1982) Indigenous Tracheophyta - Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledons, Flora of New Zealand Volume I. Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
  • Bain, Carolyn (2006). New Zealand. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1741045355. 
  • Clark, R. (1994) Moriori and Māori: The Linguistic Evidence. In Sutton, Douglas G. (Ed.) (1994), The Origins of the First New Zealanders. Auckland: Auckland University Press.
  • Davenport, Sally. "Panic and panacea: brain drain and science and technology human capital policy" Research Policy 33 (2004) 617–630. Accessed 2007-04-24.
  • Jackson, Duncan J.R. (2005). "Exploring the Dynamics of New Zealand's Talent Flow". New Zealand Journal of Psychology. 
  • Inkson, K (2004). "The New Zealand Brain Drain: Expatriate views". University of Auckland Business Review 6 (2): 29–39. 
  • King, Michael (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. New Zealand: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143018674. 
  • Lange, David (1990). Nuclear Free: The New Zealand Way. New Zealand: Penguin Books. ISBN 0140145192. 
  • Lindsey, Terence; Morris, Rod (2000). Collins Field Guide to New Zealand Wildlife. HarperCollins (New Zealand) Limited. 
  • Mackay, D. (1986) The Search For The Southern Land. In Fraser, B. (Ed.) (1986), The New Zealand Book Of Events. Auckland: Reed Methuen.
  • Mein Smith, Philippa (2005). A Concise History of New Zealand. Australia: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521542286. 
  • Robert G. Patman (2005). "Globalisation, Sovereignty, and the Transformation of New Zealand Foreign Policy" (PDF). Working Paper 21/05. Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. p. 8. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  • Sutton, Douglas G.; Flenley, John R.; Li, Xun; Todd, Arthur; Butler, Kevin; Summers, Rachel; Chester, Pamela I. (2008). "The timing of the human discovery and colonization of New Zealand". Quaternary International 184: pp. 109–121. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.09.025. 
  • Winkelmann, R. (2000). "The labour market performance of European immigrants in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s". The International Migration Review 33: 33–58. doi:10.2307/2676011. 
  • Zavos, Spiro (2007-09-02). "How to beat the All Blacks". The Sun Herald (supplement). p. 54. 

Further reading

  • David Bateman, ed. Bateman New Zealand Encyclopedia (2005)
  • Keith Sinclair and Raewyn Dalziel. A History of New Zealand (2000)
  • A. H. McLintock, ed. Encyclopedia of New Zealand 3 vols (1966)
  • New Zealand Official Yearbook (annual)


Explanatory notes
^i :From 1788 until 1840 New Zealand was formally part of New South Wales; see animated map of Australian states and territories.
^ii :For example see Finland
^iii :New Zealand's dominant media organisations are TVNZ (two free-to-air television channels); MediaWorks NZ (two free-to-air channels and a radio network); Fairfax Media (numerous newspapers and magazines); APN News & Media (several newspapers and radio stations); and Sky Network Television (a pay TV network and a free-to-air TV station).
^iv :An online population clock is accessible via Statistics New Zealand at
^v :Of the 85,428 people that replied they spoke Samoan in the 2006 Census, 57,828 lived in the Auckland region.[85]
  1. ^ Estimated resident population clock. Statistics New Zealand. Last calculated 19 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "New Zealand". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  3. ^ HDI of New Zealand. The United Nations. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  4. ^ "New Zealand's National Anthems". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  5. ^ "Protocol for using New Zealand's National Anthems". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Statistics New Zealand:Language spoken (total responses) for the 1996-2006 censuses (Table 16)". Statistics New Zealand. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  7. ^ Didham, Robert; Potter, Deb; and Allan, Jo-anne (April 2005). Understanding and Working with Ethnicity Data. Statistics New Zealand. ISBN 9780478315059. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  8. ^ Quickstats about New Zealand
  9. ^ "Global Peace Index Rankings". Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  10. ^ "New Zealand: World Audit Democracy Profile". Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  11. ^ "The Reserve Powers". The Governor-General of New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  12. ^ a b Mein Smith (2005) pg 6.
  13. ^ King (2003) pg 41.
  14. ^ The Discovery of New Zealand
  15. ^ a b Wilson, John (2007-09-21). "Tasman’s achievement". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  16. ^ Mackay (1986) pg 52–54.
  17. ^ Isaac Davison, North and South Islands officially nameless, New Zealand Herald, 22 April 2009. Accessed 22 April 2009.
  18. ^ Irwin, Geoff (2009-03-04). "When was New Zealand first settled? - The date debate". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  19. ^ Lowe, David J. (2008). "url=". in Lowe, David J.. Guidebook for Pre-conference North Island Field Trip A1 ‘Ashes and Issues’ (28-30 November, 2008). Australian and New Zealand 4th Joint Soils Conference, Massey University, Palmerston North (1-5 December 2008). New Zealand Society of Soil Science. pp. 142–147. ISBN 978-0-473-14476-0. 
  20. ^ Sutton et al. (2008), pg 109. "This paper ... affirms the Long Chronology [first settlement up to 2000 years BP], recognizing it as the most plausible hypothesis."
  21. ^ Clark (1994) pg 123–135
  22. ^ Davis, Denise (2007-09-11). Moriori "The impact of new arrivals". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Moriori. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  23. ^ a b Mein Smith (2005), pg 23.
  24. ^ King (2003) pg 122.
  25. ^ Peggy Brock, ed. Indigenous Peoples and Religious Change. Leiden: Brill, 2005. ISBN 978-90-04-13899-5. pages 67-69
  26. ^ "Over the course of her reign The Queen has been a regular visitor to New Zealand, paying 10 visits". The Monarchy Today. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  27. ^ a b The Economist Intelligence Unit (2005-02-15). "Political Forces - The constitution". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  28. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (2005-02-15). "Political Forces - The governor-general". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  29. ^ a b c d e "Factsheet - New Zealand". The Economist. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  30. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (2009-06-30). "Political Forces - The governor-general". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  31. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (2005-02-15). "Political Forces - The executive and legislature". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  32. ^ [Election of Speaker], Hansard, 3 March 2005. Quote from Jim Anderton: "I, too, noted with a slightly sinking feeling of inferiority that it is not just the top three constitutional positions that are occupied by women; it is now the top four."
  33. ^ Patman (2005) pg 8.
  34. ^ Lange (1990).
  35. ^ Dewes, Kate. "Legal challenges to nuclear weapons from AOTEAROA/NewZealand". Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  36. ^ Green, Robert. "The Naked Nuclear Emperor — Debunking Nuclear Deterrence". Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  37. ^ "ISAF Troops in Numbers (Placemat)". International Security Assistance Force. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  38. ^ "New Zealand Defence Force Overseas Operations". 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  39. ^ "Geography". Statistics New Zealand. 1999. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  40. ^ (PDF) Offshore Options: Managing Environmental Effects in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone. Wellington: Ministry for the Environment. 2005. ISBN 0-478-25916-6. 
  41. ^ "Summary of New Zealand climate extremes". National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  42. ^ "Mean monthly sunshine hours" (XLS). National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. 
  43. ^ Lindsey (2000) pg 14.
  44. ^ a b NZPCN (2006). New Zealand indigenous vascular plant checklist. ISBN 0-473-11306-6. Written by P.J. de Lange, J.W.D. Sawyer and J.R. Rolfe
  45. ^ "Tiny Bones Rewrite Textbooks, first New Zealand land mammal fossil". University of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 2007-05-31. 
  46. ^ "5. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  47. ^ Survey: New Zealand recession may end late 2009. July 6, 2009.
  48. ^ GDP confirms NZ bogged down in recession, One News, TVNZ, 27 March 2009. Accessed 4 March 2009.
  49. ^ "The Economist Intelligence Unit's quality-of-life index" (PDF). The World in 2005. The Economist. p. 4. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  50. ^ "Kiwis world's most satisfied". National Business Review. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  51. ^ "The 2007 Legatum Prosperity Index". LIGD. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  52. ^ "Highlights from the 2007 Quality of Living Survey". Mercer. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  53. ^ a b c d "The World Factbook - New Zealand". CIA. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  54. ^ a b "Key Tourism Statistics" (PDF). Ministry of Tourism. February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  55. ^ "Factsheet - New Zealand -- Economic statistics". The Economist Magazine. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  56. ^ "Milford Sound tops list of travellers destinations" (url). 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  57. ^ 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand - standard of living comparison table
  58. ^ Up from down under; National Review article
  59. ^ Bingham, Eugene (7 April 2008). "The miracle of full employment". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  60. ^ New Zealand, 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation.
  61. ^ Fran O'Sullivan with NZPA (7 April 2008). "Trade agreement just the start - Clark". The New Zealand Herald. 
  62. ^ NZPA (27 March 2008). "December quarter current account deficit better than expected". The New Zealand Herald. 
  63. ^ Davenport (2004).
  64. ^ Inkson (2004).
  65. ^ Winkelmann (2000).
  66. ^ Bain (2006) pg 44.
  67. ^ The Economist print edition (2008-10-30). "Policing prostitution -- The oldest conundrum". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  68. ^ a b c The Economist print edition (2008-02-28). "Fashion in New Zealand -- New Zealand's fashion industry". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  69. ^ "Energy Data File 2009". Ministry for Economic Development. July 2009. 
  70. ^ "New Zealand External Trade Statistics" (PDF). Statistics New Zealand. June 2007. p. 9. 
  71. ^ Frequently Asked Questions, Fonterra website. Accessed 2008-02-20.
  72. ^ The Economist (2008-03-27). "Wine in New Zealand". The Economist. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  73. ^ "Save the Farms -- End the Subsidies". Cato Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-22. "In 1984 New Zealand's Labor government took the dramatic step of ending all farm subsidies, which then consisted of 30 separate production payments and export incentives." 
  74. ^ Ranford, Jodie. "'Pakeha', Its Origin and Meaning". Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  75. ^ Walrond, Carl (2007-09-21). "Dalmatians". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  76. ^ "New Zealand Peoples". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  77. ^ National Ethnic Population Projections: 2006 (base) - 2026 The figures add up to more than 100% due to ethnic overlap.
  78. ^ a b c d e f Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009) (.PDF). World Population Prospects, Table A.1, A.2, A.12, A.15, A.17, A.18 see pgs 27, 38, 44, 57, 62. 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  79. ^
  80. ^ "Māori Ethnic Population / Te Momo Iwi Māori". QuickStats About Māori, Census 2006. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  81. ^ "Cultural diversity". 2006 Census QuickStats National highlights. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  82. ^ Hoadley, Stephen (2004). "Our immigration policy: rationality, stability, and politics: Stephen Hoadley discusses New Zealand's approach to the vexed question of immigration controls". New Zealand International Review 29 (2): 14. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  83. ^ For the percentages: "QuickStats About Culture and Identity - Birthplace and people born overseas". 2006 Census. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
    For further detail within East Asia: "Birthplace for the census usually resident population count, 2006" (XLS). Classification counts, 2006 Census. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  84. ^ "New Zealand Sign Language Act". Office for Disability Issues. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  85. ^ a b c "Religious Affiliation, Table 28" (XLS). 2006 Census. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  86. ^ a b "Educational attainment of the population" (xls). Education Counts. 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  87. ^ "Quick Stats About culture and Identity— 2006 Census" (PDF). Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  88. ^ World's Happiest Places-, 05 May 2009
  89. ^ "Subnational population estimates at 30 June 2008". Statistics New Zealand. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  90. ^ a b Māori Language Week - Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (from the '' website, operated by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Accessed 2008-02-22.)
  91. ^ "Te Reo". Māori Television. 
  92. ^ "Only peace protects freedoms in post-9/11 world". Reporters Without Borders. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  93. ^ "Top sports and physical activities". 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  94. ^ a b Richard Boock (November 11, 2006). "Cricket Chief: Eden Park Betrayed". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  95. ^ Peter Williams (September 13, 2009). "Peter Williams: Future cricket looks shorter". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  96. ^ "ABS medal tally: Australia finishes third". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2004-08-30.!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  97. ^ "Per Capita Olympic Medal Table". Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  98. ^ Zavos (2007).
  99. ^ "The Haka". Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  100. ^ New Zealand Herald - League: Kiwis conjure up World Cup miracle
  101. ^ a b "Cricket". Media Resources -- Tourism New Zealand's site for international media and broadcast professionals.. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  102. ^ Edward Gay (New Zealand Herald). "Live from the terraces". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  103. ^ Bain (2006), pg 69.
  104. ^ "Kawarau Bridge Bungee". Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  105. ^ "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 

External links

General information

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to New Zealand article)

From Wikitravel

Oceania : New Zealand
Quick Facts
Capital Wellington
Government Representative parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Area 270,534 sq km
Population 4,182,000 (April 2007 est.)
Language English, Maori, and New Zealand sign language
Religion unspecified/none 43%, Anglican 17%, Roman Catholic 14%, Presbyterian 11%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9%, other 3%
Electricity 230V/50Hz (Australian plug)
Calling Code +64
Internet TLD .nz
Time Zone UTC +12 (DST +13)

New Zealand is known in the native Maori language as Aotearoa, often translated as The land of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: Soaring mountain peaks, fiords, lakes, rivers, and active volcanic features. The islands are inhabited many species of unique fauna, including the elusive kiwi, which has become the national symbol.

The Maori culture continues to play an important part in everyday New Zealand life, and there are abundant opportunities for the visitor to understand and experience the history and the present day form of Maori life.

The country is sparsely populated, but easily accessible. New Zealand has modern visitor facilities, and developed transportation networks. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to nature, and is the home of jetboating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.


New Zealand has been called God's own country and the "Paradise of the Pacific" since the early 1800s. Travellers generally agree New Zealand deserves this description.

Lonely Planet named New Zealand the world's top travel destination two years in a row (2003/2004), and it was voted best long-haul travel destination in the 2004 Guardian and Observer’s People’s Choice award. It has won the award in three out of the past four years. At the 2005 Condé Nast Traveller Awards, readers voted New Zealand as the best holiday destination in the world.


New Zealand consists of two main islands and many smaller ones in the South Pacific Ocean approximately 1600 km southeast of Australia. With a population of four million in a country about the size of the United Kingdom, many areas are sparsely settled.

Be sure to allow sufficient time to travel in New Zealand as distances are large, and roads wind along the coast and through mountain ranges, particularly on the South Island. It is possible to tour for three or four weeks on each island, although you can certainly see highlights in far less time.

Auckland, with a population of around 1.25 million people, is the largest city in Polynesia.

Settlement and history

New Zealand was the last significant land mass to be inhabited by humans, both in terms of indigenous settlement and European colonization. This, combined with geological youth and geographical isolation, has led to the development of a young, vigorous nation with a well-travelled, well-educated expatriate population of 1,000,000. 1 in 4 born New Zealanders and 1 in 3 between ages 22 and 48 have left their place of Birth for more favourable locations.

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about 800 AD. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, in 1642, was the first European to see New Zealand, and his mapped coastline appeared on Dutch maps as "Nieuw Zeeland" from as early as 1645. British naval Captain James Cook rediscovered, circumnavigated and mapped the islands in 1769. A few people, mostly sealers, whalers, traders and missionaries, settled during the next 80 years and the islands were administered by the British colony in New South Wales.

In 1840, with the assistance of missionaries, the Maori agreed to accept British sovereignty over the islands through the Treaty of Waitangi. More intensive settlement began that same year. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872, coupled with political manoeuvring and the spread of European diseases, broke Maori resistance to land settlement, but left lasting grievances. In recent years the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances, and this is a complicated process. In 2005, the Maori Party was formed, in part in response to the Government's law on the Foreshore and Seabed but also to promote an independent Maori perspective at a political level.

When the six British colonies federated to form Australia in 1901, New Zealand decided not to join the federation. Instead, the British colony of New Zealand became a dominion in 1907. It was offered complete independence under the 1931 Statute of Westminster, although it did not adopt this until 1947. All remaining constitutional links with the United Kingdom were severed with the passing of the New Zealand Constitution Act by both parliaments in 1986, though the British queen remains the Head of State with an appointed Governor-General as her representative in New Zealand. However the Constitution of Australia permits New Zealand to join as another Australian state. New Zealand supported the United Kingdom militarily in the Boer War of 1899–1902, as well as both World Wars. It also participated in wars in Malaya, Korea and Vietnam under various military alliances, most notably the ANZUS treaty with Australia and the United States.

New Zealand's population has strongly opposed the testing and use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear armed warship visits meant that the Parliament enacted anti-nuclear legislation in the mid-1980s. This led to the abandonment of New Zealand's commitment to the ANZUS defence alliance.


A former British colony, it has a population mainly of European descent, with a sizeable indigenous Maori minority, a similarly sized Asian minority, and smaller minorities of various Polynesian and other groups.

Time zones

New Zealand leads the world time wise. 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+12) and 20 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Daylight Saving (GMT+13) begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April.

NZST New Zealand Standard Time NZDT New Zealand Daylight Time


The national sports in New Zealand are rugby union and netball in winter, and cricket in summer. The Super 14 season, a regional competition incorporating regional teams from South Africa and Australia, runs from February to May, and the New Zealand domestic competition, the Air New Zealand Cup (formally the National Provincial Championship) runs later in the year. The national team, the All Blacks, generally play matches at home during June through to September, mainly in the Tri Nations against South Africa and Australia.


New Zealand has a temperate climate in the south island and sub-tropical climate in the North Island and the nature of the terrain, the prevailing winds and the length of the country lead to sharp regional contrasts. Maximum daytime temperatures sometimes exceed 30°C and only fall below 0°C only in the elevated inland regions. Generally speaking, rainfall and humidity is higher in the west than the east of the country due to the north-south orientation of the mountain ranges and the prevailing westerly/north westerly winds.

Part situated in the Roaring Forties, unsheltered areas of the country can get a bit breezy, especially in the centre, through Cook Strait and around Wellington. The winds seem to be stronger around the equinoxes. In the winter, southerly gales can be severe but they also bring snow to the ski-fields and are usually followed by calm clear days.

Temperatures in (°C) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
North Island 23 24 23 20 17 15 14 15 17 18 20 22
South Island 22 22 19 17 14 11 11 12 15 17 19 21

New Zealand is one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to forecast the weather. Although the weather is changeable, there is certainly more sunshine and warm temperate temperatures to enjoy in summer. It is not uncommon, especially on the South Island, to experience four seasons in one day.

New Zealand is a small country surrounded by ocean. A complicating, but often beneficial factor on the day to day weather, is the steep mountain range running down the spine of New Zealand orientated in a southwest-northeast direction. These mountains often shelter eastern parts of the country from an onslaught of westerly winds and rain.

The weather is mostly influenced by fast moving weather systems in the strong westerly winds, which are often referred to as the roaring forties, that predominate over southern parts of the country and seas to the south. There tends to be a seven day cycle associated with these westerlies as a cold front sweeps over the country associated with a couple of days rain, somewhere over the country. Often though these westerlies are disrupted by large high pressure systems or by storm systems.

During the summer and early autumn months from about December to April, the westerlies tend to move south giving more settled weather. Always be prepared for a change though. Also, during this time, random weather systems from the tropics can make their presence felt, mainly over the North Island, with a period of warm wet windy weather.

In the Winter, May to August, the weather tends to be more changeable. Cold fronts often bring a period of rain to western areas followed by a cold wind from the south bringing snow to the mountains and sometimes to near sea level over eastern parts of the South Island. When the weather turns cold and wet in the east, to the west of the mountains it will be fantastic. At this time of the year it is not uncommon for high pressure systems and clear skies to park over the whole country for long periods bringing crisp frosty nights and mornings followed by cool sunny days.

In spring, from August to November, the westerly winds are typically at their strongest – these are called the equinoctial westerlies. It tends to rain more in western areas, and especially on the South Island, at this time, while in the east, warm dry winds can give great cycling weather. Once again though, a cold front and its accompanying south winds can give you a taste of winter at any stage.

The Metservice [1] has weather forecasts for five days in advance.


New Zealand is a very diverse country with many regions that are worth seeing, but at a high level it's easiest to break it down according to its two main islands and the smaller offshore islands.

Regions, major cities and other destinations in NZ
Regions, major cities and other destinations in NZ
North Island
Warm, with scenery ranging from sandy beaches, through rolling farmland and forests to active volcanic peaks with bubbling mud pools.
South Island
Spectacular mountains and fjords, large beech forests, beautiful beaches, large glaciers.
Offshore Islands (Stewart Island, Chatham Islands, Sub-Antarctic Islands)
The other, more wild, islands of New Zealand, ranging from the nearby and accessible Stewart Island to the remote windswept Sub-Antarctic Islands and the distant uninhabited Kermadec Islands.


It's the country that's magnificent in New Zealand and we list only ten of the most prominent settlements. Here they are from north to south:

North Island:

  • Auckland - "The City of Sails" - largest and most populated conurbation, with over a million in the metropolitan area, making it the largest in New Zealand by far
  • Hamilton - 128km south of Auckland, capital of the Waikato, home to the Chiefs (super 14 rugby) and the Magic ( ANZ cup netball). On the banks of the mighty Waikato River. Leafy.
  • Tauranga - known for its great weather, sun and beach Tauranga is a great holiday spot.
  • Rotorua - famous for Maori culture, geysers and beautiful hot pools
  • Napier - "Art Deco capital of NZ" The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931. Rebuilt in the style of art deco.
  • Wellington - the national capital, also known as "The Windy City" - Parliament and the Beehive and the wonderful, free Te Papa museum

South Island:

  • Nelson - Safe and friendly, with New Zealand's highest sunshine hours. Nelson is the geographic centre of the country and surrounded by incredible coastal and mountain scenary, three stunning national parks, vineyards and orchards. Nelson is also well known for its strong art culture and excellent cuisine.
  • Christchurch - The Garden City and the Air Gateway to Antarctica
  • Queenstown - adrenalin and adventure capital of the world, where you can skydive, bungy jump, jet-boat, thrill yourself to your hearts content
  • Dunedin - the Edinburgh of the South, proud of its Scots heritage, chocolate factory, Southern Albatross colony and its wonderful tramping tracks within a short drive from the CBD
  • Invercargill - the southernmost city and one of the very few places to see a living Tuatara
Cable car above Wellington.

New Zealand has a wealth of national parks, rural areas and other out-of-the-way places that are worth a visit. Nine of the best are listed below from north to south, but there are many more in the various regions of the country.

Get in

Arrivals are by plane or occasionally by boat (typically cruise ships through Auckland).

By plane

There are international airports at Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. The main gateways are Auckland and Christchurch, with Auckland servicing more than 20 destinations and a dozen airlines, and direct connections from Christchurch to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Due to its large Polynesian and Melanesian expatriate communities, New Zealand has extensive direct flight options to South Pacific nations such as Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

Departure tax is included in the ticket price if flying out of Auckland. If you are departing internationally from other centres, you must pay $25 at the Bank of New Zealand counter or kiosks. Children under 12 are exempt, but still have to obtain an exemption sticker from the bank. If you don't have the sticker, you can check in, but you will not be allowed to progress through security. The departure fee can be paid by credit card, cash or a mixture. Use the opportunity to get rid of the last of your notes and coin, and pay the difference by credit.

Passports, Visas and documentation

All visitors who are not citizens of New Zealand need a passport to enter. Australian passport holders and current permanent residents of Australia may enter New Zealand without a visa and stay as long as they wish without restrictions including on employment. British passport holders can be granted a visa-free Visitor's Permit for up to six months on arrival. Citizens of a large number of other countries can be granted a visa-free visitor's entry for up to three months on arrival, check the list of Visa Free Countries [2]. All these waivers, including the one for Australians, can be refused. In particular, potential visitors with criminal records or who have been refused entry to or deported from any country should check with New Zealand immigration about whether they need to apply for a visa.

Visitors from countries not in the visa-free list or those wishing to stay longer than the maximum visa-free period for their nationality, will need to apply for an appropriate visa. Check the Immigration New Zealand [3] web page for details.

If entering as a tourist you must have a return ticket or evidence of onward travel to enter NZ and even check-in with airlines. If you do not then you will have to purchase one at the airport to be allowed to check in.


New Zealand has very strong biosecurity laws. The economy is based on agriculture and importing even small quantities of food, as well as unprocessed animal or plant materials is tightly controlled. These restrictions are designed to prevent the introduction of foreign animal and plant diseases and pests.

At ports of international entry, both the Agriculture and Customs Services may inspect passenger baggage and confiscate and fine for any prohibited items. There are air-side amnesty bins available to cater for accidental importation. Items that must be declared include: any kind of food; any plant material; any animals, animal material or biological specimens; dirty or soiled sports gear, footwear, and used camping gear and anything that may have been in contact with soil, been used on a farm or has been used with animals. If declared, the owners of dirty items are often required to clean them thoroughly, if not declared fines are often applied. Expect random inspections by sniffer-dogs - you may need to have your luggage inspected if you have had food in it recently that the dogs can smell.

Commercially-packaged or processed food is usually allowed through by the Agricultural services, but you can still be fined if you do not declare them. If you are unsure it is best to declare any questionable items as the immigration officers will be able to tell you if it needs to be cleaned or disposed of before entry. Some items may be allowable such as wooden souvenirs but be taken for sterilization or fumigation before being released to you. You may be charged a fee for this.

On the spot fines of $200 are issued for not declaring controlled items. The law provides for deliberate breaches to receive a fine of up to $100,000 or a prison term of up to five years. Either declare items as required or dump them in the amnesty bins before you reach customs. If you have difficulty with the arrival card, most airline staff are able to assist you, there are also officials at the major airports air-side who can assist.

In addition, importation or possession of most recreational drugs, including cannabis, is illegal and results in arrest. If found guilty, you would be subject to a range of penalties from; hefty fines for minor offences to lengthy imprisonment for larger offences, after which you would be deported and prohibited from re-entering.

Get around

By plane

Domestic flights in New Zealand are often cheaper than driving or taking the train, especially if crossing between the North and South Islands is required.

Airlines operate an electronic ticket system. You can book on-line, by telephone, or through a travel agent. Photographic ID will be needed for travel.

Check-in times are usually at least 30 minutes prior to flight departure. Cabin baggage and personal scanning are routinely conducted for services from the major airports that have jet landings.

  • Air New Zealand, [4]. Has the most extensive domestic network, serving most cities over 20,000 people, with jet services between main centres and smaller aircraft elsewhere. Free baggage allowance is 1 piece of baggage weighing 25 kg, with 7 kg carry-on.
  • Qantas, [5]. Operated by Jetconnect and flies on the main trunk and principal tourist routes (Auckland–Rotorua–Wellington–Christchurch–Queenstown). From the 10th of June Qantas flights will be replaced by Jetstar, with Qantas exiting the market in favour of its subsidiary.
  • Pacific Blue, [6]. Offers a few internal routes and breaks the duopoly and driving down prices through competition.
  • Jetstar, [7]. Budget no-frills carrier, filling most Qantas routes.

Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown (New Zealand) and Wellington airports have timetabled buses to the airport. Regional airports generally have only on-demand shuttle services and taxis.

By bike

You can bring your own bike, as well as hire a bike in some of the larger cities. You must wear a helmet while riding, otherwise you may be fined. When hiring a bike you should be supplied with a helmet. Also remember to ride on the left.

Riding bikes in New Zealand can be fun, but be aware of buses and trucks on main highways as overtaking distances can be slim. You should also be prepared for the large distances between towns and cities and the generally windy weather. While some areas of New Zealand are flat, most tourists cycling in New Zealand will find that they need to be able to cope with long periods of cycling up hills, especially in the Coromandel.

Being a temperate coastal climate, the weather is changeable and it is recommended that cyclists have all options covered. It is often said that in New Zealand you can get four seasons in one day, particularly in the high country which has been made famous as the film location of Middle Earth in the filmed versions of Lord of the Rings. Due to ozone depletion above NZ and Australia, burn times in the summer are often shorter relative to elsewhere in the world, and a factor 15 or greater sunscreen is essential to avoid the discomfort of sunburn.

Flying with your bike means coping with airline regulations, transit and storing when not in use. You can choose to get a bike on arrival in New Zealand, or to use a self guided or guided cycle tour operator. Christchurch has the largest number of guided and self-guided tour operators [8] and there are a number of bike rental companies based there also. There are also several tour operators who incorporate cycling with tours such as Active New Zealand [9] Flying Kiwi [10] and Pedal Tours [11].

By bus

Buses are a relatively cheap and environmentally friendly way to get around New Zealand. Most roads in New Zealand are quite narrow and winding, and travelling a long distance in a bus can be a safe and relaxing way to travel. Booking in advance on some lines can get you great bargains.

  • InterCity Coachlines, [12]. New Zealand’s national coach company, with services connecting over 600 destinations nationwide. InterCity Group has voluntarily adopted European Emission standards across its fleet of modern coaches to operate InterCity Coachlines, Newmans Coach Lines and also operates a modern fleet of vessels and coaches to operate Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands[13]. In May 2007 InterCity Group singed up to Landcare Research's carboNZero programme [14] which has a core focus on working to reduce harmful emissions at source. They have used a range of activities to reduce their carbon emissions by up to 50% over the 5 years. Tickets can be purchased from the InterCity ticket counters at bus stations or iSite information centres and a discount is given to students or youth-hostel membership card holders (e.g. BBH, YHA). A cheaper option is to prebook tickets online as some seats are sold at a cheaper rate.  edit
  • GreatSights New Zealand[15]New Zealand’s premier daily sightseeing operator, GreatSights New Zealand operates over 30 daily sightseeing trips across the country including the Bay of Islands, Auckland Highlights, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Wairarapa Wine Tours, Mt Cook, Christchurch Highlights, Milford Sound and the stunning West Coast Glaciers. Driver guides provide informative commentary aboard modern vehicles, equipped with air-conditioning, reclining seats and onboard restrooms.
  • Naked Bus, New Zealand's low cost city to city bus company. (Bookings on the website: [16]), provides daily point-to-point services with very low prices. You may be able to find $1 advance tickets on their website. Their services cover the country with daily buses. Naked Bus is the cheapest option for travellers who plan ahead. Note that some Nakedbus services code-share with other bus companies (including Southern Link and Atomic).
  • Atomic Shuttles [17] operate a no-frills shuttle service in parts of the South Island.
  • Flexi-Pass [19] - InterCity/Newmans/GreatSights also offer a pass. Flexi-Pass is sold in blocks of time, just like a prepaid phone card, and enables the holder to travel anywhere on the company’s network. Passes start at 15hrs, which is enough to travel from Auckland to Wellington in the North Island. Flexi-Pass hours can also be used to travel on the Interislander ferry [20] and on Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands Dolphin Watching cruises and tours [21] to Cape Brett and the famous "Hole in the Rock". Passes can also be on sold.
  • TRAVELPASS [22] - Another succesful transport pass offered by InterCity Coachlines. TRAVELPASS brings together an extensive range of “hop on and off” fixed itinerary passes, based on the most popular touring routes throughout New Zealand, so you can explore New Zealand like a local. National passes inlcude the Interislander ferry as well as a scenic boat cruise in Milford Sound.
  • Nakedpassport [23] - Nakedbus's pass. sold in bundles of trips. Also an unlimited trip pass available (valid for 12 months). Note this pass cannot be used as a commuter pass but is ideal for travellers wishing to see the whole country. You can get on and off when you please - but bookings are required. This pass also allows purchase of selected tourist activities at discounted prices. With this pass you travel on naked buses, so you are travelling with both travellers and locals.
  • Backpacker buses - KiwiExperience Backpacker Bus [24], Stray Travel Bus [25] and The Magic Bus [26] offer bus trips around New Zealand where you can get on and off as you please.

By campervan

See also: Renting a motorhome in New Zealand

By car

See also: Driving in New Zealand

Driving around both the main islands by car is generally not a problem. You can reach almost anywhere you might need to in a two-wheel-drive car or even a small camper van. You do not need four-wheel drive to reach the best places. The volume of traffic is normally low and drivers are usually fairly courteous. Within the cities, traffic density is higher and some confusion may set in, given that many drivers are used to the open roads. Traffic moves on the left in New Zealand, just like in Australia/UK/Japan but unlike North America/continental Europe/mainland China, so be sure to stay on the correct side of the road if you drive.

To legally drive in New Zealand then you need to be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid drivers licence from your home country. It's important to note that if you plan on staying and driving in country for over a year then you need to get a New Zealand driver's licence.


Rideshare and carpooling is increasing in New Zealand as petrol prices rise and people recognise the social and environmental benefit of sharing vehicles and travelling with others. While some systems are quite informal, others have trust systems which give greater security when choosing a ride.

  • Cooreea, [27]. A New Zealand company, Cooreea provides a trust based system and allows pre-arranged payments between users. Payments are held until successful completion of the ride. Other than rideshare, the system is also designed for you to send things like your bicycle with someone who's got space in their car.
  • Jayride, [28]. Another New Zealand ridesharing and hitch hiking website. Their focus is providing a variety of ride options, for flexibility and cost savings.
  • Lift Surfer, [29].A free ride sharing service dedicated to connecting lift seekers with lift providers. A service aimed primarily at backpackers.


Car rental firms range from the familiar multi-national big brands through to small local car rental firms. The advantage of the big name rental firms is they can be found throughout New Zealand and offer the biggest and newest range of rental vehicles. The disadvantage is that generally they are the most expensive. Occasionally rental firms offer free rental in the direction from south to north due to the majority of tourists travelling in the opposite direction, creating a deficit of cars in the north.

At the other end of the scale are the small local operators who typically have older rental cars. Whilst you may not end up driving this year's latest model the advantage is that the smaller car rental firms can be substantially cheaper, so leaving you more money to spend on the many exciting attractions New Zealand offers. Between these extremes you will find a wide range of NZ car rental firms catering to different needs and budgets.

Self drive holidays are a great way to travel around New Zealand as they offer independence, flexibility and opportunities to interact with the locals. A number of companies offer inclusive self drive holidays with rental car & accommodation, pre-set itineraries or customised to suit your interests.


If you want to have a extended holiday in New Zealand, and you would prefer to have your own transport it may be cheaper to buy a car or van and resell it just before leaving. If you use this method travel across Cook Strait can be expensive. If purchasing a car for NZ$500 or less it may be cheaper to buy and sell a car in each island separately. In addition to the usual ways to look for a car (newspapers, accommodation noticeboards, car markets etc) New Zealand's biggest online auction website Trademe [30] has many listings. Or the backpackers car market where there are usually people selling their cars off cheaply. Car auctions can also be a suitable option if you are looking to buy a car. Turner's Auctions [31] have regular auctions and are based in many cities. Look out for "Repo" auctions, where the cars being sold are as a result of reposession. Should any previous ownership problems have existed, these will have been resolved before auction commences.

The following things need to be checked in order to safely purchase a vehicle in New Zealand:

  • there is no debt on the vehicle. In NZ, if a loan of money is used to purchase a vehicle, then the debt is associated with that vehicle even if it is sold, in which case the new owner then has the problem of the debt. Selling a vehicle with debt associated with it in NZ is illegal. Checking for debt is an easy process as a central register is kept.
  • the vehicle has not been stolen. Contact the police with the registration plate and VIN (vehicle identification number).
  • legally, the vehicle must have a Warrant of Fitness valid for at least 30 days (unless advertised "as is, where is"). The expiry date will be written on the inside of the car window sticker.
  • the Registration expiration date is not past. This label is usually on the left side of the car window.
  • the vehicle needs a physical check for faults, there are companies in main centres that provide this service.


Car insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand but at least third party insurance is recommended. Diesel vehicles have additional requirements, as diesel is significantly cheaper than petrol but there are additional charges based on distance travelled. When you sell a vehicle it is very important to go to a Postshop outlet to record the transfer otherwise any subsequent speeding fines, parking tickets etc will be recorded in your name.


New Zealand is the motorbike rider's dream country! Motorcycle rentals of many makes are available throughout New Zealand.

South Pacific Motorcycles [32]offer both motorbike rental (Harley-Davidson, BMW, Honda & other late-model motorcycles) from Christchurch as well as guided and self-guided motorcycle tours.


Hitchhiking around New Zealand is generally possible on most inter-city and major rural roads. However, it is illegal to hitchhike on motorways and illegal for motorists to stop there to pick you up. Try to get out of the middle of town, especially where public transport operates. Wear your pack and look like you're touring the country rather than just being a local looking for a lift. You have as much chance of being picked up by another tourist as a local, particularly in tourist areas. Alternatives for travellers include organizing shared rides through hostels, or using an online ridesharing resource like Jayride [33] or Cooreea [34] which aims to make the process safer.

By rail

See also: Train travel in New Zealand

Both Auckland and Wellington have commuter rail services. These services are operated by Veolia [35] in Auckland and Tranz Metro [36] in Greater Wellington.

Inter-city rail passenger services are operated by Tranz Scenic [37], but have become increasingly limited due to the dysfunctional services, and the focus is now on popular tourist trains. However the remaining train services pass through spectacular scenery and have a running commentary, panoramic windows and an open-air viewing carrige.

  • The Overlander - between Auckland and Wellington, departing each city in the morning, daily in summer, Friday-Sunday the rest of the year has been retained in the mean time but could be cancelled in the near future.
  • The Capital Connection - Commuter service leaves from Palmerston North to Wellington in the morning, returning in the evening.
  • The TranzCoastal - from Christchurch to Picton (via Kaikoura) and return daily. Travels along the rugged north-east coast of the South Island. Meets the Picton-Wellington ferry.
  • The TranzAlpine - from Christchurch to Greymouth and return daily. Classed as one of the world's great train journeys, this trip crosses the South Island, passing through spectacular mountain scenery, some of which is inaccessible by road, as well as the 12 km Otira tunnel. Many visitors disembark at Arthur's Pass National Park and spend four hours exploring the mountains before catching the return train.

Trains run at low speed, sometimes dropping to 50 km/h in the summer due to the lack of track maintenance following privatisation in the 1990s. Most New Zealanders prefer to drive or fly, as train fares are comparatively expensive. Trains are more suited to tourists as they are more scenic and more comfortable than other forms of travel.

By ferry

To get your car between the North and South Islands you will need to take a ferry across Cook Strait. There are several sailings daily between Wellington and Picton. But be prepared for a delay or a change in sailings if the weather is stormy.

Harbour ferries, for commuters, operate in Auckland and Wellington. A number of communities are served by boat, rather than road, while charter boats are available for expeditions in several places. There are regular sightseeing cruises in several tourist destinations, particularly in the Southern Lakes and Fiordland area.

Just like the movies

Many movies and television series have been filmed in New Zealand. Some of the more notable examples are listed below:

  • Goodbye Pork Pie (1981) - road trip between Kaitaia in the far north to Invercargill in the deep south
  • River Queen (2006) - Wanganui
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) - numerous locations throughout the country
  • Whale Rider (2003) - the North Island's East Coast
  • The Last Samurai (2003) - Taranaki
  • Once Were Warriors (1994) - Auckland
  • The Piano (1993) - west coast of the Auckland region
  • Power Rangers television series (since 2003)- in and around Auckland
  • The Quiet Earth (1987) - Waikato University - Hamilton, Warkworth Transmitter Station
  • Xena television series - west Auckland region
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - alpine grassland and glaciers around Flock Hill Station in the Southern Alps near Christchurch, and other places.
  • King Kong (2005) - Wellington
  • The World's Fastest Indian (2005) - Invercargill

New Zealand scenery has long been a major tourist attraction, so spectacular it leaves many lost for words. You need to see it to understand, just describing it is not enough. Mind you, if you have seen some recent movies that were made in New Zealand, you probably have seen it and not realized. Those spectacular landscapes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy are based on New Zealand scenery. Sure they were computer enhanced, but only in places, and the real scenery is still there to be visited. Selected highlights are:


Outdoor and adventure activities include:

  • Abseiling Waitomo
  • Aerial sightseeing (helicopter and fixed-wing)
  • Base jumping (Cable-controlled) Skytower in Auckland, [39]
  • Birdwatching [40]
  • Black water rafting (cave rafting)
  • Boat Tours
  • Bungy Jump [41] Queenstown, Auckland, Lake Taupo - the modern bungy jump was invented here by New Zealander A.J. Hackett.
  • Canoeing and kayaking on rivers and lakes
  • Canyoning
  • Caving Waitomo, Nelson, South Island West Coast, Te Anau
  • Climbing
  • Creative Tourism: Nelson. Christchurch and Waikato: Interactive workshops in Art, Maori Culture, Taste or Nature
  • Cricket Tours: The company Crictours [42] organizes tours in New Zealand to discover or re-discover this amazing sport.
  • Cycle touring [43]
  • Diving
  • Fishing - trout (some of the finest trout-fishing in the world), salmon, marlin, broadbill, sharks and many other salt-water species
  • Fly by wire (invented here)
  • Four-wheel driving
  • Gliding - Omarama is one of the best places in the world for gliding
  • Golf - New Zealand has over 400 registered golf courses, from local clubs to internationally renowned resorts, offering uncrowded golfing & superb scenery. Customised golfing tours for golfers & non playing partners [44]
  • Hang-gliding
  • Heli-hiking at Fox Glacier
  • Hiking - New Zealand has a number of national parks and other wilderness and forested areas, much of which is managed by the Department of Conservation [45]. The activity known in other countries as hiking, trekking or bushwalking is known as tramping in New Zealand and is a very popular activity for visitors and locals.
  • Horse trekking
  • Hot-air ballooning
  • Hunting - several species of deer, wild pig (wild boar), tahr, chamois, goat, wallabies (they are protected in Australia but a pest here), game birds.
  • Ice-climbing
  • Jetskiing
  • Kite surfing
  • Luge (on concrete not ice) Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua.
  • Mountaineering - this was the training ground for Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two people to climb Mt Everest.
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums [46]
  • Nature tours
  • Paragliding/Parapenting
  • Quad biking
  • Rafting
  • Rap jumping
  • River jetboating - the Hamilton jet was invented by New Zealander William Hamilton.
  • Rockclimbing
  • Rugby - the national game. Major tournaments include Super 14 and Air NZ Cup. New Zealand is hosting the next Rugby World Cup in Sep - Oct 2011 [47]
  • Sailing - New Zealand has produced many world-champion yachties and is the only country apart from the US to have won and successfully defended yachting's ultimate prize, the America's Cup.
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling, especially down to the sunken Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay, not far from Kerikeri.
  • Sea kayaking [Abel Tasman Marine Reserve]


English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand. English is universal, and is written with Commonwealth (British) spelling.

New Zealand English is one of the major varieties of English and is different enough from other forms to justify the publication of the Oxford New Zealand English dictionary.

Word usage may also differ occasionally, in potentially embarrassing ways for the traveller. Several words that Americans may consider offensive, or have euphemisms for, are considered acceptable usage. For example: A New Zealand bathroom refers to a room containing a bath while the other facilities that an American might refer to as a bathroom or washroom are known as a toilet. The American habit of "bleeping" swear words from broadcasts is considered quaint and rarely done in local programming. The New Zealand broadcasting media are unusually tolerant of swear words when used in context.

The New Zealand accent is somewhat nasalised with flattened vowel sounds and vowel shifting. New Zealanders consider their accent to be markedly different from the Australian one and are often mildly offended when mistaken for or confused with Australians. New Zealand terminology and slang are also different from Australian usage. Americans find New Zealand accents easy to understand, so do Australians and British. Some European dialects find it slightly harder and Asians may find it rather hard to understand; New Zealanders are quite happy however to repeat what they just said if necessary.

Maori is actively spoken by a minority of both Maori and language learners. Maori is available as a language to study in, instead of English, at many educational institutes. The Maori language is spoken by some, but not all, Maori and a few non-Maori, especially in the far north and east of the North Island. Many place names are in Maori and for the traveller some knowledge of Maori pronunciation is very useful.

New Zealand Sign language was given status in 2005 as an official language of the country.

See also: Maori phrasebook

Common expressions

Generally, New Zealand English expressions follows British English. However, New Zealand English has also borrowed much from Maori and there are a number of other phrases that are not commonly encountered elsewhere or may confuse the visitor.

  • Bach (pron. "batch") - Holiday home; often by the beach and comprised of fairly basic accommodation. In the South Island often called a crib.
  • Bring a plate - (see also; "Ladies a plate") means each attendant of the event should bring a plate of food to share with the other guests.
  • BYO - Bring Your Own. An addition to the name of a restaurant that may not have a liquor licence. Means that it is perfectly okay to bring your own wine to enjoy with your food, but they often charge a small corkage fee.
  • Clayton's - Describing something as a Clayton's means that the item lacks full functionality or is a poor imitation of the real thing. From the name of the unsuccessful non-alcoholic whisky that was briefly marketed during the late 1970s/early 1980s under the catch phrase The drink you're having when you are not having a drink.
  • Dairy - Convenience store; corner shop, one few outsiders understand though heavily used by locals and find problems when travelling overseas and are surprised when asking where the dairy is.
  • Entry by gold (or silver) coin (donation) - The admission charge to an event, exhibit, gallery or museum is by making a payment of a coin in the appropriate metal, often in the donation box at the door. The gold coins in NZ are the $1 and $2 coins, while silver are the 20c and 50c coins, and the 10c coin is copper. (See also "Koha" below).
  • Half Pie - Usually a job or task not performed to satisfaction (cf Maori Pai = good)
  • Jandals - Flip-flops to most of the world; Thongs to you Australians.
  • Kiwi - Slang for a New Zealander and also for the New Zealand dollar, named after an endangered flightless bird that lays the largest egg relative to body size and is the national emblem. This is not a derogatory term and some New Zealanders will happily refer to themselves as a 'Kiwi'.
  • Ladies a plate - At social functions, such as meetings, attendees are expected to bring a plate carrying ready-to-eat food. Typically the food is home baking by a member of each attending family or couple, not necessarily a "lady".
  • Glidetime - Flexible working hours, often worked by public servants. Under this system, workers can start and finish work at hours of their choosing between 7AM and 6PM, although they must work the core hours of 9.30AM to noon and 2PM to 3.30PM and average 40 hours per week. Also the name of a comedy play about such workers.
  • Social welfare - State operated organisations responsible for child protection services, income assistance and work placement for the unemployed.
  • Beneficiary - A person of working age who is receiving state welfare assistance payments known as income support or a benefit.
  • Superannuitants - Retired people in receipt of a state retirement pension known as New Zealand Superannuation - usually abbreviated to just "Super". This payment is paid to all citizens over 65 years old.

Slang expressions

You may get a strange look if you use Kiwi slang in New Zealand, but it may be used inadvertently to in conversation. If you don't understand just ask and most New Zealanders will explain.

  • Bro - Short for brother but used by males to address other males.
  • Bush - Forest. Usually meaning a native forest as opposed to a pine forest.
  • Choice! - Cool, great.
  • Chur - Thanks or Choice.
  • Cool bananas! - "It's good." Hardly used. If it is, it's usually directly at young children.
  • G'day - Short for Good day. A greeting. Also used by the Australians.
  • Sweet as! - Cool, good thing, No problem. Often abbreviated to just 'sweet'.
  • Kia Ora - Hello, welcome, literally good health. Often used as an utterance of agreement, especially during speaking at a hui.
  • Haere Mai - A greeting to a person arriving, while Haere Ra is a salutation to one leaving.
  • Hui - A meeting or gathering to discuss and debate issues in traditional Maori fashion.
  • Iwi - A Maori tribe or people, sometimes known as a Waka (canoe), as some iwi are named after the ocean going canoes that brought their ancestors to New Zealand.
  • Koha - A Maori term for gifts or donations. Often an exchange of gifts takes place. (Sometimes the admission signs say, "Entry Koha", meaning gold coin or what you feel like donating.)
  • Kai - Food. Common with both Maori and European.
  • Marae - A traditional Maori meeting or gathering place. Also a community centre.
  • Pakeha - The Maori word for New Zealanders of European decent, generally thought to have arisen from a Maori story about white creatures called 'pakepakeha'. Some European New Zealanders do not refer to themselves as Pakeha, others see the name as part of their unique identity, whilst others find it offensive.
  • Powhiri - A Maori ceremonial welcome. Especially to a marae, but now also may take place at the start of a conference or similar large meeting in New Zealand.
  • Whanau - A Maori (extended) family. Kinfolk.
  • Wharenui - literally big house, is the meeting house on a marae. Used often in advertising to alliterate with friends such as 'friends and whanau'.
  • Wharekai - literally food house, is the dining room and/or kitchen on a marae.
  • Wharepaku - literally Small house or more tongue in cheek "Explode House", - Toilet


One thing of note is that the smallest coin is 10c, since New Zealand reduced the size of its silver (cent) coins in 2006, and eliminated the 5c piece. The 10c piece is a coppery colour similar to a US or UK penny. The 20c piece is silver with a Maori carving depicted, as is the 50c piece with captain James Cook's ship the Endeavour. The gold $1 features a kiwi, whilst the $2 features a heron. There are notes for $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

On Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Anzac day morning on 25th April all but a few essential businesses must be closed. While many traders flout this regulation, the matter has for many years been being reviewed by the government. If you are in New Zealand on one of these days, ensure you have all your needs met prior to the date.

Electronic banking/purchasing

New Zealanders are amongst the highest users of electronic banking services in the world. Automatic teller machines (ATMs), locally known as 'the hole in the wall', are available in just about every town, even those without a bank. Most shops have Eftpos (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale) terminals for debit and credit cards, so most purchases can be made electronically. Credit cards are not accepted by some merchants with Eftpos, especially smaller food retailers such as dairies, takeaways and cafes that do not serve alcohol. Also smaller retailers may often set a minimum purchase of around $10 when obtaining cash, if they agree to provide cash. Banks offer a wide range of telephone and Internet banking services. If you are going to be in New Zealand for a while it may be convenient to open a New Zealand bank account and set up a local debit card, to avoid carrying a lot of cash around.

Price negotiation

Because of strong advertising laws, the displayed price is normally the purchase price for most goods sold in New Zealand. The principle The price stated is the price you pay is strongly ingrained in New Zealand culture.

Most retailers will not negotiate on price, though some have a formal policy of matching the competition and will match or even discount their prices for you if you can find a better price for the exact same product elsewhere. However, this seems to be changing as there are stories about people finding appliance and electronics stores very willing to negotiate on price in order to get business, especially if you're looking at high-end items or have a shopping list of multiple high-priced items. Some places you have to ask for a discount, while others have salespeople that offer discounts on pricey goods as soon as they approach you.

Taxes and fees

Unless it says otherwise the price includes GST (Goods and Services Tax, or sales tax) of 12.5%. Some shops, especially in tourist destinations, will ship purchases overseas, as export goods which are not subject to GST. Ask about this service before making your purchase. Goods purchased and taken with you will be subject to GST. You can claim GST back on items to the value of more than $700 at the time of your departure as if you were exporting them. You must have the items and receipts with you. You should allow extra time air-side of the airport to process this transaction.

On public holidays, some establishments such as cafes may charge a holiday surcharge in the region of 15%, supposedly to cover the cost of employing staff who are working on the holiday. This is a recent development because current holiday legislation requires workers who work on public holidays to be paid at one-and-a-half times their normal wage and be given a equal time off in lieu as a minimum. The legality of this surcharge is questionable if not advertised openly or notified at the time of placing an order and should be challenged.


In lodgings, restaurants, and bars the prices charged include the services provided and tips are not expected, though the practice is becoming more common, especially bars, cafes, and restaurants that cater for tourists. However, do not be surprised or offended if you receive bemused looks or if your tip is initially refused or questioned as tipping is still a relatively new phenomenon and it is also a form of courtesy in New Zealand culture to first decline such a gesture before accepting it. For some New Zealanders' their unfamiliarity with tipping can make them ill-at-ease with it when travelling in countries where it is practised. It can be viewed very negatively by New Zealanders as being made to 'pay twice', or as a form of bribery. Staff in some establishments may risk their job in accepting a tip, although this is relatively uncommon. In the major cities, tipping tends to be embraced by workers, especially over the summer when students wait tables for part-time work. Tipjars may be placed on counters, but these are for loose change and although it is appreciated, you are not expected to place coins in them. It is common practice and polite to donate your spare change from the meal to what ever charity has a collection jar on the counter, and this acts as the standard substitute for tipping.


New Zealand has a wide range of eating places, from fast food outlets to stylish restaurants. Many petrol stations have a convenience store with sandwiches or food such as pies that can be microwaved on-site. International fast food chains include KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut and Subway. On the North Island, try BurgerFuel, a New Zealand chain which makes freshly cooked burgers served with kumara chips and dipping sauce. There are also many independent, owner-operated takeaways outlets selling one or more of burgers, pizzas, fried chicken, Chinese or other Asian fast food or fish and chips. At least a burger bar and/or fish and chip shop can be found in almost any small town or block of suburban shops. The humble fish and chip shop is the archetypical New Zealand fast food outlet. The menu consists of battered fish portions deep fried in oil together with chunky cut potato chips as well as a range of other meats, seafood, pineapple rings and even chocolate bars, all wrapped in newsprint paper-today it is unprinted but traditionally it was yesterday's newspaper, until someone decided it was unhealthy. A good meal can often be had for under $5, a bad one for the same price.


New Zealand's cultural majority, mainly British, do not have a definitive and recognisably distinct cuisine that differs markedly from the traditional British cuisine. However there are a number of small differences

  • Roast kumara - the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) roasted in the same manner as potatoes and often served instead of or alongside. May also be deep fried like potato chips and known as kumara chips - nice served with sour cream but rarely done well as kumara cooks at a different temperature than potatoes, so it needs a skilled chef for the dish to be done perfectly.
  • Pavlova, or pav, a cake of whipped egg whites baked to have a crusty meringue-like outside but soft in the middle, topped with whipped cream and decorated with sliced fruit. The dessert is also common in Australia, and there is debate between the two countries as to where it was first invented.
  • ANZAC biscuits - Plain hard biscuits made primarily from oatmeal bound with golden syrup. Originally made for and by ANZAC troops during the First World War. Also found in Australia.
  • Pies - New Zealanders eat large numbers of non-flakey-pastry meat pies containing things like beef, lamb, pork, potato, kumara, vegetables, and cheese. Some companies now market ranges of "gourmet" pies and there is an annual competition for the best pie in a variety of catagories.
  • Kiwifruit - A plum-sized green fleshed fruit, with fine black seeds in the flesh, originating from China, selectively bred in New Zealand, and first known to the home gardener as the Chinese Gooseberry. Now commercially farmed, with production centred on Te Puke but in many orcharding areas. Slices often served on pavlova. Known by its full name of kiwifruit and never shortened to kiwi in New Zealand, as kiwis are endangered birds or New Zealanders.
  • Whitebait - The translucent sprat or fingerlings of native freshwater fish species that migrate from spawning in the sea each year. After being caught in coastal river mouth set or hand nets during November/December, this highly sought after delicacy is rushed to all ends of the country. Served in a fried pattie made from an egg based batter. May be seasonally available from a local fish and chip shop. Is served without gutting or deheading.

The Maori also have a distinctive cuisine…

  • The hangi or earth oven is the traditional way that Maori cook food for large gatherings. Meat, vegetables and sometimes puddings are slowly steam-cooked for several hours in a covered pit that has previously been lined with stones and had a hot wood fire burn down in it.
  • Kaimoana (literally: sea food) - particularly shellfish gathered from inter-tidal rocks and beaches as well as crayfish (rock lobster) and inshore fish caught on a line or with nets. Species such as paua (blackfoot abalone) and toheroa have been overfished and gathering restrictions are strictly enforced, while green mussels are commercially grown and sold live, or processed, in supermarkets. WARNING While it is almost extremely common to see people collecting shellfish, crustaceans and other kaimoana, there are a number of rules one must be aware of. often these are posted on signs at the approaches to the collecting area. If in doubt, check with a local. Rules may be seasonal or all-year catch limits set by the Ministry of Fisheries, or they may be that certain areas are reserved solely for tangata whenua, or a combination. Also at times areas may have a prohibition against them for health reasons.


New Zealanders have a reputation for enjoying their beer. Although there are now only three major breweries, there are many regional brands, each with their own distinctive taste and staunch supporters.

More recently, the wine industry has developed into a significant export industry. Many vineyards now offer winery tours, wine tasting and sales from the vineyard.

Take care when and where you indulge in public. New Zealand has recently introduced liquor ban areas--that means alcoholic drinks cannot be consumed or even carried in some streets, such as city centres and popular beaches, at certain times of the day or night. Police can instruct you to empty bottles and arrest you if you do not comply.

Coffeehouses are a daytime venue in many of the larger cities and tourist destinations. The cafe culture is notable in downtown Wellington, where many office workers have their tea breaks. Most coffee styles, cappuccino, latte, espresso/short black, long black, flat white, vienna etc, are usually available. Cappuccinos are probably the most popular and are usually served with a choice of cinnamon or chocolate powder sprinkled on top. Its usual to request which one you want. Fluffies are a small frothed milk for children, sprinkled with chocolate powder.

Bottled water, both flavoured and unflavoured, available in most shops. Not that there is anything wrong with the tap water, it is just that some town supplies are drawn from river water and chlorinated. Most town supplies are fluoridated. If you do not want to pour your money down the drain, fill your own water bottle from the tap, unless you find it is too heavily chlorinated for your taste.

Tap water in New Zealand is regarded as some of the cleanest in the world; it is safe to drink from in all cities, most come from artesian wells or freshwater reservoirs - however, some are from rivers which can be chlorinated to be made safe but do not taste very nice. Some of the water in Auckland comes from the Waikato river, a long river that has its source in Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island. But by the time it reaches Auckland, it has been treated so that the quality is no worse than that of the Thames in London or the Hudson in New York. Auckland water is also drawn from run-off reservoirs in the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges. Tap water in places such as Christchurch and Hastings is not chlorinated at all as it is drawn from the pure artesian aquifers of the Canterbury and Heretaunga plains.

L & P or Lemon & Paeroa is "world famous in New Zealand". It is a sweet carbonated lemonade style drink sold in a brown plastic bottle with a yellow label because they used to sell it in brown glass ones before they switched to plastic. Generally one for the kids or parties as it mixes quite well with whisky. It is now manufactured in Auckland by Coca-Cola.


New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation.

International quality hotels can be found in the major cities. And New Zealanders seem to have perfected the art of the top-end homestay. Hosted luxury lodges are the top-end equivalent of the bed-and-breakfast market and New Zealand has upwards of 40 internationally recognised lodges. Per capita, that's probably the highest in the world. They tend to be situated away from cities, though some are right in the heart of the major centres, and can be difficult to get to. At the very top-end, helicopter transfers and private jets help the luxury traveller move between the lodges they've chosen for their visit.

Motels of a variety of standards from luxury to just adequate can be found on the approaches to most towns.

There is a wide range of backpackers accommodation around the country, including a network of Youth Hostels that are members of the Youth Hostels Association (62 in 2004), and a network of Nomads Hostels [48]

Bed and Breakfasts are popular with visiting Brits and Swiss as well as homestays, farmstays and similar lodgings - some of which are in the most unlikely places.

For uniquely New Zealand accommodation, there are Maori homestays and tourist-catering marae stays.

There are a number of commercial camping grounds around the country, as well as camping sites within all of the national parks. One way that many tourists travel around New Zealand is in a self-contained campervan, a motorised caravan or large minibus, that can be driven by anyone who holds an ordinary car driver's licence.

If you are travelling into the backcountry, the Department of Conservation has many backcountry huts that can be used under a permit system.

Free camping is also available in many places. Unless there is a "no camping" sign it is common to find a tent or hammock pitched for the night in many picnic areas or in a grove of trees off the road. Cycle tourists especially will rarely need to pay for camping, only for showers and laundry. Multi-day camping in these areas is often frowned upon, and in conservation areas camping outside designated areas may attract a fine.

New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world after the UK to develop a dense WWOOF [49] network. WWOOF is a world wide network where travellers ("WWOOFers") stay as volunteers on farms and receive food and accommodation in exchange for half a days help for each night they stay. The Nelson Tasman region in the South Island is particularly rich in WWoOFing possibilities.

Couchsurfing is popular in New Zealand with most major centres sporting active forums and groups as well as having hosts all around the nation. [50]


For many years, New Zealand schools and universities have educated foreign students from the countries of Southeast Asia and education has now become a major source of export earnings for the country. In recent years English language schools have been established for students from the region, particularly South Korea and China, but also many other countries.

Education in New Zealand is compulsory from age 6 to 16 years, though almost all children begin attending school at age 5 and often stay at school for 13 years, until 17 or 18 years old. Primary schooling is from Year 1-6 (formerly J1 - Standard 4), intermediate schooling is Year 7 and 8 (formerly forms one and two), while secondary schooling is from Year 9-13 (formerly forms 3 to 7). In some primary and secondary schools one or both of the intermediate years may be combined with either the primary or secondary years. There are also Middle Schools which cover the intermediate years and the first two years of secondary, but these are rare.

Secondary schools are also called high schools (generally Years 9-13) and colleges (generally Years 7-13). A college does not refer to universities in New Zealand unlike in some other countries, though some specialised single-subject tertiary training-centres may also be called colleges.

Primary, intermediate and secondary compulsory schooling is free for citizens and permanent residents, although some nominal fees are generally charged to cover consumable materials. Tertiary education is state assisted, with part of the tuition costs funded by the state. International students will need to pay for their education; in some cases this includes a national profit margin.

The Ministry of Education has established a Code of Practice that New Zealand educational institutions enrolling international students need to abide by. This Code of Practice includes minimum standards for the 'PC 'pastoral care of international students. Primary school students, or those age 10 or under, need to either live with a parent or else board in a school hostel. Additionally, older students, who are under age 18, may live in homestays, temporary accommodation or with designated caregivers. Where the institution arranges accommodation for students older than age 18 the code of practice applies to their accommodation situations also.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and refugees can receive financial assistance through loans and allowances, to pay the tuition fees and to attend tertiary education at Universities, Polytechnics, Whananga (Maori operated universities/polytechnics) and Private Training Providers. Overseas students will need to pay the full tuition fees and their own living costs while studying at a New Zealand institution.

Overseas students need to have a student visa and a reasonable level of cash to spend in order to undertake a course of study at a New Zealand based educational institution. Visas are generally valid for the duration of the course of study and only while the student is attending the course of study. New Zealand educational institutions will inform the appropriate immigration authorities if a student ceases to attend their enrolled courses, who may then suspend or cancel that student's visa. Educational institutions often also exchange this enrollment and attendance data electronically with other government agencies responsible for providing student assistance.


To work in New Zealand you need to be a citizen or current permanent resident of either New Zealand or Australia, or else have a work permit or appropriate visa. If you are intending to work in New Zealand you should obtain a work permit along with any tourist visas you might apply for.

You will also need to have a New Zealand bank account, as most employers pay using electronic banking rather than in cash; an Inland Revenue Tax Number, as witholding tax or income tax will be deducted from your wages by your employer; and a tax declaration form, as tax will be deducted at the no declaration rate of 45% unless you have a tax code. More information about New Zealand's tax system, including appropriate forms, can be obtained from Inland Revenue [51].

The process of applying for an IRD number is between 8-10 working days. You will need to fill in the IRD number application form, and provide a photocopy of a passport or New Zealand birth certificate. It is possible to apply for the IRD number, then call the department around a week later to request the number by phone, however this will depend on the workload of the processing centres at the time. Calling the IRD requires several forms of ID, it is ideal to be able to provide your passport number and full address when requested.

New Zealand operates a simplified tax system that tends to collect more tax than people need to pay because employers pay their worker's tax when they pay their workers. The obligation is then on the worker to claim overpaid tax back, rather than declaring their income and paying any extra tax. Be careful though, if you choose to work in New Zealand and you stay more than 183 days in any 12-month period, your worldwide income could be taxed. New Zealand has double taxation agreements with several countries to stop tax being paid twice. A safe rule of thumb is to pay all tax demands and Not seek claims for redress on any matter.

Being a foreigner means that your New Zealand income is subject to local income tax at the fullest levels. Although many people believe that they can collect all their tax back when they leave the country, this is not true. It may be the case that filing an income tax return may result in a small refund if working for only part of the year; however, this is not likely the case. Tax in all its forms in New Zealand amounts to around half of a worker's income.

Short term

New Zealand is currently (2007) experiencing a period of full employment as it experiences a higher than average migration churn when compared to other OECD countries. Therefore many positions can not be filled and a number of employers are having difficulties finding workers, particularly short term workers and businesses often cite this as a restriction on further growth. A good starting point for interested job-seekers is: [52]

Seasonal work such as fruit picking and other agricultural work is sometimes available for tourists such as backpackers formally but always available illegally. More information about legal seasonal fruit picking work can be found at Pick NZ [53].

New Zealand has a number of reciprocal Working Holiday Schemes, which allow people between 18 and 30 to travel and work in New Zealand for up to one year and vice versa. At present young citizens of a number of countries from Europe, South America, North America and Asia can apply. These schemes are enormously popular and in many instances participants can apply to stay in New Zealand longer once they have completed their one year stay. Information on all the various schemes and application details can be found at: [54]

Long term

If you want to stay in New Zealand long term, you should apply well ahead of time. New Zealand operates a points system for assessing applicants.

Refugee applications should be made before arrival since NZ has a formal refugee induction programme.

Those who turn up in a New Zealand airport arrival lounge without papers, claiming refugee status, may find themselves put on a return flight to their country of origin or in jail awaiting the outcome of legal proceedings.


Volunteering is a great way to get to meet locals and see the island, National Parks and nature reserves of New Zealand. You can speak with the local Department of Conservation office about volunteering opportunities or choose from any number of worldwide organizations that offer extended travel for anyone willing to volunteer their time to work with locals on projects such as community development, conservation, wildlife sanctuary maintenance & development, scientific research, & education programs.

  • Global Volunteer Network [55]
  • Volunteer New Zealand [56]
  • International Student Volunteers New Zealand [57]
  • New Zealand Rain Forest Conservation [58]
  • New Zealand Trust for Conservation Volunteers [59]

Stay safe

The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. Ambulance, Fire and Police can be contacted through this service. Full instructions are on the inside front cover of every telephone book. It often is answered in the first 30 seconds after calling.

Crime and security

While difficult to make international comparisons, the level of crime in New Zealand is similar to many other western countries. Dishonesty offences, such as theft, are by far the most frequent type of crime. Travellers should take simple, sensible precautions such as putting valuables away out of sight or in a secure place and locking doors of vehicles, even in remote locations, as much of this crime is opportunistic in nature.

Violent crime in public places is generally associated with alcohol or illicit drug consumption. Rowdy bars or drunken crowds in city centres, or groups of youths in the suburbs, are best avoided, especially late at night and in the early morning. New Zealanders can be somewhat lacking in a sense of humour when their country or their sporting teams are mocked by loud or drinking tourists.

There are occasional disturbing high profile media reports of tourists being targeted in random violent robberies and/or sexual crimes. These crimes tend to happen in more isolated places, where the chances of the offender being observed by other people are low. The chance of falling victim to such misfortune is still low. Although crime statistics reflect an increase in violent crime, the increase is entirely explained by increased detection of family violence, a key focus area for Police. Tourists are unlikely to be affected, as such crimes usually take place in the privacy of New Zealanders own homes.

The New Zealand Police[60], a national force, are generally polite and helpful. Police regularly conduct drink-drive blitzes, often setting up screening checkpoints all around an area, including all lanes of motorways. Being caught drinking and driving will result in being invited to accompany the officer to a police station, or a roadside Booze Bus for an evidential breath test, blood test, or both. Being found with excess breath alcohol, or refusal to undertake testing will result in an arrest, appearance in Court, with a possiblity of time in prison, as well as a heafty fine and disqualification from driving.

Fixed and mobile speed cameras as well as hand held and car speed detectors are used frequently. Police have no official discretion for speeding offences and will write tickets for all vehicles caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h. In some locations, such as near schools, even exceeding the speed limit by only 5km/h will result in a ticket. Police have recently upgraded their pursuit training, following a number of deaths of both offenders and innocent third parties during vehicle pursuits.

In New Zealand, armed police are highly unusual and usually rate a mention in the media. Although all police officers are trained to handle firearms, these are normally openly carried only when the situation requires such weapons, such as an armed offender. Traditionally, New Zealand police carry only batons and offender control pepper spray. Tasers are currently being introduced in Wellington and Auckland. However, first response patrols will generally have recourse to firearms locked in their vehicle.

Natural hazards

Severe weather is by far the most common natural hazard encountered in New Zealand. Although New Zealand is not subject to the direct hit of tropical cyclones stormy weather systems from both the tropics and the polar regions can sweep across New Zealand at various times of the year. There is generally a seven to ten day cycle of a few days of wet or stormy weather followed by calmer and drier days as weather systems move across the country. The phrase four seasons in one day is a good description of New Zealand weather, which has a reputation for both changeability and unpredictability. The phrase is also a popular Kiwi song. Weather forecasts are generally reliable for overall trends and severe weather warnings should be heeded when broadcast. However both the timing and intensity of any weather events should be assessed from your own location. Simply looking out the window is probably good enough to allow you yourself to predict what the weather will be like for at least the next 15 minutes or so, according to one eminent New Zealand meterologist, though knowing that Northerlies are warm, Southerlies are cold, westerlies are rainy but warm and easterlies are humid you can predict for yourself quite accurately.

You should always seek advice from the Department of Conservation when trekking in Alpine areas. There are annual fatalities of both foreign nationals and New Zealanders caught unaware by the weather.

Other natural hazards you may encounter, though far more rarely, are:

  • Strong Earthquakes - New Zealand sits astride a tectonic plate boundary and experiences large numbers (~14,000/year) of small earthquakes every year, a few (~200/year) are noticeable and the occasional one causes damage and sometimes loss of life. However, the last big one causing serious loss of life was at Napier and Hastings in 1931. The latest quake is reported by GeoNet [61].
  • Volcanic eruptions - New Zealand has a number of volcanoes that are classified as active or dormant. Only Mount Ruapehu and White Island have been active recently. Volcanic activity is monitored by GeoNet.
    • Lahar - There is no longer an active Lahar Alert for Mount Ruapehu's crater lake breaking through a tephra dam and flooding the Whangaehu River with a lahar. (The dam of the crater lake was punctured naturally on 19 March 2007).
  • There are almost no poisonous or substantially dangerous animals. The katipo and redback are the only two venomous spiders and bites from both species are extremely rare. Serious reactions are uncommon and unlikely to develop in less than three hours, though you should always seek help at your nearest hospital, medical centre, or doctor. The white-tailed spider can also deliver painful bites but is not considered dangerous to humans. [62] No large mammalian predators are present and no large predatory reptiles. Certain species of Weta can deliver a painful but harmless bite.

Stay healthy

New Zealand has a very high level of ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer, around 40% more intense than you will find in the Mediterranean during the summer. Sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended, especially if you are of European descent.

Visiting the doctor will cost about NZ$50 and may vary between practices and localities. The New Zealand public hospital system is free of charge to Australian, British and New Zealand citizens but will charge other nationals for treatment received. An exception to this is in the case of any accident when the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) will pick up the tab. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

New Zealand has high and equitable standards of professional health care comparable with Sweden or Australia. Tap water is drinkable but precautions should be taken against Giardia when tramping.


Maori culture

Maori cultural experiences are popular tourist attractions enjoyed by many, but as with any two cultures encountering one another, there is room for misunderstanding. Some tourists have found themselves more confronted than they expected by ceremonial challenges and welcomes. These are serious occasions, and chatter and laughing during rituals is not recommended. People have been attacked by their entertainers to date for appearing to not treat it with the highest sacredness. You'd best have jokes and laughs later. There will be plenty of time to relax later when the hangi is lifted.

Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders are generally on good terms, but from time to time there have been frayed relationships between the two. Enter discussion about this with politeness and caution, or, of course, not at all.

Remember also, that New Zealand is still a very young nation by many standards and its identity is still being formulated. Commenting that New Zealand is subservient to the United Kingdom is sometimes admired and other times despised, and although New Zealand coinage is adorned with British royal figures New Zealand is an independent member of the Commonwealth and saying that New Zealand is almost identical can be offensive to some.

Relationship with Australia

While Australia and New Zealand have close foreign policy ties, considerable inter-immigration, and cultures that overlap, saying New Zealanders are basically Australians will not gain you any New Zealander or Aussie friends. Although Australians and New Zealanders may seem the same to you they do not consider themselves the same. It is pretty much the same relationship as with Canadians and people from the United States or Irish and British. Some Australians may joke about New Zealand being another state of Australia, but that does not make it one. In many ways Australia and New Zealand have a similar outlook towards the other, with the same cliched jokes being made.

Despite the jokes about New Zealand, many Australians have a genuine affection for the New Zealanders. This can be traced back to ANZAC, Australia and New Zealand Army Corp, participation in two world wars, particularly the Gallipoli campaign, Korea, Viet Nam, the Malaya Crisis, Timor, Solomon Islands, etc.



Very few cafes, motels, etc include free Wi-Fi, although it may be available for a charge.

Internet access is available in cyber cafes and there are generally many of these in the major cities.

Be warned that some cyber cafes may not be maintained properly, but there are places around that maintain a high level of security when it comes to their systems. If you have your own laptop, many cyber cafes allow wired & wireless access. It is slowly becoming more common to allow tourists to use their own laptops to access the Internet. It's not recommended to travel between cyber cafes without using a trusted & reliable AntiVirus application. Firewall software is not needed as cyber cafes should have their own firewall in-place.

Many public libraries have public Internet access. There may be a charge although that is changing. The Auckland City Public Library allows for two 15minute sessions a day at no charge. Hourly rates for are usually in the range of $4 to $8, with cheaper rates of around $2 to $4 at cyber cafes within the main city centres. Some providers, such as the Christchurch City Library network offer free access to some sites, usually ones of interest such as Google, BBC and CNN and those in the .nz top level domain.

""WiFi access"": You can purchase vouchers for WiFi access from many Starbucks cafes around NZ and other places. It is becoming more common for WiFi to be provided at hotels and motels using vouchers, but it is seldom free as part of your room rate. Wireless Hotspots are located in many Cities and Towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available. Free WiFi is not that common but the best free locations are at the libraries in many small and medium-sized towns. The Aotearoa People's Network (APN) has been working to bring all libraries Internet access (both wired and WiFi) and these connected libraries are good places to check your e-mail and do some research. Some libraries in cities such as Dunedin still do not have WiFi capabilities (as of Dec 2009). Auckland's City Library has free Internet service which is quite heavily used and may seem slow. Travel experience in November 2009 would suggest that libraries in medium-sized towns are often the best bets for good Internet access, especially if you have your own laptop.

As of December 2009, the airport at Wellington has free WiFi but the airports at Christchurch and Auckland both charge a fee for wireless service in the terminals.


New Zealand has a well developed and ubiquitous telephone system. The country's main phone company, Telecom, claims (as of 2009) to have about 4000 payphones in NZ which can be easily identified by their yellow and blue colors. All of them accept major credit cards and a variety of phonecards available from retailers. You may have to look harder for a payphone that accepts coins.

Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call *555 only to report Non-emergency Traffic Safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police.

There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand, Vodafone [63], Telecom [64], and 2degrees [65]. WCDMA/UMTS 3G networks are run by both Telecom (850/2100MHz) and Vodafone (900/2100MHz). In addition to this, Telecom run a CDMA network and Vodafone run a GSM/GPRS network. Telecom's 3G WCDMA network, named XT Network, operates nationwide 850MHz with supplementary 2100MHz in metropolitan areas. Likewise, Vodafone's 3G WCDMA network operates nationwide 900MHz with supplementary 2100MHz coverage. 2degrees' WCDMA/UMTS 3G network (2100MHz) operates in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with supplementary 2G GSM coverage provided elsewhere by vodafone. Airports and shopping malls will have stores from Telecom and Vodafone available for negotiating and getting information about their networks. A prepaid sim-card connection pack from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $2. Telecom has broader coverage even in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone.

The country code is 64. New Zealand telephone numbers can be looked up online at [66]. The emergency telephone number from all telephones is 111 (you may need to use a prefix to get an outside line from business systems, usually 1) and a voice request for Police, Fire or Ambulance to be switched to the requested service. (Other common international emergency numbers like 112, 911 and 999 may also work, but do not rely on it)

Postal mail

The national post office is NZ Post [67]. If you are staying in one place for a while, you can rent a PO Box from them. An alternative is the private firm like Private Box [68], which additionally can upload scanned images of selected mail so that you can read it remotely via a web browser.


New Zealand has five nationwide free-to-air television channels, as well as some regional stations and several networks with sub-national coverage. Free-to-air digital television is being rolled out with a total of 18 channels to be broadcast initially. Cable television is not well developed, but direct broadcast satellite technology is available across the nation, with both free-to-air and pay television through the Sky network. Most hotels and motels have the national channels, some Sky channels and whatever else is broadcast in the local area. Most New Zealand televisions are equipped to handle Teletext which provides news, weather, sport, etc. in text format. The main page is page 100. Page 431, for example, is Auckland Airport arrivals and departures. Page 801 provides a caption text service for some TV programs which allows hearing impaired people to read subtitles.

New Zealand has a large number of radio stations, on both AM and FM, with at least one local station and a number of nationwide network stations broadcast in each major city or town.

  • National Radio is a government funded, non-commercial, spoken features style national network with some music. It broadcasts news and detailed weather forecasts, generally hourly, with detailed mountain and marine forecasts a couple of times a day on both AM and FM (around 101 MHz FM). Operated by Radio New Zealand [69].
  • There are a number of FM visitor information stations around the country.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project

Scale of justice 2 new.jpeg Subject classification: this is a law resource .


Basic Information

New Zeland.
Map of New Zealand.

New Zealand is a fascinating region that is unique from the rest of the world. The country's history, society, and culture is worth the time to learn and discover. New Zealand, also known as The Land of the Long White Cloud, currently has a total population of 4,213,418[1]. The total population has a 0.99 males for every female; 20% are under the age of 14, while 12% are 65 years and older. New Zealand can be described as a urban center considering that 90% of the population lives in the cities.[2]

New Zealand, directly southeast of Australia, has a comparable size to Colorado. This country has a total landmass of 267,710 square kilometers, which includes the Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands. These islands in the South Pacific Ocean is part of the region known as Oceania.[3] New Zealand lies on the boundary between two great tectonic plates, the Indo-Australian and the Pacific, which is along the "ring of fire." Its geothermal activity, volcanoes, and erupting earthquakes forms a dominant mountainous landscape.[4]New Zealand's climate is temperate with sharp regional contrast.[5]

New Zealand is geographically divided into two islands; the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is distinctly different from the South Island due to its wildlife, and landscape. [6] The South Island is mountainous compared to the north.

The most common religions in New Zealand are Anglican, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians.[7] Ethic groups of New Zealand are diverse; 69% are European, 8% are Maori, 6% are Asian, and 4% are Pacific islanders. There is 8% of people who have a mix of these ethic groups. [8] New Zealanders speak of the official language of English, Maori, and Sign Language.[9]

Economic Development, Health, and Education

New Zealand has a thriving, developed economy with a Gross Domestic Product of $116.7 billion. New Zealand also has a substantially high standard of living with a GDP per capita of $28,000, and with an average annual income between 30,000 to 55,000. New Zealand is highly reliant on free trade. New Zealand's exports account for 24% of its output, which means they are vulnerable to global economic crises. New Zealand is a gross exporter in dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery, and a gross importer in machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics. Key industries in New Zealand include food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining. The New Zealand dollar is the currency. [10].

New Zealanders have a high level standard of live; it was ranked 20th on the 2008 Human Development Index. [11] This ranking reflects the low infant mortality rate; which is 4.92 per 1,000 live births. Males have a life expectancy of 78 years, while the females have a life expectancy of 82 years.

The literacy expectancy for both females and males are relatively high with a 99%. New Zealand is ranked 12th among 30 other nations. 76% of New Zealanders between the ages of 25 and 64 have reached a high school or college level education. [12]

Brief History

New Zealand, the last major landmass to be discovered, was founded by Polynesian Maori in about A.D. 800. The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement signed in 1840 between the British Crown and the Maori in which gave sovereignty to Queen Victoria, but allowed the Maori to keep their territorial rights. During that year, Britain established their first colony in New Zealand. This settlement led to a series of wars between 1843 and 1872 with the victorious win from the British crown. However, in 1907 New Zealand was able to gain independence. New Zealand was a key supporter for the United Kingdom militarily in both World Wars. In the 1980s, New Zealand's cooperation with various defense alliances deteriorated. Recently, the government of New Zealand is attempting to consign the distresses of the Maori.[13]


The New Zealand legal system is based on common law. The government type is categorized as a parliamentary democracy and part of the Commonwealth realm. New Zealand's government is organized under a constitution, in which comprises a series of documents such as The Constitution Act 1986, and the certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments. Other crucial documents under this constitution are The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, Electoral Act 1993, and the Legislature Act 1908. These laws incorporate provisions on suffrage, the powers of Parliament, the formation of the government, and individual rights. The crucial purpose for these documents is to restrict the powers ceded to the monarch, and give political power to representatives elected by the people. The making of these laws reflect the struggling appeals of New Zealanders to acquire rights. New Zealand has a unicameral House of Representatives, also called Parliament(whose 69 members are elected by popular vote, and 51 proportional seats chosen from party lists and serve three-year terms) which has a total of 120 members. Parliament makes bills into new laws by considering formal stages for each type of bill, and if they pass through every stage they become Acts of Parliament. The executive branch consists of the chief of state(usually a king or queen), who is represented by the Governor General. The Governor General's job is to appoint other departments under the executive branch, such as the cabinet, the prime minister, and the deputy minister. There is no formal separation of powers between the executive and legislative branch since the prime ministers are given the power to make laws as well. The judicial branch includes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the High Court. The Governor General also appoints the judges.[14]


Suffrage is universal. However, citizens must be over 18 years of age,as well as permanent resident who has lived in New Zealand for one year or more without leaving the country. For the past 13 years, New Zealand has used the mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system through the electoral strategy of first past the post, or through party lists. [15]. 45% of the elected members tend to belong to the National Party, 34% belong to the New Zealand Labor Party, and 7% belong to the Green Party. Elections are influenced by groups of people who prompt political pressures such as the Women's Electoral Lobby, civil rights groups, farmers groups, and Maori groups.

Judicial Review

Unlike the United States, New Zealand does not have a single document establishing the basic framework of the government. Even thought there is no sole documentation of New Zealand's supreme law, the constitutional court has the right to declare acts of the legislature illegal if they don't follow the rights given in a series of those documents.

Courts and Criminal Law

New Zealand has an adversarial court system. Courts serve a variety of purposes, such as enforcing the criminal law, settle civil disputes among citizens, protecting the rights of the individual, ensuring that government agencies follow the law, and interpreting the law. The judiciary is independent of the Legislature, Parliament, and the Executive Branch for its sole purpose that the judge in position is subject only to law. Judges make their decisions for themselves and no one else. Essentially, judges are autonomous from government influence. Judges cannot be bias when making decisions, which needs to follow established legal principles. Statues and the common law are the two main sources or authorities of law. In conclusion, Parliament has the power to repeal, modify, or develop the common law by statute. If the judges' interpretations of the laws are vague and disagreeable, Parliament can also amend the legislation to make its interpretation crystal clear. The courts are open to the public, which includes news media and members of the public, and it creates a reality of confidence and trust in the justice system.

New Zealand's court system can be separated into three divisions: the higher courts, the district courts, and other courts such as family, environment, and employment courts. Under the District Courts Act 1947, the District Court are able to hear bother criminal and civil matters. These types of courts hear the most serious crimes such as rape, aggravated robbery, and sexual violation and the minor misdemeanors. There are exceptions such as murder, manslaughter, and Class A drug offenses cannot be heard by the District Court. The District Court, involving civil claims, can hear cases over money and property and can also involve commercial transactions.[16] Since the New Zealand court system is part of an adversarial form, there is no presence of presumption of guilt. It's the burden of the prosecution to determine if the accused is guilty. The accused has the right to remain silent throughout the trial proceedings and investigation.


New Zealand's corporal punishment outweighs their use of capital punishment. The death penalty was removed for all offenses since year 1989 after the Private Member's Bill came into effect. This bill was passed, stating that treason was no longer punishable by death.[17] The last person to be executed in New Zealand was Walter Bolton, who was convicted of poisoning his wife Beatrice. He was hanged for her murder at Mount Eden prison. [18]. New Zealand's prisons have over 7,700 inmates, and has one of the highest imprisonment rates along with the United States. 80% of the inmates are serving their second prison sentencing, which reflects the use of incarceration as a solution to the crime problem is not effective. [19] Since there is a high rate of incarceration in New Zealand, means this type of punishment is used often with such crimes such as murder, rape, theft, etc. There is substantial evidence that New Zealand's schools use corporal punishment among their students. Green Party Sue Bradford attempted to take action to protect children who attend schools that are willing to impose corporal punishment on children.[20]

New Zealand also uses fines and compensation has a way to cut down costs of holding a trial and bringing a criminal to prison. In New Zealand, the issuing of tickets for minor offenses continues to become an important sanction, with the growth of motor vehicle ownership, increased road traffic regulations, and technology advancements.[21]. Judge determines the amount of fine or compensation with two judgements; the severity of offense and the offender's financial status. Once each one is separately decided on, then the judge can sentence offenders convicted of the same offence to the same economic burden even if they have very different financial resources.[22].

The purpose of punishment in New Zealand is restorative justice. Restorative justice is when the victim and the offender meet where they can discuss ways to help and give back the victim of the offense for what was taken away from them. This process is voluntary, and the offender must be able to admit their responsibility of the victim's suffering.[23]

Legal Personnel

Barristers, solicitors, and judges are all considered lawyers. Practitioners of this law practice must obtain a current practicing certificate either as a barrister, a solicitors, or a barrister and a solicitor. A solicitor's duties revolve around commercial transactions and conveyancing. If such cases go to court, then the barrister is in charge. Their role is part of the criminal and civil litigation. Barrister sole refers to someone who takes up a solicitor's legal advice or instructions, which has become a popular profession. Barristers sole's income depends essentially on their prominence and reputation since their work is based upon the workings of other lawyers. Most of the people in the legal profession, are private practitioners or barrister soles.

The legal schooling for young people pursuing law career depends on their opportunities and their father's lawyer status. In Auckland, private and elite schooling are expensive. Compared to U.S. currency, private school expenses are around $79,800. As a result, higher classes in this society has a better advantage to becoming a lawyer.[24] The New Zealand Council of Legal Education, who is responsible for advancing young law students to a law career, requires all applicants to pass an examination on New Zealand law. The examination has six parts along with a written examination, and a comprehensive self-taught prescription. The examination covers sections of the legal system, contract law, criminal law, property law, torts, and equity and succession. [25]

The Chief Justice of New Zealand has four primary roles; judicial leader among other judges, administrator of government, communication with the executive branch and the judiciary, and representing the Judiciary. The chief justice has seniority over all other judges, and plays a key role with the executive branch and the judiciary. The governor general or the attorney general are the ones who select the Chief Justice.[26]

The jury plays a key role in determining the fate of the criminal. Once the evidence has been presented in the court, the judge sums up the facts of the case as well as explain relevant principles of law. Then, the jury will decide if the accused is guilty or not. During the trial you are usually allowed to take notes. Points of law and evidence can be repeated for clarification. A full consensus or agreement needs to be reached in order to make a final verdict. If no decision is not made, then the judge has the power to order a retrial. In consideration to the expenses of the trial, the judge asks the jury to reconsider their decisions once again. [27]

Law Enforcement

New Zealand has a single centralized police structure. The law enforcement in New Zealand are divided into two Police Maritime Units: one in Auckland, and the other in Wellington. The Auckland Police Maritime Unit is part of the Auckland Metro Operations Group, and the Wellington Police Maritime Unit comprises of a Senior sergeant, sergeant, and ten constables(under the Operational Services Manager)[28] Law enforcement officers receive their professional training in effective exercise, and the lawful use of force and firearms. The trainee's psychological impacts of police actions are considered by law enforcement officials as well. Training of law enforcement also includes knowledge of issues of police ethics, issues of human rights, alternatives to the use of force and firearms, the mediation of conflicts, the understanding of crowd behavior, skills of persuasion, negotiation, and mediation. For all law enforcement officials, professional training lasts from thirty-one to fifty hours per year. There are specific measures learned to combat crimes such as organized crime, drug-related crime, money laundering, environmental crime, terrorism, and domestic violence. [29]

New Zealand Police officers don't usually carry firearms while on patrol, but rather use less harmful defenses such as pepper spray and batons.[30] In New Zealand there is a well established community-policing tradition(based on survey of 440 officers.) There is an asserted community-policing orientation in which police officers, not all, perceived the reality of work rather their duty to protect their citizens. [31]

The military forces are called the Armed Offenders Squad,which maintains a full-time counter-terrorist unit, the Special Tactics Group (STG). The STG is experienced in tactics vital in high-risk dangerous situations. The STG is the last resort to law enforcement. If New Zealand's internal resources are unable to face with the issue, such as a serious terrorist attack, the Police Incident Controller may call New Zealand's Defence Force and Special Forces.[32]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion

Rates of Key Crimes in
Drug and Antisocial Offenses
  • Second most occurred crime; 41% of the recorded offenses are crimes such as family offenses, vagrancy, and sale of liquor,[33]
  • Dishonesty crimes occurs the most; 50% of all dishonesty offenses are theft[34]
  • In 2006, out of a total of 424,134 crimes that occur in New Zealand only 98 of those crimes are homicide, 2.4% of all crimes[35]
  • Out of the total crimes in 2006, a sum of 47,112 assaults occur; 11% of all crimes[36]
  • Fraud occurs 8% of the time[37]

Public opinion on crime is highly influenced by the media, which distorts the actual truth of the criminality in New Zealand. In a recent survey of the view of crime in New Zealand, more people overestimated the crimes rates than the actual crimes rates. People who exaggerated this information were women, Maori or Pacific people, be over 60, uneducated, poor, and not have been a victim of a crime. In reality, New Zealand has the fifth highest percentage of the population who are satisfied with their lives.[38] The occurrence of crime in New Zealand is relatively low considering its rank 52 in consideration to murder rates compared to other countries such as Netherlands, Germany, and Spain[39] New Zealanders believe in the purpose of sentencing should be most preferablely rehabilitation, deterrence and retribution.[40] Crime data in New Zealand come from a number of sources of Data, including the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, the International Crime Victim Survey, and the United Nations Interregional Criminal Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). However, in these findings, there is a presence of problems that distort the factual statistics, such as, lack of trust in police officers, over-recording serious crimes and disregarding minor ones, inconsistent police reported processes, and the lack of consensus of the definition of crime among people. [41]


Family Law

The Family Court is an important justice system in New Zealand. The Court has the role to make judicial decisions for children not yet born through to older people who need care and protection. There is also a wide variety of cases that come before the Court. In New Zealand, there are approximately 60 Family Courts throughout, and they deal with cases under Acts such as the Adoption Act 1995, Care of Children Act 2004, Marriage Act 1995, and Protection of Personal and Property rights 1988. Under adoption, the Family Court deals with cases to adopt a child under the Adoption Act 1955. This act does not give any regulations to where an adoptive child or parent lives in another Hague Convention country. Under this family law, a couple who wants to adopt a child, or if an adopted child wants information about their adoption must contact the Child, Youth, and Family before bringing their case to court. The cases of marriage fall under the The Property (Relationships) Act of 1976. This Act gives legal regulations on how property should be separated when a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship ends. These rules are based on general principles: men and women have equal status, and non-financial contributions should be highly valued as much as financial contributions. This act covers anyone is married or the ones who lives in a de facto relationship, union of two people over the age of 18 who live together, and same-sex couples as well. Since this act covers mostly everyone, even homosexuals, then anyone can marry. If any of these cases are brought to a court hearing, then the Judge has all the decision-making power.[42] If cases such as divorce are brought to court, the judge issues the Separation Order, in which you are not obligated to live with your spouse or civil union partner, but if you have children, you both still have legal responsibilities as parents. New Zealand's inheritance laws apply to everyone who owns property in New Zealand. Foreign property owners has the same property rights as citizens born in New Zealand. There is no defined reserved area of an estate must, by law, go to certain persons. (The only exception is the Property Relationships Act when divorce is the issue.) Inheritance is determined by title deeds, electronic land registration system that is quick and reliable since New Zealand law relies primarily at Title Deeds to determine ownership of property. [43]

Social Inequality

There are major concerns about social inequality of the Maori, Pacific and other ethnic communities, Maori women, and racial hatred. New Zealand, women's average earnings and income remain significantly lower than men's, and the Maori and other ethnic groups also experience a drop in their wages and salaries compared to the European group.[44]

Ethnic group discrimination is currently present in New Zealand. In consideration to imprisonment rates, out of all of the prison inmates, half of them are Maori. Maori men are seven times more likely than other men to be serving a prison sentence, and Maori women 11% more likely than other women.[45] However, there are ways to seek help for people who are racially discriminated, such as, the Employment Relations Act 2000, reporting to the police, and printing media such as the New Zealand Press Council.[46]

Human Rights

New Zealand offers opportunities for education, housing, health care, and other such necessities that provide an equality for each individual. There are two main legislative documents that protect human rights, which is the Human Rights Act 1993, and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The Human Rights Act serves a couple of purposes, such as appreciating human rights in the society, and to promote compatible relations between individuals and other such ethnic groups. The Human Rights Commission, under this act, resolves the disputes relating to discrimination. This is meant to make sure that each individual is treated fairly and equally.

Under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act provides individuals the right to freedom of expression, religious belief, and movement, and the right to be treated equally from such cases such as medical experimentation. New Zealand provides various government and non-government agencies that support information to protect human rights.[47]

Works Cited

  1. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  2. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  3. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  4. "New Zealand Home Page." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  5. Private Islands Online. 2009. "New Zealand, Oceania." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  6. "New Zealand Home Page." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  7. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  8. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  9. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  10. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  11. Wikipedia. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  12. Statistics, New Zealand. "New Zealand in the OECD." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  13. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  14. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  15. Wikipedia. 2009. "New Zealand Politics." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  16. Courts of New Zealand. 2009. "The Judges of the Supreme Court." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  17. Amnesty International. "New Zealand's Stance on the Death Penalty." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  18. New Zealand History Online. 2007. "The Last Execution-Capital Punishment." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  19. Caritas. 2009. "Crime and Punishment." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  20. Green, Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand. 2007. "Actions Needed Against Schools Flouting Corporal Punishment Law." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  21. Ministry of Justice. 2009. "Conclusions." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  22. Ministry of Justice. 2009. "Conclusions." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  23. Ministry of Justice. 2009. "Restorative Justice in the Adult Criminal System." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  24. Google Books. "Lawyers in Society: The Common Law World." Website accessed 12/01/09,>
  25. New Zealand Council of Legal Education. "The New Zealand Law and Practice Examination." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  26. Courts of New Zealand. "The Role of the Chief Justice." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  27. Grown Ups. "Jury Duty" Website accessed 12/01/09,
  28. New Zealand Police. "Wellington Police Maritime Unit." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  29. New Zealand. "Application of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  30. Wikipedia. 2009. "New Zealand Police." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  31. Emerald."New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  32. Wikipedia. 2009. "New Zealand Police." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  33. Statistics, New Zealand."New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  34. Statistics, New Zealand."New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  35. Sensible, Sentencing Trust. "New Zealand Crime Statistics." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  36. Sensible, Sentencing Trust. "New Zealand Crime Statistics." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  37. Statistics, New Zealand. "New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  38. The Social Report. 2004. "How Does New Zealand Compare to Other OECD Countries." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  39. Nation Master. 2009. "Crime Statistics." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  40. Toluna. 2009. "People Polls and Opinions." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  41. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2009. "Compiling and Comparing International Crime Statistics." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  42. Family Court of New Zealand. "Care of Children." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  43. Global Property Guide. "New Zealand: Inheritance." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  44. 1999."Income Distribution in New Zealand." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  45. Human Rights Commission. "Human Rights in New Zealand Today." Website accessed 12/01/09,
  46. Human Rights Commission. "Human Rights in New Zealand Today." Website accessed,
  47. Human Rights Commission. 2008. "Human Rights in New Zealand." Website accessed 12/1/2009,

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NEW ZEALAND, a British colonial Dominion (so named in 1907), consisting mainly of a group of islands lying in the south Pacific between 34° 25' and 47° 17' S., and between 166° 26' and 178° 36' E. The group is situated eastward of Tasmania and Victoria, and Wellington, its capital and central seaport, is 1204 m. distant from Sydney. Of certain outlying clusters of small islands belonging to the colony, the Chathams (356 m. E. of Cook Strait), Aucklands and Campbell Island are alone of any value. All these are grassy and the Chathams are inhabited by sheep-farming colonists. The Aucklands contain two of the finest harbours in the Pacific. Six hundred miles north of Auckland, the volcanic Kermadecs, covering 8208 acres, are picturesquely clothed with vegetation. In Polynesia a number of inhabited islands were brought under New Zealand control in 1893. Rarotonga and Mangaia, in the Cook group, and Niue or Savage Island are the largest of these; Penrhyn and Suwarrow, though but small coral atolls, contain excellent harbours. Rarotonga is hilly, well watered, and very beautiful. Apart from these little tropical dependencies New Zealand has an area of 104,471 sq. m., of which its two important islands, called North and South, contain 44,468 and 58,525 respectively, while, divided from South Island by Foveaux Strait, Rakiura or Stewart Island, mountainous and forest-clad, contains 621 sq. m. These three form a broken chain, North and South Islands being cut asunder by Cook Strait, a channel varying in width from 16 to 90 m.

North Island is 515 m. long and varies in breadth from 6 to 200 m. It is almost cleft in twain where the Hauraki Gulf penetrates to within 6 m. of Manukau Harbour. From the isthmus thus formed a narrow, very irregular peninsula reaches out northward for some 200 m., moist and semi-tropical, and beautiful rather than uniformly fertile. Rich strips of alluvial soil, however, seam a cold clay-marl, needing intensive cultivation to become highly productive. Buried in this clay-marl are found large deposits of the fossil resin which becomes the kauri gum of commerce; and on the surface extensive forests are still a great though diminishing source of wealth. Though a species of mangrove fringes much of this peninsula, its presence does not denote malaria, from which the islands are entirely free.

South of the isthmus aforesaid, North Island rapidly broadens out. Its central physical feature is the unbroken mountain chains running N.E. from Cook Strait to East Cape on the Bay of Plenty, ranges seldom under 3000 ft., but never attaining 6000 ft. in height. Ikurangi, their highest summit, though a fine mass, does not compare with the isolated volcanic cones which, rising W. of the main mountain system and quite detached from it, are among the most striking sights in the island. Ruapehu (9100 ft.) is intermittently active, and Ngauruhoe (75 1 5 ft.) emits vapour and steam incessantly. Egmont (8340 ft.) is quiescent, but its symmetrical form and dense clothing of forest make it the most beautiful of the three. North of the two first-mentioned volcanoes Lake Taupo spreads over 238 sq. m. in the centre of a pumice-covered plateau from loon to 2000 ft. above the sea; and round and beyond the great lake the region of the thermal springs covers 5000 sq. m. and stretches from Mount Ruapehu to White Island, an ever-active volcanic cone in the Bay of Plenty. The most uncommon natural feature of the district, the Pink and White Terraces, was blown up in the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886, when for great distances the country was buried beneath mud and dust, and a chasm 9 m. long was opened in the earth. Fine lakes and waterfalls, innumerable pools, in temperature from boiling-point to cold, geysers, solfataras, fumaroles and mud volcanoes still attract tourists in large numbers. The healing virtue of many of the springs is widely known. The government maintains a sanatorium at Lake Rotorua, and there are private bathing establishments in other places, notably near Lake Taupo. In South Island there are hot pools and a state sanatorium at Hanmer Plains. Experience shows that the most remarkable cures effected by the hot waters are in cases of gout, rheumatism, diseases of the larynx and in skin disorders. Though, thanks to the overlaying porous pumice, the Taupo plateau is not fertile, it has a good rainfall and is drained by unfailing rivers running through deep terraced ravines. The Waikato and Waihou flow N., the Rangitaiki N.E., and Mokau, Wanganui and Rangitikei W. or S.W. The first named, the longest river in the colony, though obstructed by a bar like all western, - and most eastern, - New Zealand rivers, is navigable for some 70 m. The Mokau and Wanganui run between ferny and forest-clad hills and precipices, often of almost incomparable beauty.

. East of the Taupo plateau and south of Opotiki on the Bay of Plenty the steep thickly-timbered ranges held by the Uriwera tribe still show scenery quite unspoiled by white intrusion. On the southern frontier of this mountainous tract Waikare Moana extends its arms, the deepest and most beautiful of the larger lakes of the island.

From the mouth of the Waikato southward to about 25 m. from Cape Terawhiti on Cook Strait, and for a distance of from 20 to 40 m. inland, the western coast skirts fertile country well fitted for grazing and dairy-farming, to which it is being rapidly turned as the timber and fern are cleared away from its low hills, downs and rich valleys. On the east coast the same fertility is seen with less forest, and, round Hawkes Bay, a hotter and drier summer. In the south centre, the upland plain of the Wairarapa, ending in a large but commonplace lake, has a climate adapted for both grazing and cereals. The butt-end of the island, of poor, rough, wind-beaten hills, is redeemed by the fine harbour of Port Nicholson, which vies with the Waitemata. in utility to New Zealand commerce. Broken as is the surface, poor as is the soil of certain tracts, there is but little of the island which will not ultimately be cultivated with profit as pumice and clay-marl yield to labour. Everywhere the settler may count. on a sufficient rainfall, and - except on the plateau and the mountain highlands - mild winters and genial summers. The pleasant climate has certain drawbacks; the coastal farmer finds that blights and insect pests thrive in the comparative absence of hard frosts. Fortunately mosquitoes are not a serious plague outside a few marshy localities. To pass Cook Strait and land in the middle province of South Island is to pass from Portugal to Switzerland, a Switzerland, however, with a seacoast that in the east centre is a dull fringe of monotonous sand dunes or low cliffs. As a rule, nevertheless, the shores of South Island are high and bold enough. They are not too well served with harbours, except along Cook Strait, in Banks Peninsula, and by the grand but commercially useless fjords of the south-west. In the last-named region some fifteen salt-water gulfs penetrate into the very heart of the mountains, winding amid steep, cloudcapped ranges, and tall, richly-clothed cliffs overhanging their calm waters. The dominating features of south New Zealand are not ferny plateaus or volcanic cones, but stern chains of mountains. There the Southern Alps rise range upon range, filling the whole centre, almost or quite touching the western shore, and stretching from end to end of the island. West of the dividing crest they are forest clad; east thereof their stony grimness is but slightly softened by growths of scrub and tussock grass. Nineteen-twentieths of the colonists, however, live east of the dividing range, for to that side settlement was attracted by the open, grassy character of the country. The rivers are many, even on the drier eastern coast. But, as must be expected in an island but 180 m. across at the widest point and yet showing ridges capped with perpetual snows, the rivers, large or small, are mountain torrents, now swollen floods, anon half dry. Almost useless for communication or transport, they can be easily drawn upon for irrigation where, as in the east centre, water-races are useful. The largest river, the Clutha, though but 80 m. long in its course to the south-east coast, discharges a volume of water estimated at nearly i,ioo,000 cubic ft. a minute. On the west the only two rivers of importance are the Buller and the Grey, the former justly famous for the grandeur of its gorges. Large and deep lakes fill many of the mountain valleys. Te Anau and Wakatipu (54 m. long) are the chief, though Manapouri is the most romantic. Aorangi (Mt. Cook) is easily first among the mountain peaks. Its height, 12,349 ft., is especially impressive when viewed from the sea off the west coast. On the north-east a double range, the Kaikouras, scarcely fall short of the Southern Alps in height and beauty. Apart from the fjords and lakes the chief beauties of the Alps are glaciers and waterfalls. The Tasman glacier is 18 m. long and has an average width of 1 m. 15 chains; the Murchison glacier is io m. in length. To the west of Aorangi glaciers crawl into the forest as low as 400 ft. above sea-level. Among waterfalls the Sutherland is 1904 ft. high, but has less volume than the Bowen and others. The finest mountain gorge, the Otira, is also the chief route from the east to the west coast. It begins on the western side of Arthur's Pass, a gap the floor of which is 3100 ft. above the sea. Generally the opqn and readily available region of South Island extends from the Kaikouras along the east and south-east coast to the river Waiau in Southland. It has a mean breadth of some 30 m. In compensation the coal and gold, which form the chief mineral wealth, are found in the broken and less practicable west and centre, and these portions also furnish the water-power which may in days to come make the island a manufacturing country. (W. P. R.) Geology. - New Zealand is part of the Australasian festoon, on the Pacific edge of the Australasian area. Unlike Australia, its geological structure is unusually varied, and owing to its instability, it includes, for its size, an unusually complete series of marine sedimentary rocks. It has, moreover, been a volcanic area of long-continued activity. The physical geography of New Zealand is closely connected with its geological structure, and is dominated by two intersecting lines of mountains and earth movements. The Southern Alps, the backbone of the South Island, rest on a foundation of coarse gneisses and schists, that are quite unrepresented in the North Island. The continuation of this line of old rocks is occupied by the basins of the Wanganui river and Taupo. E. Suess therefore suggested that the northern continuation of the Alps had foundered, and its summits been buried beneath the Pliocene marine rocks of the Wanganui basin and the volcanic rocks of the Taupo area.

The oldest rocks are Archean, represented by the band of gneisses and schists exposed along the western foot of the Southern Alps. To the south of the district in southern Westland, where the Alps have passed out to sea, the Archeans become more extensive; for they spread eastward and underlie the whole of the dissected tableland of Otago. It has been suggested that the ,jasperoids and diabases of the Tarawera Mountains on the North Island may be of Upper Archean age, from their resemblance to the Heathcotian rocks of Australia. No Cambrian rocks have as yet been discovered, but the Ordovician system is represented by the Aorere beds in the north-western part of the South Island. Here they contain numerous graptolites, including Tetragraptus, Dichograptus and Didymograptus. The Silurian system is represented by the Baton river beds to the west of the Aorere beds, occurring in the basin of the Motueka river, which flows into Tasman Bay. The Devonian system is well exposed in the Reef ton mining field. The Carboniferous system includes either the whole or a large part of the Maitai beds. The Maitai beds include a thick mass of slates and sandstones, which form the bulk of the Southern Alps, whence branches extend southeastward to the coast. The beds take their name from the Maitai river near Nelson; they are largely developed in the mountains of the Tararua-Ruahine-Raukumara chain, on the eastern side of the North Island; they occur in the Kaikoura Mountains, and an outlier forms Mount Torlesse, near the eastern edge of the Southern Alps, west of Christchurch. The Maitai beds have generally been considered to be Carboniferous from the presence of species of Productus found in the Permo-Carboniferous of New South Wales. But Professor Park has obtained Jurassic fossils in the Maitai series; so that it will probably be ultimately divided between the Carboniferous and Jurassic. The two systems should, however, be separable by an unconformity, unless the Maitai series also includes representatives of the Kaihiku series (the New Zealand Permian), and of the Wairoa series, which is Triassic.

New Zealand includes representatives of all the three Mesozoic systems. The Hokanui group comprises the Triassic Wairoa .and Otapira beds, and the Jurassic Mataura beds. The Wairoa series includes marine limestones characterized by Monotis salinaria, and the Otapira series is characterized by Spiriferina spatulata. The Mataura beds are largely of estuarine formation; they contain oil shales and gas springs.

The Cretaceous system includes the Waipara series, a belt of chalky limestones with some phosphate beds at Clarendon in eastern Otago. Their fossils include belemnites, ammonites, scaphites and marine saurians, such as Cimoliosaurus. These Cretaceous limestones are interbedded with glauconitic greensands, as at Moeraki Point in eastern Otago. The second type of Cretaceous is a terrestrial formation, and is important as it contains the rich coal seams of Greymouth, Westport and Seddonville, which yield a high quality of steam coal. Cretaceous coals have long been worked in the North Island, north of Auckland, on the shores of the Bay of Islands, where the age of the coal is shown by its occurrence under the Whangarei or Waimio limestone.

The Cainozoic system is represented by Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene beds. The best-known Oligocene rocks. are the limestones of Oamaru and the brown-coal measures of Waikato. The Oamaru limestones have been largely used for building stones; they are a pure white limestone, largely made up of foraminifera, bryozoa and shell fragments, and contain the teeth of sharks (e.g. Carcharodon) and of toothed whales such as Squalodon serratus. In southern Otago the Oligocene beds are brown coals and lignites with oil shales, which, at Orepuki, contain 47% of oil and gas, with 8% of water. The Miocene Pareora beds occur to the height of 3000 or 4000 ft. above sea-level, in both the North and South Islands. Some of its fossils also occur in the Oamaru series, but the two series are unconformable. In Westland the Miocene includes the Moutere gravels, which rest on the summit of Mount Greenland, 4900 ft. above sea-level.

Marine beds of the Pliocene are best developed in the Wanganui basin. They consist of fine clays with nodular calcareous concretions rich in fossils. The Pleistocene system in the South Island includes glacial deposits, which prove a great extension of the New Zealand glaciers, especially along the western coast. The glaciers must have reached the sea at Cascade Point in southern Westland. On the eastern side of the Alps the glaciers appear to have been confined to the mountain valleys. The Pleistocene swamp deposits are rich in the bones of the moa and other gigantic extinct birds, which lived on until they were exterminated by the Maori. The Cainozoic volcanic history of New Zealand begins in the Oligocene, when the high volcanic domes of Dunedin and Banks Peninsula were built up. The Dunedin lavas including tephrites and kenytes correspond to the dacite eruptions in the volcanic history of Victoria. The building up of these domes of lavas of intermediate chemical type was followed by the eruption of sheets of andesites and rhyolites in the Thames English Miles so Ioo 200 Cretaceous 'a '

MN ??

Goldfield and the Taupo volcanic district. The volcanic activity of the Taupo district lasted into the Pleistocene, and the last eruptions contributed many of its chief geographical features.' (J. W. G.) Climate. - Diversity of level and latitude cause man y varieties of climate in the South Island provinces. The height and regularity of the mountain backbone increase the diversity. Only one pass, the Haast (1716 ft.), crosses from E. to W. at a less height than 3000 ft. Along the whole west coast the climate resembles nothing in the British Islands so much as Cork and Kerry, for there are the same wet gales from a western ocean, the same clouds gathering on the dripping sides of wild mountains, an equal absence of severe frosts and hot sunshine, and a rich and evergreen vegetation. Elsewhere, sheltered Nelson has a more genial air than the Wellington side of Cook Strait. Foveaux Strait is as cold and windy as the Strait of Dover. The Canterbury plain has but 26 ins. of annual rainfall, less than a fourth of that along the western littoral. Very seldom indeed is moisture excessive in the eastern half; there is even a deficiency in unfavourable years, and dry, warm winds do damage to crops. Insect life is relatively not abundant; the air is brisk and bright with ample sunshine. The snow-line, which is at 3000 ft. on the eastern flank of the Alps, is 3700 ft. on the western.

The healthiness of the New Zealand climate in all parts is attested by the death-rate, which, varying (1896-1906) from 9 to 10.50 per 1000, is the lightest in the world. In 1896 it was as low as 9. Io. In 1907, however, it was 10.91, the highest figure since the year 1883. Even in the boroughs the average is below 13. The rainfall in most of the settled districts ranges from 30 to 50 ins. a year. Meteorological statistics are collected at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin and eight other stations; and observations of rainfall, temperature, and wind-directions are received from eighteen stations of the second class. From the data thus obtained an isobaric map and a report are prepared for each day; and weather warnings are telegraphed to any part of the coast when necessary. A system of inter-colonial weather exchanges has been agreed upon, and telegrams are daily exchanged between Sydney and Wellington.

Table of contents


There are about one thousand species of flowering plants, of which about three-fourths are endemic. Most of those not peculiar to the country are Australian; others are South American, European, Antarctic; and some have Polynesian affinities. Ferns and other cryptogamic plants are in great variety and abundance. The New Zealand flora, like the fauna, has been cited in support of the theory of the remote continental period. In appearance the more conspicuous flora differs very greatly from that of Australia, Polynesia, and temperate South America, and helps to give to the scenery a character of its own.

The early colonists found quite half the surface of the archipelago covered with dense, evergreen forest, a luxuriant growth of pines and beeches, tangled and intertwined with palms, ferns of all sizes, wild vines and other parasites, and a rank, bushy, mossed undergrowth. Though much of the timber is of commercial value - notably the kauri, totara, puriri, rimu, matai and kahikatea - this has not saved the forests from wholesale, often reckless, destruction. Two-fifths perhaps have already disappeared, and it is probable that in fifty years the only large tracts still standing will be sub-alpine woods and in state reserves. Meanwhile charred and rotting stumps give a melancholy and untidy air to valleys and denuded hillsides, for hard-wood stumps - and most New Zealand trees are hard-woodtake more than a generation to decay utterly. Compelled by the windy climate the colonists are doing something to repair these ravages by planting European, Californian and Australian sheltertrees; but it is only in the naturally open and grassy regions of the east and south-east that settlement as yet improves the landscape. There, before the colonists came, wide sweeps of dull green bracken or wiry yellow-green tussocks seemed bleak and monotonous enough. The swamps covered with flax and giant bulrushes were often redeemed to the eye by sheets of golden-plumed toe-toe, a kind of pampas grass.


The destruction of the forest is telling fatally on the ' See the geological map of New Zealand by Sir James Hector (1884). A brief sketch of its geological history is given by Hutton, Trans. New Zealand Inst. (1899), xxxii. pp. 159-183. Fullest information about the geology of New Zealand is given in the Reports of Geological Explorations issued by the Geological Survey of New Zealand, and the Annual Reports of the mines department. A bibliography of the chief literature has been compiled by A. Hamilton, Trans. New Zealand Inst. (1903), xxxv. 489-546.

native avifauna. In their natural state the islands were without land mammals, and the Polynesian immigrants brought but two in their canoes - a dog, now extinct, and a black rat, now rarely seen. Until recent years the forest birds did much to atone for this deficiency, for among them the tui and makomako rank high as songsters, while the apteryxes, kakapo, weka and stitch-bird are of peculiar interest to science. The importation of stoats and weasels, ferrets and cats has resulted in a process of extermination which has already made it necessary to set aside the islets Resolution, Kapiti and Little Barrier as sanctuaries. The place of the vanishing native species is being taken by such European arrivals as sky-larks, finches, blackbirds, sparrows and rooks. Outside the forest country the weka, an almost wingless bird, is numerous, and in the Alps a hawk-like green parrot, the kea, has learned to kill sheep and holds its ground. The pukeko, a handsome rail, abounds in swamps. The native wild ducks are carefully preserved for sportsmen, in whose interests pheasants, red and fallow deer, and brown and rainbow trout have been very successfully acclimatized. Acclimatization, indeed, had played a chief part in the settlement of New Zealand. Coming to a country without useful animals, cereals, rich grasses or fruit trees, the colonists had to bring all these necessaries with them. So far acclimatizers note but few failures; the chief case is that of the salmon. Again and again salmon have been successfully hatched out into rivers, but the young fish hastening down stream to the sea never return thence. This is all the more unfortunate as eels were the only large edible creatures found in the fresh-water lakes and rivers. Tidal waters furnish minute whitebait, and the mud-flats of salt or brackish lagoons and estuaries flounders - both very delicate eating. Oysters, both mud and rock, are good and plentiful. A strange visitor, the frost-fish, never seen at sea, is picked up stranded on sandy beaches in cold weather, and is prized by epicures. The snapper is at once the handsomest and most palatable of a good variety of sea fish. Sharks are found everywhere and are common round the north, though they rarely attack man. The albatross is of course the most conspicuous sea bird. Penguins are found, confined to the islets of the far south. As some compensation for its paucity of useful animals and food plants, New Zealand was, of course, free from wild carnivora, has no snakes, and only one poisonous insect, the katipo, a timid little spider found on certain sea-beaches. Of poisonous plants only the berries of the tutu and the karaka are worth notice. The wild dogs and pigs which now sometimes prey on the sheep-farmers' lambs in outlying districts are the descendants of domestic animals which have escaped into the "bush." Among imported pests the rabbit and sparrow, and a numerous company of European and American thistles and other weeds, have to be systematically contended with. The formidable increase of the rabbit has been arrested, mainly by poison and wire-netting fences.


In January 1840 there may have been 2000 whites in New Zealand. By 1861 the number was still slightly under 10o,000. During the next twenty years the gold discoveries, the public works expenditure, and the development of agriculture; multiplied the number of colonists five times to 498,000 in April 1881. Then increase slackened for many years, and was slowest between 1886 and 1891, when the addition was but 48,000 in five years. In 1901 the whites numbered 773, 000; and between that year and the census computation in April 1906 the increase, 115,859, was the largest yet recorded in any quinquennium. In the middle of 1908 the official estimate of white inhabitants was 950,000.

The white population, about nine to the square mile, is very unevenly distributed. In the South Island nine-tenths of the colonists live within 40 m. of the east and south-east coasts; in the North Island the eastern and northern parts of Wellington province, and the southern and broadest part of Auckland province are still very scantily peopled. For all that, Auckland and Wellington are the most populous of the -larger districts, while Nelson, Westland and Marlborough have for a long time shown the slowest increase.

Males still exceed females in the proportion of nine to eight. About 70% of the population is New Zealand born. The white foreign element is small; what there is is chiefly Scandinavian, German and Dalmatian. Among the foreigners males greatly outnumber females; even in the case of the German settlers the proportion is two to one.

Between 1880 and 1892 the birth-rate fell by no less than 12.95 points - rather more than 1 a year. It continued to fall for seven years more, though at a much reduced rate, and finally reached 25.12 in the year 1899. In the next eight years there was a slow recovery to 27.30 in 1907. Thanks, however, to the low death-rate, elsewhere referred to, the margin of increase in New Zealand is over 17. To that, and to the annual gain by immigration, the fairly rapid rate of increase is due. Between 1885 and 1891 the colony lost more than it gained oversea; but from 1892 to 1908 the gain by immigration was 90,000. Probably, at least half of these represent Australians, impelled to emigrate by years of drought. England and Scotland supply the bulk of the remainder. The government has aided immigrant farmers and farm labourers having a certain sum of money, also female domestics, by paying part of their passage money.

The people of colour in 1906 numbered 53,000, including 2300 Chinese and 6500 Maori half-castes. An apparent increase of 7000 in the Maori and half-castes between 1891 and 1906 is, perhaps, partly due to more accurate computation. It seems probable that the number of Maori and half-castes taken together is about the same as it was thirty years ago, though the infusion of white blood is larger. The Public Health Department has exerted itself to improve the sanitation of native villages and combat the mischievous trickery of Maori wizards and "doctors." Wealth. - The increase of wealth went on after 1879 in spite of dull times, and was only checked by the especially severe financial depression of 1893 and 1894, caused by low prices and the Australian bank panic. The estimated private wealth of colonists fell from £236 per head in 1890 to £219 in 1895. It was computed in 1905 to have reached £292. After deducting debts owing abroad the public and private wealth of the colony is calculated to be about £270,000,000.

Of the five banks of issue doing business in the dominion three are Australian and New Zealand institutions. Their deposits exceeded £ 21,000,000 in 5907, as against £12,250,000 in 1890. At the same date more than £ 10,000,000 stood to the credit of small depositors in post office and private savings banks, nine-tenths in the former. The gross amount insured by policies in life insurance offices (ordinary and industrial) was over £29,000,000, of which the state office claimed two-fifths.


The growth of sea-trade in recent years is shown by the larger size of the ocean-going vessels trading with the colony. The number of these only advanced from 589 to 629 between 1896 and 1906. But the increase of tonnage in the eleven years was from 614,000 tons to 1,243,000; while the crews rose from 20,000 to 32,500. The coasting trade and trade with Australia are carried in New Zealand-owned vessels.

External trade has risen from £13,111,000 in 1887 to £37,371,000 in 1907. Before 1886 exports exceeded imports; but in the twenty subsequent years there was an invariable excess of exports, valued in all at £52,000,000.

The re-export trade is stationary and extremely small. Trade with the United States grew from £877,000 in 1891 to £2,140,000 in 5907. Thanks to the tariff of the United States the balance of trade with North America is heavily against New Zealand. The same disparity is shown in her trade with Germany, which is, however, much smaller - less than half a million. Trade with India and Ceylon reached £557,000 in 1906; that with Fiji and other Pacific islands was £622,000 in 1900. With these exceptions New Zealand trade is almost all done with Australia (£5,348,000 in 1907) and the United Kingdom; the latter's share in 1906 was £26,811,000 of the whole.


Wool (£4,250,000 to £7,657,000 according to prices) remains at the head of the list of exports. The quantity grown increased by 70% in the twenty years 1887-1906. Moreover the export of sheep skins and pelts was valued at £680,000 in the lastmentioned year. But the description changes; there is much less merino, and more of the coarser and longer cross-bred. The number of sheep has increased from 56,564,000 in 1886 to 22,000,000 in 5908, though the increase has been almost all in North Island. The number of the flocks grows, and the average size diminishes even more rapidly. There were 9149 flocks in 1886; in 1906 the number had risen to 18,500 - average size of each flock about 1050. The smaller size of the flocks and the breeding of sheep for meat rather than for wool, the cultivation of English grasses and of extensive crops of turnips and other roots on which to fatten sheep and lambs, all tend to change sheep-farming from the mere grazing of huge mobs on wide, unimproved runs held by pastoral licences. The "squatter's" still occupy eleven million acres, but even these are more closely subdivided than in former days. „How much more extensive is grazing - of the more scientific order - than agriculture, is seen at once from the figures of the amount of land broken up, for crops or other purposes, and the amount under sown grasses. There were about 1,600,000 acres under crop in 1899. This is exclusive of the vast area of native-grass land. The area now occupied and utilized by whites is about 38,000,000 acres.

The character of the soil and the moist cool climate enable English grasses to be sown almost everywhere, and 13,000,000 acres are now laid down with these. The result is seen in the price obtained for New Zealand sheep in Smithfield Market, which is from Id. to id.













per lb higher than that given for frozen mutton from other countries. The figures below show the growth of the trade: Export of Frozen Meat. In the market for frozen lambs the colony remains at present without a rival. Frozen beef is also sent to England. In 1907 the export of frozen meat was valued at £3,420,000. The export of butter and cheese has risen in value from £207,687 in 1890, till in 1907 that of butter amounted to £1,615,000. In London, New Zealand cheese fetches as high a price as Canadian; the value of the cheese exported was £662,000 in 1907. Though not yet quite equal in importance to wool or frozen meat, dairy-farming is almost entirely carried on by small farmers and their families, who supply milk to factories. Most of these are co-operative, their shareholders being the farmers themselves. The profits of the industry are thus widely distributed among the producers. The development of dairyfarming has led to the spread of settlement, especially in the west of North Island, where large tracts of fertile soil formerly covered with forest have now been cleared and converted into dairy-farms. Of 1,850,000 cattle in the colony, two-sevenths are dairy cows.

The importance of hemp as an export - increasing from £26,000 in 1898 to £832,000 in 1907 - has led to improvements in cleaning and grading it. In consequence its price in London nearly approaches that paid for manila.


The export of gold, which was £1,220,000 in 1880, did not exceed that figure until 1898, and, indeed, fell below threequarters of a million in 1887. Then gold-mining, after being long at a standstill, began again to make headway. For many years the surface alluvial mining in South Island became less and less profitable. As in other countries, however, the working of quartz reefs gradually compensated for this. The cyanide process of gold extraction, and the returns obtained by its means from the great Waihi mine in the Upper Thames, caused an outbreak of gold fever, which led to the opening up of a few good and a great many worthless quartz-mines in the Auckland fields. In South Island the river-beds of Otago province have been successfully worked by means of dredges, and good returns secured. In 1907 the gold exported was valued at £2,027,000.4. The total value of the gold exported from New Zealand from the discovery of the metal in 1857 to 1907 was, roundly, £70,000,000. Kauri gum still holds its place as an export, over £500,000 worth being dug up annually. The number of Istrians and Dalmatians who came from the Adriatic to dig for kauri gum led to the passing of restrictive laws.

The progressive output of coal from 1880 to 1900 is shown below.

Excluding Coal for Fuel by Ocean Steamers.

Excellent as the quality of the best New Zealand coal is, the cost of mining and shipping it prevents the growth of any considerable export trade. Silver is chiefly extracted in the Thames district, but other mines containing silver ores have been found. There are many other valuable ores - copper, iron, lead, zinc, antimony, chrome and manganese. Petroleum springs have been tapped near New Plymouth. Building stones of various kinds and of excellent quality abound. Marble and cement stones occur in many places. There are extensive deposits of iron-sand on the west coast of the North Island, and of iron ore at Parapara in Nelson.


Raised in the Colony.




Protected by a tariff wall which was repeatedly heightened between 1879 and 1907, manufactures made considerable progress. At the end of 1885 about 22,000 work-people were being employed in 1946 workshops, and the aggregate output was valued at six millions and three-quarters. Twenty years later the number of establishments was 4186; the number of hands 56,000; and the output twenty-three millions and a half. A small deduction should be made from this apparent increase to allow for a changed system of classification. Male factory hands greatly outnumbered female, standing in the ratio of four to one. Between 1879 and 1895 wages fell. Between 1895 and 1906 they rose 15% bn the average among males of all ages, and as much as 30% among women and girl workers. The disproportionate rise in the case of females is probably due to the policy of the industrial arbitration court. The chief factory industries come under the following heads: meat-freezing and tallow; tanning and wool-scouring; flax mills, saw-mills and grain-mills; boots and shoes; woollen and clothing; butter and Tons. Tons. Tons.







1 10, 939








Four-sevenths of the coal is bituminous.

cheese; breweries; printing houses; foundries; agricultural implement and machine shops; soap and candle works; coach-building and furniture; gas-works. Except in meat-freezing, wool-scouring, butterand cheese-making, flax-milling and timber-sawing, manufacturing is almost entirely for consumption within the colony.


New Zealand was not colonized in the ordinary manner around one centre. There were in its early years six distinct settlements - Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth, Canterbury and Otago - between which communication was for several years irregular and infrequent. To meet their political wants the Constitution Act of 1852 created them into provinces, with elective councils and superintendents respectively, subordinated to one colonial legislature. In 1876 the provincial system was abolished. The general assembly, as it is called, is composed of the governor, the legislative council, and the House of Representatives. The governor is appointed by the crown, but his salary, X7500, is paid by the colony. The legislative council consists of members appointed for seven years by the governor in council; the number of legislative councillors stays at or near forty-five. The House of Representatives consists of eighty members chosen by the electors. The members of both houses are paid. The franchise is adult suffrage, conditional on a previous residence in the colony for a year, including six months in the electoral district for which a claim to vote is registered. Every elector is qualified for ,election. Four members of the house must be Maori elected by their own race. The duration of the house is for three years, but it is subject to re-election whenever the governor dissolves the general assembly. Legislation is subject to disallowance by the crown, but that power is seldom exercised. Executive administration is conducted on the principle of English responsible or parliamentary government. The government is represented in England by a high commissioner. Local administration is vested in local elective bodies, such as municipal councils, county councils, road boards, harbour boards, charitable aid boards, and others, with power to levy rates. The colonial revenue is chiefly derived from customs, stamp duties, land tax, income tax, beer excise, postal and telegraphic services, railways, and crown land sales and rents. The proceeds of land sales are applied to surveys and public works. Customs duties, railways and stamps are by far the most important sources of revenue. They yielded £3,103,000, L2,765,000 and £1,550,000 respectively out of a total revenue of £9,056,000 in the financial year 1907-1908. The gross public debt had reached £66,500,000 in 1908. The money has chiefly been spent on railways, telegraphs, roads, bridges, land purchase from the native tribes and private estate owners, on loans to settlers and on native wars. The state railways (2500 m.) return about £800,000 after paying working expenses. This does not quite defray the interest on the cost of their construction and equipment, inasmuch as it barely comes to 31% thereon, but rates and fares are deliberately kept low to encourage settlement and communication. The debts of the local bodies amount to about nine millions. They raise rather more than a million a year by rates, licence fees and dues.


Under the Education Act of 1877 state schools are established, in which teaching is free, secular and compulsory, with certain exceptions, for children between the ages of seven and thirteen. A capitation grant is given for every child in average daily attendance at the schools. Grants are also made for scholarships from primary to secondary schools, for training institutions for teachers and for school buildings. Large reserves of public lands have been made for primary, secondary and university education. All primary and some secondary public schools are controlled by provincial education boards elected by school committees of the parents of pupils. The percentage of attendance has rivalled that in the primary schools of Scotland, and in 1905 attained to 86.9%. Native village schools are also provided by the state in native districts. There are, moreover, industrial schools, orphanages and institutions for the deaf and dumb and blind. There are about ninety secondary schools, state-supported or aided by public endowments. The university of New Zealand is an examining body, and grants honours, degrees and scholarships. It is empowered by royal charter to confer degrees entitled to rank and consideration throughout the British dominions, as fully as if they were granted by any university in the United Kingdom. Colleges in the four chief towns and in Nelson are affiliated. to the New Zealand University, which has about fifteen hundred undergraduates keeping terms. The state in no way controls or interferes with religious administration. Each denomination attends to the religious instruction of its own adherents, chiefly by means of Sunday schools, which count 108,000 pupils. Roman Catholics support about 150 clerical day schools attended by about 11,500 scholars. State school buildings can be, and sometimes are, used for religious instruction on days and at hours other than those fixed by law for ordinary school work,; but no child can be required to attend, except at the wish of its parent or guardian. The government spends £35,000 a year on manual and technical instruction, a branch of teaching which includes about two hundred cookery classes. A school of engineering and an agricultural college are attached to the university college in the province of Canterbury, and there are several schools of mines elsewhere.

About 157,000 white children and 6500 Maori children attend schools of one degree or another. Private schools claim about 10% of these. The annual parliamentary expenditure on education exceeds £700,000. In this connexion it may be claimed that the proportion of policemen to population (1 to 1375) is lower in New Zealand than in any other colony. The fixing of the legal minimum "factory age" for children at fourteen undoubtedly favours school attendance.


Apart from gold-mining, coal-mining and gum-digging, the industries are still mainly the growing of food and raw material; and the occupation of the land is easily the chief of all economic questions. Sixteen million acres were in 1907 already held in freehold, as against about six million acres rented from the state on permanent leasehold. Crown lands are still alienated, though but little is now sold for cash outright. The number of holdings of one acre and upwards in size rose from 33,332 in 1886 to 58,904 in 1896, and 72,338 in 1906; but the area held in estates of 5000 acres and upwards remains very large and has diminished but slowly despite the severity of the graduated land-tax. Many interesting experiments in settling lands have been tried. The best known of these, perhaps, is the repurchase of large pastoral estates for subdivision and lease in perpetuity. In the fourteen years1893-1907about a million and a quarter acres were thus acquired at a cost of somewhat under five millions and a half. Over 13,000 souls had been settled in this area, and the yearly rent received from them, about £ 220,000, left a substantial balance to the credit of the enterprise in the books of the treasury. The tenants (who had been favoured with good years) were with very few exceptions prospering.

Old Age Pensions

The Old Age Pensions law, enacted in 1898, provided for the free grant of pensions, not exceeding £18 a year, to persons of sixty-five years and upwards who had lived for twentyfive years in the colony. Pensioners must be British subjects, poor, and not ex-criminals or of notoriously bad character. In 1905 the maximum pension was raised to £26 a year. Official figures show that the total number of applications for pensions up to that date had been 31,271, of which 23,877 had been granted. The number of pensioners then on the books of the Pensions Office was 13,257. In the first three years after enactment of the law the growth of the number of pensioners was very rapid; in the next five it was remarkably slow - only 481 altogether. The proportion of whites qualified by age and residence who were actually drawing pensions was rather less than one-third (it had been 9% more in 1902). The reduction was due to stricter administration. The total sum paid out in eight and a quarter years had been a million and three quarters. The amount paid in pensions in the financial year1906-1907was £325,000. The money is found by the central government. The administration of the system, which is in the hands of a special department, costs a little over £5000. Frauds and evasions by applicants and pensioners, though they exist, are not believed to be numerous. Public thrift does not, so far, seem to have been diminished. Since the coming of the system the amount spent on outdoor relief in the colony had by 1906 diminished from £51,000 to £36,500, in face of an increase of nearly 23% in the population.


The date, even the approximate date, of man's arrival in New Zealand is uncertain. All that can be safely asserted is that by the 14th century A.D. Polynesian canoe-men had reached its northern shores in successive voyages. By 1642 they had spread to South Island, for there Abel Jansen Tasman found them when, in the course of his circuitous voyage from Java in the "Heemskirk," he chanced upon the archipelago, coasted along much of its western side, though without venturing to land, and gave it the name it still bears. One hundred and thirty-seven years later, Cook, in the barque "Endeavour," gained a much fuller knowledge of the coasts, which he circumnavigated, visited again and again, and mapped out with fair accuracy. He annexed the country, but the British government disavowed the act. After him came other navigators, French, Spanish, Russian and American; and, as the 8th century neared its end, came sealers, whalers and trading-schooners in quest of flax and timber. English missionaries, headed by Samuel Marsden, landed in 1814, to make for many years but slow progress. They were hindered by murderous tribal wars in which imported muskets more than decimated the Maori. Still, cruel experience and the persevering preaching of the missionaries gradually checked the fighting, and by the year 1839 it could be claimed that peace and Christianity were in the ascendant. So far the British government had resisted the considerable pressure brought to bear in Downing Street in favour of annexation. In vain Edward Gibbon Wakefield, organizer of colonizing associations, prayed and intrigued for permission to repeat in New Zealand the experiment tried by him in South Australia. Lord Glenelg, the colonial minister, had the support of the missionaries in withstanding Wakefield's New Zealand Company, which at length resolved in desperation to send an agent to buy land wholesale in New Zealand and despatch a shipload of settlers thither without official permission. Before, however, the "Tory" had thus sailed for Cook Strait, it had become known to the English government that a French colonizing company - La Compagnie Nanto-Bordelaise - was forming, under the auspices of Louis Philippe, to anticipate or oust Wakefield. Further obstruction was manifestly futile, and the British authorities reluctantly instructed Captain Hobson, R.N., to make his way to northern New Zealand with a dormant commission of lieutenant-governor in his pocket and authority to annex the country to Australia by peaceful arrangement with the natives. Hobson landed in the Bay of Islands on the 22nd of January 1840, hoisted the Union Jack, and had little difficulty in inducing most of the native chiefs to accept the queen's sovereignty at the price of guaranteeing to the tribes by the treaty of Waitangi possession of their lands, forests and fisheries. Some French settlers, convoyed by a man-of-war, reached Akaroa in South Island in the May following. But Hobson had forestalled them, and those who remained in the country became British subjects. Meanwhile, a week after Hobson's arrival, Wakefield's colonists had sailed into Port Nicholson, and proposed to take possession of immense tracts which the New Zealand Company claimed to have bought from the natives, and for which colonists had in good faith paid the company. Other bands of company's settlers in like manner landed at Nelson, Wanganui and New Plymouth, to be met with the news that the British government would not recognize the company's purchases. Then followed weary years of ruinous delay and official inquiry, during which Hobson died after founding Auckland. His successor, Fitzroy, drifted into an unsuccessful native war. A strong man, Captain Grey, was at last sent over from Australia to restore peace and rescue the unhappy colony from bankruptcy and despair. Grey, much the best of the absolute governors, held the balance fairly between the white and brown races, and bought large tracts of land for colonization, including the whole South Island, where the Presbyterian settlement of Otago and the Anglican settlement of Canterbury were established by the persevering Wakefield.

In 1852 the mother-country granted self-government, and, after much wrangling and hesitation, a full parliamentary system and a responsible ministry were set going in 1856. For twenty years thereafter the political history of the colony consisted of two long, intermittent struggles - one constitutional between the central government (first seated in Auckland, but after 1864 in Wellington) and the powerful provincial councils, of which there were nine charged with important functions and endowed with the land revenues and certain rating powers. The other prolonged contest was racial - the conflict between settler and Maori. The native tribes, brave, intelligent and fairly well armed, tried, by means of a league against land-selling and the election of a king, to retain their hold over at least the central North Island. But their kings were incompetent, their chiefs jealous and their tribes divided. Their style of warfare, too, caused them to throw away the immense advantages which the broken bush-clad island offered to clever guerrilla partisans. They were poor marksmen, and had but little skill in laying ambuscades. During ten years of intermittent marching and fighting between 1861 and 1871 the Maori did no more than prove that they had in them the stuff to stand up against fearful odds and not always to be worsted. Round Mount Egmont, at Orakau, at Tauranga and in the Wanganui jungles, they more than once held their own against British regiments and colonial riflemen. The storming of their favourite positions - stockades strengthened with rifle-pits - was often costly; and a strange anti-Christian fanaticism, the Hau-Hau cult, encouraged them to face the white men's bullets and bayonets. But even their fiercest fighting leaders, Rewi and Te Kooti, scarcely deserved the name of generals. Some of the best Maori fighters, such as the chiefs Ropata and. Kemp, were enlisted on the white side, and with their tribesmen did much to make unequal odds still more unequal. Had General Pratt or General Cameron, who commanded the imperial forces from 1860 to 1865, had the rough vigour of their successor, General Chute, or the cleverness of Sir George Grey, the war might have ended in 1864. Even as it was the resistance of the Maori was utterly worn out at last. After 1871 they fought no more. The colonists too, taught by the sickening delay and the ruinous cost of the war to revert to conciliatory methods, had by this time granted the natives special representation in parliament. A tactful native minister, Sir Donald McLean, did the rest. Disarmament, roads and land-purchasing enabled settlement to make headway again in the North Island of ter twelve years of stagnation. Grey quarrelled with his masters in Downing Street, and his career in the imperial service came to an end in 1868. His successors, Sir George Bowen, Sir James Ferguson, the marquess of Normanby and Sir Hercules Robinson, were content to be constitutional governors and to respect strictly the behests of the colonial office. Meanwhile the industrial story of New Zealand may be summed up in the words wool and gold. Extremely well suited for sheep-farming, the natural pastures of the country were quickly parcelled out into huge pastoral crown leases, held by prosperous licensees, the squatters, who in many cases aspired to become a country gentry by turning their leases into freeholds. So profitable was sheep-farming seen to be that energetic settlers began to burn off the bracken and cut and burn the forest in the North Island and sow English grasses on the cleared land. In the South artificial grassing went on for a time hand in hand with cereal-growing, which by 1876 seemed likely to develop on a considerable scale, thanks to the importation of American agricultural machinery, which the settlers were quick to utilize. Even more promising appeared the gold-fields. Gold had been discovered in 1853. Not, however, until 1861 was a permanent field found - that lighted upon by Gabriel Read at Tuapeka in Otago. Thereafter large deposits were profitably exploited in the south and west of South Island and in the Thames and Coromandel districts of the Auckland province. Gold-mining went through the usual stages of alluvial washing, deep sinking and quartz-reef working. Perhaps its chief value was that it brought many thousand diggers to the colony, most of whom stayed there. Pastoral and mining enterprise, however, could not save the settlers from severe depression in the years 1867 to 1871. War had brought progress in the north to a standstill; in the south wool-growing and gold-mining showed their customary fluctuations. For a moment it seemed as though the manufacture of hemp from the native Phormium tenax would become a great industry. But that suddenly collapsed, to the ruin of many, and did not revive for a number of years.

In 1870 peace had not yet been quite won; industry was depressed; and the scattered and scanty colonists already owed seven millions sterling. Yet it was at this moment that a political financier, Sir Julius Vogel, at that moment colonial treasurer in the ministry of Sir William Fox, audaciously proposed that the central government should borrow ten millions, make roads and railways, buy land from the natives and import British immigrants. The House of Representatives, at first aghast, presently voted four millions as a beginning. Coinciding as the carrying out of Vogel's policy did with a rising wool market, it for a time helped to bring great prosperity, an influx of people and much genuine settlement. Fourteen millions of borrowed money, spent in ten years, were on the whole well laid out. But prosperity brought on a feverish land speculation; prices of wool and wheat fell in 187 9 and went on falling. Faulty banking ended in a crisis, and 187 9 proved to be the first of sixteen years of almost unbroken depression. Still, eight prosperous years had radically changed the colony. Peace, railways, telegraphs (including cable connexion with Europe), agricultural machinery and a larger population had carried New Zealand beyond the primitive stage. The provincial councils had been swept away in 1876, and their functions divided between the central authority and small powerless local bodies. Politics, cleared of the cross-issues of provincialism and Maori warfare, took the usual shape of a struggle between wealth and radicalism. Sir George Grey, entering colonial politics as a Radical leader, had appealed eloquently to the work-people as well as to the Radical "intellectuals," and though unable to retain office for very long he had compelled his opponents to pass manhood suffrage and a triennial parliaments act. A national education system, free, non-religious and compulsory, was established in 1877. The socialistic bent of New Zealand was already discernible in a public trustee law and a state life insurance office. But the socialistic labour wave of later years had not yet gathered strength. Grey proved himself a poor financier and a tactless party leader. A land-tax imposed by his government helped to alarm the farmers. The financial collapse of 1879 left the treasury empty. Grey was manoeuvred out of office, and Sir John Hall and Sir Harry Atkinson, able opponents, took the reins with a mission to reinstate the finances and restore confidence.

Roughly speaking, both the political and the industrial history of the colony from 1879 to 1 9 08 may be divided into two periods. The dividing line, however, has to be drawn in different years. Sixteen years of depression were followed, from 1895 to 1 9 08, by thirteen years of great prosperity. In politics nearly twelve years of Conservative government, or at least capitalistic predominance in public affairs, were succeeded by more than seventeen years of Radicalism. Up to January 1891 the Conservative forces which overthrew Sir George Grey in 1879 controlled the country in effect though not always in name, and for ten years progressive legislation was confined to a mild experiment in offering crown lands on perpetual lease, with a right of purchase (1882), a still milder instalment of local option (1881) and an inoffensive Factories Act (1886). In September 1889, however, Sir George Grey succeeded in getting parliament to abolish the last remnant of plural voting. Finance otherwise absorbed attention; by 1880 the public debt had reached £25,000,000, against which the chief new asset was 1300 m. of railway, and though the population had increased to nearly half a million, the revenue was stagnant. A severe property-tax and an increase of customs duties in 1879 only for a moment achieved financial equilibrium. Although taxation was seconded by a drastic, indeed harsh, reduction of public salaries and wages (which were cut down by one-tenth all round) yet the years 1884, 1887 and 1888 were notable for heavy deficits in the treasury. Taxation, direct and indirect, had to be further increased, and as a means of gaining support for this in 1888 Sir Harry Atkinson, who was responsible for the budget, gave the customs tariff a distinctly protectionist complexion.

During the years1879-1890the leading political personage was Sir Harry Atkinson. He, however, withdrew from party politics when, in December 1890, he was overthrown by the Progressives under John Ballance. Atkinson's party never rallied from this defeat, and a striking change came over public life, though Ballance, until his death in April 1893, continued the prudent financial policy of his predecessor. The change was emphasized by the active intervention in politics of the trade unions. These bodies decided in 1889 and 18 9 0 to exert their influence in returning workmen to parliament, and where this was impossible, to secure pledges from middle-class candidates. This plan was first put into execution at the general election of 18 9 0, which was held during the industrial excitement aroused by the Australasian maritime strike of that year. It had, however, been fully arranged before the conflict broke out. The number of labour members thus elected to the general assembly was small, never more than six, and no independent labour party of any size was formed. But the influence of labour in the Progressive or, as it preferred to be called, Liberal party, was considerable, and the legislative results noteworthy. Ballance at once raised the pay of members from £150 to £240 a year, but otherwise directed his energies to constitutional reforms and social experiments. These did not interfere with the general lines of Atkinson's strong and cautious finance, though the first of them was the abolition of his direct tax upon all property, personal as well as real, and the substitution therefor of a landtax of id. in the £ on capital value, and also of a graduated-tax upon unimproved land values, and an income-tax also graduated, though less elaborately. The graduated land-tax, which has since been stiffened, rises from nothing at all upon the smaller holdings to 3d. in the £ upon the capital value of the largest estates - those worth £ 210,000 and upwards. Buildings, improvements, and live stock are exempted. In the case of mortgaged estates the mortgagor is exempted from ordinary land-tax in proportion to the amount of his mortgage. On that the mortgagee pays at the rate of 4d. in the £. In 1896 municipal and rural local bodies were allowed to levy rates upon unimproved land values if authorized to do so by a vote of their electors, and by the end of 1901 some sixty bodies, amongst them the city of Wellington, had made use:of this permission. The income-tax is not levied on incomes drawn from land. In 1891 the tenure of members of the legislative council or nominated Upper House,. which had hitherto been for life, was altered to seven years.. In 1892 a new form of land tenure was introduced, under which large areas of crown lands were leased for 999 years, at an unchanging rent of 4% on the prairie value. Crown tenants under this system had no right of purchase. In the same year a law was also passed authorizing government to repurchase private land for closer settlement.

On Ballance's sudden death in April 1893 his place was taken by Richard Seddon, minister of mines in the Ballance cabinet, whose first task was to pass the electoral bill of his predecessor, which granted the franchise to all adult women. This was adopted in September 1893, though the majority for it in the Upper House was but two votes. In 1893 was enacted the Alcoholic Liquor Control Act, greatly extending local option. In 1894 was passed the Advances to Settlers Act, under which state money-lending to farmers on mortgage of freehold or leasehold land was at once begun. The money is lent by an official board, which deals with applications and manages the finance of the system. In thirteen years the board lent out over five millions and a half, and received repayment of nearly two millions of principal as well as over one million in interest at 5%. Borrowers must repay 2% of their principal half-yearly, and may repay as much more as they choose. Profits are paid over to an assurance fund. No losses were incurred during the thirteen years above mentioned. The net profit made by the board in 1 9 06 was £ 4 5,000. The same year also saw the climax of a series of laws passed by the Progressives affecting the relations of employers and workmen. These laws deal with truck, employers' liability, contractors' workmen, the recovery of workmen's wages, the hours of closing in shops and merchants' offices, conspiracy amongst trade unionists, and with factories, mines, shipping and seamen.. In 1895 a law controlling servants' registry offices was added. In 1897 all shipowners engaging in the coasting trade of the colony were compelled to pay the colonial rate of wages.

Meanwhile the keystone of the regulative system had been laid by the passing of the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, under which disputes between employers and unions of workers are compulsorily settled by state tribunals; strikes and lock-outs are virtually prohibited in the case of organized work-people, and the conditions of employment in industries may be, and in many cases are, regulated by public boards and courts. The years 18 9 6,1897 and 18 9 8 were marked by struggles over the Old Age Pensions Bill, which became law in November 1898. In 18 9 8 the divorce law was amended on the lines of the Stephen Act of New South Wales, a change which helped to treble the number of petitions for divorce in the next seven years. In 1898 also the municipal franchise, hitherto confined to ratepayers, was greatly widened; in 1900 the English system of compensation to workmen for accidents suffered in their trade was adopted with some changes, one of the chief being that contested claims are adjudicated upon cheaply and expeditiously by the same arbitration court that decides industrial disputes. In 1895 borrowing on a larger scale was begun, and in twelve years twice as many millions were added to the public debt. Before this the Ballance ministry had organized two new departments, those of labour and agriculture. The former supervises the labour laws and endeavours to deal with unemployment; the latter has done much practical teaching, inspection, &c. Butter, cheese and New Zealand hemp are by law graded and branded by departmental inspectors before export. For some years the government has worked two coal-mines profitably, chiefly to supply its railways. In 1907 the net profit on these was over £8000. The continued success of the government life insurance office led in 1899 to the setting up of an accidents insurance office, and, in 1903, of a state fire insurance office.

The outbreak of the Boer War in October 1899 was followed in New Zealand by a prompt display of general and persistent warlike enthusiasm: politics ceased to be the chief topic of interest; the general election of 1899 was the most languid held for fifteen years. The desire of New Zealanders to strike a blow for the mother-country took the practical shape of despatching to South Africa ten successive contingents.

After gaining office at the beginning of 1891 the BallanceSeddon party had to struggle with the last four years of the period of depression. In 1895 began a marked commercial revival, mainly due to the steady conversion of the colony's waste lands into pasture; the development of frozen meat and dairy exports; the continuous increase of the output of coal; the invention of gold-dredging; the revival and improvement of hemp manufacture; the exploiting of the deposits of kauri gum; the reduction in the rates of interest on mortgage money; a general rise in wages, obtained without strikes, and partially secured by law, which has increased the spending power of the working classes. Undoubtedly also commercial confidence was restored by the reconstruction in 1895 of the Bank of New Zealand, and activity has been stimulated by large public loans, while more cautious banking and the systems of taxation and rating on land values, adopted in 1891 and 1896, have done something to check land speculation.

Between 1879 and 1908 seven governors represented the crown in New Zealand. Of these Sir Hercules Robinson and Sir Arthur Gordon had but brief reigns; Sir Arthur Gordon quitted the colony in June 1882. His successor, Sir William Drummond Jervois, arrived in January 1883, and held office until March 1889. The earl of Onslow, who followed, landed in June 1889, and resigned in February 1892. The next governor, the earl of Glasgow, remained in the colony from June 1892 to February 1897, and was succeeded in August of the last-mentioned year by the earl of Ranfurly, who did not retire until 1904. His place was then taken by Lord Plunket. The cabinets which administered the affairs of the colony during these years were those of Sir Frederick Whitaker, Sir Harry Atkinson (3), Sir Robert Stout (2), Mr Ballance, Mr Seddon, Mr Hall-Jones and Sir Joseph Ward. Mr Hall-Jones's short premiership was an interregnum made necessary by the absence of Sir Joseph Ward in England at the moment of Mr Seddon's death. Except in one disturbed month, August 1884, when there were three changes of ministry in eighteen days, executives were more stable than in the colony's earlier years. The party headed by Ballance, Seddon and Ward held office without a break for more than seventeen years, a result mainly due to the general support given to its agrarian and labour policy by the smaller farmers and the working classes. Sir Arthur Gordon differed from his ministers - Hall and Atkinson - on their native policy. Lords Onslow and Glasgow came into collision with Ballance over a proposal to nominate a large batch of Liberals to the then Conservative legislative council. The dispute was by consent referred to the secretary for the colonies, and the decision from Downing Street was in Ballance's favour.

The governor's salary, reduced in 1887, was restored to £7 Soo a year in 1900. An Immigrants Exclusion Act voted by the general assembly in 1896 did not receive the royal assent; but, by arrangement with the colonial office, another measure, giving power to impose a reading test on aliens landing in the colony, became law in 1899.

The presence of New Zealand premiers at the imperial conferences in London in 1897, 1903 and 1907 helped to bring the colony into conscious touch with imperial public questions. Among the results were the increase of the naval contribution (first to £40,000 and then, in 1908, to £100,000), and the imposition in 1903 and again in 1907 of severe discriminating duties against imports from foreign countries.

Bibliography. - The only lengthy historical account of any note is Rusden's three-volume History of New Zealand (2nd ed., Melbourne, 1896), chiefly valuable as a statement of the grievances of the Maori race. Short histories are: R. F. Irvine and O. T. J. Alpers, The Progress of New Zealand in the Century (London, 1902), and W. P. Reeves, The Long White Cloud (2nd ed., London, 1900). Sir William Fox, The War in New Zealand (London, 1866) is the best account of any portion of the native wars. A. S. Thomson's Story of New Zealand (London, 1859) is historical as well as descriptive. William Gisborne's New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen,1844-1897 (London, 1897), gives many graphic portraits. For early accounts of the Maori race, see Cook's Voyage and Boose's translation of Crozet's Voyage. On the Maori also note, Sir G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology and Maori Legends (New Zealand, 1885); Edward Tregear, The Maori Race (New Zealand, 1704); S. Percy Smith, Hawaiki (New Zealand, 1903); John White, The Ancient History of the Maori (6 vols., London, 1889); and many papers - especially by the three last-named, and Colenso, Stack, Wohlers, Best, von Haast, Travers and Shand - in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute (New Zealand, annual), and the Journal of the Polynesian Society (New Zealand, annual). On early events of pioneering and colonization are: E. J. Wakefield, Adventure in New Zealand (new ed., New Zealand, 1908); Hon. R. McNab, Murihuku (New Zealand, 1907); T. M. Hocken, Contributions to the Early History of New Zealand (London, 1898); Samuel Butler, First Year in the Canterbury Settlement (1863). For later impressions note: Lady Barker, Station Life in New Zealand (London, 1869); Sir Charles Dilke, Greater Britain (London, new ed., 1885); Anthony Trollope, Australia and New Zealand (London, 1875); J. A. Froude, Oceana (London, 1886). The best-known poetic work produced is Domett's Ranolf and Amohia (London, 1867). An anthology of New Zealand verse appeared in London in 1907. Sir John Gorst, New Zealand Revisited (London, 1908). Among scientific works come papers in the two societies above-mentioned and F. von Hochstetter, New Zealand (translation, London, 1861); J. Kirk, The Forest Flora of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1889); Sir J. Hooker, Handbook of the New Zealand Flora (London, 1864); Laing and Blackwell, The Plants of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1906); Professor E. Hutton and James Drummond, The Animals of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1905); Sir W. L. Buller, The Birds of New Zealand, finely illustrated (new ed., London, 1906); S. Percy Smith, The Eruption of Tarawera (New Zealand, 1887). On recent social and political changes and experiments there are: W. P. Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand (2 vols., London, 1902); H. D. Lloyd, Newest England (London, 1901); Andre Siegfried, La Democratie en Nouvelle Zelande (Paris, 1904). On Alpine climbing the best book is still The High Alps of New Zealand by W. S. Green (London, 1883).

(W. P. R.)

<< New York (City)

Next Friend >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Dutch Nieuw-Zeeland, "new Zeeland", after the Dutch settlement in Batavia, which in turn had been named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.


  • (UK) enPR: nyoo͞-zē'lənd, IPA: /ˈnjuː ˈziː.lənd/, SAMPA: /"nju: "zi:.l@nd/
  • (US) enPR: noo͞-zē'lənd, IPA: /ˈnu ˈzi.lənd/, SAMPA: /"nu "zi.l@nd/
  •  Audio (US)help, file

Proper noun

New Zealand


New Zealand

  1. A country in Oceania, to the east of Australia. Official name: New Zealand. Abbreviation: NZ or Aotearoa
  2. The islands of New Zealand, especially the North Island, South Island and nearby coastal islands.
  3. The Realm of New Zealand, including the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency.



Derived terms

See also


Danish Wikipedia has an article on:
New Zealand

Wikipedia da

Proper noun

New Zealand

  1. New Zealand (country in Oceania)

Related terms

  • newzealandsk


Proper noun

New Zealand

  1. New Zealand


Related terms


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Checklist compiler: Stephen E. Thorpe, Auckland, New Zealand
Date of most recent revision: 21 January 2010


How to use this checklist

  • This checklist covers selected groups of organisms from New Zealand, and may eventually be comprehensive for all groups. A simplified classification is used (Kingdom/Phylum/Class/Order/Family/Genus/species), except that a few groups may be broken down using further categories. Species are not listed on this page. Endemic taxa are marked with an asterisk (*). Clicking on an endemic genus will link to a genus page containing all and only New Zealand species (for present purposes, a genus counts as endemic if it has no extralimitally native described species). Clicking on a non-endemic genus will link to a genus page with (eventually) all the N.Z. species listed under 'New Zealand' in the 'Distribution' section of the genus discussion page. References are cited on the linked taxon pages which are intended to justify the information provided on these pages. It is up to the user to verify the information provided against the references. A '+' at the end of a genus list indicates the possible existence of additional undescribed and/or unidentified genera, and/or that a generic revision is badly needed. Adventive taxa whose establishment in N.Z. is very doubtful are not included.
  • 'New Zealand' is herein defined as the New Zealand subregion of the Australian (biogeographical) region, i.e, including North, South, Stewart, Kermadecs, Three Kings, Chathams, Snares, Antipodes, Bounty, Auckland, and Campbell Islands, but excluding Norfolk, Lord Howe, and Macquarie Islands.
  • Completion and reliability (on this page): sections are added with complete family lists only. Generic lists are complete when added. Putatively complete lists are as reliable as the compiler is able to provide on the date of the most recent page revision. Pages in red are not yet written.
  • IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: the genera listed below link to the corresponding Wikispecies genus page (if one is written), which takes us OUT of the New Zealand context. These genus pages have not necessarily been edited by me yet. As I say above, EVENTUALLY the New Zealand species (for non-endemic genera) will be listed on the associated Discussion page for each genus, but until that is done nothing can be inferred about which species are present in New Zealand.
  • Linked pages: Archaea - Bacteria


not yet written



A = known or suspected adventive
E = known or suspected endemic
G = genus only record















not yet written


not yet written


(provisional checklist)




not yet written








not yet written



not yet written









not yet written


not yet written



(provisional checklist)





[Contributed by User:Neville Hudson]

A = adventive taxa, V = regular vagrants only