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New Zealand (Aotearoa in te reo Māori) is a country of two large islands and many much smaller islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. Among South Pacific nations, New Zealand has the largest and most industrialised economy and is second only to Papua New Guinea in population. New Zealand is notable for its isolation, being separated from Australia on the northwest by the Tasman Sea, some 2,000 km wide. The closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand is the Queen of New Zealand and is represented in the country by the non-partisan Governor-General. De facto political power is held by Prime Minister John Key who, as Head of the Government, requires the confidence of the democratically elected New Zealand House of Representatives. The Realm of New Zealand includes the self-governing Cook Islands and Niue, as well as Tokelau and New Zealand's claims in Antarctica.

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The Beehive is the common name for the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, located at the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay, Wellington. Credit for the design is usually given to Scottish architect Sir Basil Spence, who made a rough sketch on the back of a dinner napkin in 1964 while dining with Sir Keith Holyoake. The building was subsequently drafted and constructed by government departments and completed in 1981.

The building is ten storeys (72 m) high. The top floor is occupied by the Cabinet offices, with the Prime Minister's offices on the ninth floor (and part of the eighth). Other floors contain the offices of individual cabinet ministers.

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Picton is a town in the Marlborough region of New Zealand It is near the head of Queen Charlotte Sound near the north-east corner of the South Island. Inter-island ferries to and from Wellington arrive and depart here by way of the Marlborough Sounds.

Did you know...

...that the coal-mine railway at Denniston, New Zealand fell a precipitous 510 metres over a track length of only 1.7 kilometres?

...that New Zealand was the first modern nation to give its women the right to vote.

...that Sir Edmund Hillary, a Kiwi (New Zealander), was a beekeeper in Auckland before he became the first man to reach the summit of Nepal's Mt. Everest; the highest peak on earth.

...that Tim Shadbolt, mayor of Waitakere and then Invercargill, said 'I don't care where, as long as I'm mayor' for a television advertisement.

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New Zealand: New Zealand Wikipedians' Notice Board • New Zealand Wikipedians • New articles related to New Zealand

New Zealand WikiProjects: WikiProject New Zealand • WikiProject New Zealand places and WikiProject Auckland

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New Zealand topics

History Timeline | Treaty of Waitangi | Land Wars | Naval vessels | Fortifications | Antarctic history
Geography Cities | Islands | Mountains | Regions | Rivers | Ecoregions | National Parks | Marine reserves | Lakes | Caves
Government Constitution | List of Governments | Foreign relations | Military | Electoral system | Referendums | Honours | Statutes of New Zealand (1800-1980) | Statutes of New Zealand from 1980 | Law of New Zealand
Politics Political parties (Labour, National, New Zealand First, Greens, Māori Party, ACT, United Future) | Elections
Economy Companies | Communications | Transport | Reserve Bank | Stock Exchange
Culture Māori culture | New Zealand English | Cinema | Cuisine | Education | Literature | Music | Holidays | Public broadcasting | Sport | Wine
Society Demographics | Māori | Pākehā | Gays and lesbians
Biodiversity Animals | Plants | Extinct animals
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Māori Encyclopedia
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