New Zealand is an insular state in the south-western part of the Pacific. It is about 1600 kilometres south-east of Australia. It covers an area of about 250 00 sq. kilometres. It also has some smaller territories in the Pacific (e.g. Tokelau, Cook Islands etc.). N.Z. is larger than GB but the density of the population is very low. Its population is about 3,5 million. About 90 percent of the inhabitants are of European origin. The rest are mostly Maoris.
N.Z. consists of two islands: the North Island wá the South Island. The Cook Channel separates both these islands.
The capital is Wellington. The Queen of England has been the head of N.Z. since 1952. Wellington, the capital, lies on the North Island. The biggest city is Auckland situated in the North of the North Island.
The surface of the whole island is covered with mountains. The only lower region is in the East of the island. There are several hot spring volcanoes in the North Island. Two of them are continually active. In South Island there are a lot of lakes of glacial arraigns and in the North Island there are a lot of lakes of volcanic origin.
The largest lake is Taupo with the area of 606 sq. km. Taupo is situated in the North Island. The longest river is the Waitkato and it flows from Taupo. Many rivers are short and torrential.
The biggest mountains are Mount Cook, 3764m high (South Island) and Ruapehu, 2700 m high (North Island).
The climate is mild with periods of rain (called the rains). The summers are warm with long sunshine and the winters are mild especially in the North Island. The snow falls only in the amphibian. As in Australia, there are no beasts of pray either.
Agriculture is an important part of the country's economy. The most widely-spread is sheep and cattle breeding for meat and wool. These are produced especially for export. Fishing is also wide-spread.
New Zealand is not rich in minerals, (extensive forests, natural gas, coal) but they are sufficient. Foreign trade with Japan, Australia and the USA (food industry, engineering) is of speciál importance.
The children here must attend school from the age of 6 until the age of 15. The education is free of charge. There are also 7 universities on N.Z. The offieial language is English and the unit of currency is oné New Zealand Dollar ($NZ$).
New Zealand was discovered between the years 800 -1000. The first settlers were Maois, who came from the Polynesia Islands. The first European who arrived to the islands was the Dutch seafarer Ábel Tasmann, but the islands were offícially discovered by James Cook from 1769 until 1770.
In 1907 N.Z. was granted the status of DOMINION.
System of government: follows British pattern
the Crown is represented by the Governor General who appoints an Executive Council headed by the Prime Minister.