New Zealand is to be found south-east of Australia and south-west Pacific ocean. It consist of two large islands, the North Island and the South Island and other smaller islands with an area of 270,000sq km. New Zealand is mainly mountainous. Mount Cook is in the Southern Alps in the South Island is 3.764m high and it is the highest mount in New Zealand. The North Island is predominantly famous for its volcanic area. It also has many small lakes. The climate is very pleasant all year round in New Zealand.
New Zealand was cut off from the rest of land on Earth for 80 million years and that’s why it’s got different nature. The tuara is reptile that has survived from the era of dinosuarus. The weta is the largest and heaviest insect in the world and the kiwi is a large bird which can’t fly. It’s also symbol of New Zealand.
The first inhabitants of New Zealand were the Maoris of Polynesian origin. Nowadays they represent about 9 per cent of the population. About 80 per cent people are European- above all British. The official language is English but many people still speak Maori.
The density of population in New Zealand is much higher than in Australia; its area is 2680812 sq km and the population is 3.389.000. More than 80 per cent of the population live in towns.
The Maoris, a Polynesian group from eastern Pacific, reached New Zealand before and during the 14th century. The first European was Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, but Maoris refused him to land. Captain James Cook explored the coast during 1769-1770. British sovereignty was proclaimed in 1840 and the colony became a dominion in 1907. Now it is an independent member of the Commonwealth. In 1985 the New Zealand goverment made the whole country a nuclear free zone and since then Auckland has been a centre for protest agains nuclear testing in the Pacific.
Food processing, textiles, machinery and forest industry are the main industries here. New Zealand is rich in oil, gas, iron ore and coal.10.3 per cent peple work in agriculture, 34 per cent in industry and commerce and about 55 per cent work in services and administration.
New Zealand’s prosperity is founded above all on dairy farming. The pleasant climate allows cattle and sheep to stay outside even in winter. Grass gows faster in New Zealand than in most countries and is called ‘the green gold’ there.
Government type and administration
New Yealand has a parliamentary systém where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The country is dividid into countries. The capital is Wellington, other big cities are Manukau, Christchurch and Auckland. New Zealand is a member of following international organiyacions (GATT, IBRD, IMF), the Commonwealth, OECD.
The flag consists of British Union Jack in the left upper corner and four red stars in the Southern Cross constellation.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to give the vote to women in 1893, to have old age pensions and the eight-hour working day.
Places to visit
New Zealand has got really beautiful nature. In North Island, the Bay of island has lovely foresta and beaches and the Coromandel is perefeck for sailing and watersports. You can find there also hot springs and national park of Fiofdland. If you want to see some city go to Auckland. It’s nickname is ‘the city of sails’ because it has more boats than anywhere else in the world.
17. květen 2008