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New Zealand (Aotearoa in M?ori) is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and theSouth Island) and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea,HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Due to its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, many of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and introduced mammals.Sony NP-F330 Battery

With a mild maritime climate, the land was mostly covered in forest. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks owe much to the uplift of land and volcanic eruptions caused by the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates clashing underfoot.Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

Polynesians settled New Zealand in 1250–1300 AD and developed a distinctive M?ori culture, and Europeans first made contact in 1642 AD. The introduction of potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among M?ori early during the 19th century, which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. Nikon D80  Battery

In 1840 the British and M?ori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the Land Wars, which resulted in much M?ori land being confiscated in the mid North Island.Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

Economic depressions were followed by periods of political reform, with women gaining the vote during the 1890s, and a welfare state being established from the 1930s. After World War II, New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty, although the United States later suspended the treaty after New Zealand banned nuclear weapons. Dell T555C battery

New Zealanders enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a deep recession, worsened by oil shocks and the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community. The country underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery

Markets for New Zealand's agricultural exports have diversified greatly since the 1970s, with once-dominant exports of wool being overtaken by dairy products, meat, and recently wine.

The majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent;HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

the indigenous M?ori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-M?ori Polynesians. English, M?ori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages, with English predominant. Much of New Zealand's culture is derived from M?ori and early British settlers.HP Pavilion DV9700 battery

Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits of M?ori. A recent resurgence of M?ori culture has seen their traditional arts of carving, weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. Many artists now combine M?ori and Western techniques to create unique art forms. HP Mini 702EA battery

The country's culture has also been broadened by globalisation and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands and Asia. New Zealand's diverse landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and has provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO battery

New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; these have less autonomy than the country's long defunct provinces did. Nationally, executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Queen Elizabeth II is the country'shead of state and is represented by a Governor-General. The Queen's Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); and the Ross Dependency, New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. HP Pavilion DV6-1030US battery

New Zealand is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Aotearoa (which literally translates as "land of the long white cloud")  is the current M?ori name for New Zealand, and is also used in New Zealand English. HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

It is unknown whether M?ori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa originally referring to just the North Island. Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Landt, assuming it was connected to land off the southern tip of South America.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

In 1645 Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand.

M?ori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-M?ui (the fish of M?ui) for the North Island and Te Wai Pounamu (the waters of greenstone) or Te Waka o Aoraki (the canoe of Aoraki) for theSouth Island.HP EliteBook 2530P battery

Early European maps labelled the islands North (North Island), Middle (South Island) and South (Stewart Island / Rakiura). In 1830 maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm. HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, but there are now plans to do so. The board is also considering suitable M?ori names, with Te Ika-a-M?ui and Te Wai Pounamu the most likely choices according to the chairman of the M?ori Language Commission. Compaq PP2100 battery


New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNAvariability within M?ori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300,concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.HP Compaq KU532AA battery

Over the centuries that followed these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as M?ori. The population was divided into iwi(tribes) and hap? (subtribes) which would cooperate, compete and sometimes fight with each other. At some point a group of M?ori migrated to R?kohu (the Chatham Islands) where they developed their distinct Moriori culture.HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ battery

The Moriori population was decimated between 1835 and 1862, largely due to European diseases and M?ori invasion and enslavement. In 1862 only 101 survived and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642.HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

In a hostile encounter, four crew members were killed and at least one M?ori was hit by canister shot. Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline. Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships.HP Compaq Business  NC4400 battery

They traded food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, food, artefacts, water, and on occasion sex. The introduction of the potato and the musket transformed M?ori agriculture and warfare. Potatoes provided a reliable food surplus, which enabled longer and more sustained military campaigns.HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

The resulting inter-tribal Musket Wars encompassed over 600 battles between 1801 and 1840, killing between 30,000–40,000 M?ori. From the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began to settle New Zealand, eventually converting most of the M?ori population.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

The M?ori population declined to around 40 percent of its pre-contact level during the 19th century; introduced diseases were the major factor.

The British government appointed James Busby as British Resident to New Zealand in 1832  and in 1835, Nikon D200 Battery

following an announcement of impending French sovereignty, the nebulous United Tribes of New Zealand sent a Declaration of the Independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom asking for protection. Ongoing unrest and the dubious legal standing of theAcer PA-1650-02 Adapter

Declaration of Independence prompted the Colonial Office to send Captain William Hobson to claim sovereignty for the British Crown and negotiate a treaty with the M?ori.TheTreaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840.In response to the commercially run Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

New Zealand Company's attempts to establish an independent settlement in Wellington and French settlers "purchasing" land in Akaroa, Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, even though copies of the Treaty were still circulating. HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery

With the signing of the Treaty and declaration of sovereignty the number of immigrants, particularly from the United Kingdom, began to increase.

New Zealand, originally part of the colony of New South Wales, became a separate Crown colony in 1841.Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

The colony gained a representative government in 1852and the 1st New Zealand Parliament met in 1854.In 1856 the colony effectively became self-governing, gaining responsibility over all domestic matters other than native policy. (Control over native policy was granted in the mid-1860s.)Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Following concerns that the South Island might form a separate colony, premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution to transfer the capital from Auckland to a locality near the Cook Strait. Wellington was chosen due to its harbour and central location, with parliament officially sitting there for the first time in 1865.Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

As immigrant numbers increased, conflicts over land led to the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, resulting in the loss and confiscation of much M?ori land. In 1893 the country became the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions.HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

In 1907 New Zealand declared itself a Dominion within the British Empire and in 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster, making New Zealand aCommonwealth realm.  New Zealand was involved in world affairs, fighting alongside the British Empire in the first and second World Wars  and suffering through the Great Depression.Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

The depression led to the election of the first Labour government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionisteconomy. New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity following World War II and M?ori began to leave their traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

A M?ori protest movement developed, which criticised Eurocentrism and worked for greater recognition of M?ori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi. 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.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

The government has negotiatedsettlements of these grievances with many iwi, although M?ori claims to the foreshore and seabed have proved controversial in the 2000s.


New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, although its constitution is not codified.Dell Studio 1537 battery

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealandand the head of state. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General can exercise the Crown's prerogative powers (such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of Cabinet ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials)HP PPP009H Adapter

and in rare situations, the reserve powers (the power to dismiss a Prime Minister, dissolve Parliament or refuse the Royal Assent of a bill into law).The powers of the Queen and the Governor-General are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of Cabinet.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

The Parliament of New Zealand holds legislative power and consists of the Sovereign (represented by the Governor-General) and the House of Representatives. The supremacy of the House over the Sovereign was established in England by the Bill of Rights 1689 and has been ratified as law in New Zealand.Dell PA-12 Adapter

The House of Representatives is democratically elected and a Government is formed from the party or coalition with the majority of seats. If no majority is formed a minority government can be formed if support from other parties is obtained through confidence votes. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

The Governor-General appoints ministers under advice from the Prime Minister, who is by convention theParliamentary leader of the governing party or coalition. Cabinet, formed by ministers and led by the Prime Minister, is the highest policy-making body in government and responsible for deciding significant government actions.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

By convention, members of cabinet are bound by collective responsibility to decisions made by cabinet.

Judges and judicial officers are appointed non-politically and under strict rules regarding tenure to help maintain constitutional independence from the government. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

This theoretically allows the judiciary to interpret the law based solely on the legislation enacted by Parliament without other influences on their decisions.The Privy Council in London was the country's final court of appeal until 2004, when it was replaced with the newly established Supreme Court of New Zealand.Acer AS07B41 Battery

The judiciary, headed by the Chief Justice, includes the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and subordinate courts.

Almost all parliamentary general elections between 1853 and 1996 were held under the first past the postvoting system. The elections since 1930 have been dominated by two political parties, National andLabour.Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

Since 1996, a form of proportional representation called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) has been used. Under the MMP system each person has two votes; one is for the 65 electoral seats (including seven reserved for M?ori), and the other is for a party. HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

The remaining 55 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electoral seat or 5 percent of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats. Between March 2005 and August 2006 New Zealand became the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land (Head of State, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice) were occupied simultaneously by women. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

Foreign relations and the military

Early colonial New Zealand allowed the British Government to determine external trade and be responsible for foreign policy. The 1923 and 1926 Imperial Conferences decided that New Zealand should be allowed to negotiate their own political treaties, with the first successful commercial treaty being with Japan in 1928.Dell PA-12 Adapter

Despite this independence New Zealand readily followed Britain in declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939 with then Prime Minister Michael Savage proclaiming, "Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand."

In 1951 the United Kingdom became increasingly focused on its European interests, while New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in theANZUS security treaty.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

The influence of the United States on New Zealand weakened following protests over the Vietnam War, the failure of the United States to admonish France after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, disagreements over environmental and agricultural trade issues and New Zealand's nuclear-free policy.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Despite the USA's suspension of ANZUS obligations the treaty remained in effect between New Zealand and Australia, whose foreign policy has followed a similar historical trend.Close political contact is maintained between the two countries, with free trade agreements and travel arrangements that allow citizens to visit, live and work in both countries without restrictions.Apple MacBook Pro Battery

Currently over 500,000 New Zealanders live in Australia and 65,000 Australians live in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a strong presence among the Pacific Island countries. A large proportion of New Zealand's aid goes to these countries and many Pacific people migrate to New Zealand for employment.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

Permanent migration is regulated under the 1970 Samoan Quota Scheme and the 2002 Pacific Access Category, which allow up to 1,100 Samoan nationals and up to 750 other Pacific Islanders respectively to become permanent New Zealand residents each year.Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

A seasonal workers scheme for temporary migration was introduced in 2007 and in 2009 about 8,000 Pacific Islanders were employed under it.New Zealand is involved in the Pacific Islands Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (including the East Asia Summit).Canon EOS 450D Battery

New Zealand is also a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations,  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  and the Five Powers Defence Arrangements.

The New Zealand Defence Force has three branches: the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

New Zealand's national defence needs are modest due to the unlikelihood of direct attack, although it does have a global presence. The country fought in both world wars, with notable campaigns in Gallipoli, Crete, El Alamein  and Cassino. Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

The Gallipoli campaign played an important part in fostering New Zealand's national identity and strengthened the ANZAC tradition it shares with Australia. According to Mary Edmond-Paul, "World War I had left scars on New Zealand society, with nearly 18,500 in total dying as a result of the war, more than 41,000 wounded, and others affected emotionally,Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

out of an overseas fighting force of about 103,000 and a population of just over a million." New Zealand also played key parts in the naval Battle of the River Plate[94]and the Battle of Britain air campaign.During World War II, the United States had more than 400,000 American military personnel stationed in New Zealand. Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

In addition to Vietnam and the two world wars, New Zealand fought in the Korean War, the Second Boer War, the Malayan Emergency,the Gulf Warand the Afghanistan War. It has contributed forces to several regional and global peacekeeping missions, such as those in Cyprus, Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sinai, Angola, Cambodia, the Iran–Iraq border, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands. New Zealand also sent a unit of army engineers to help rebuild Iraqi infrastructure for one year during the Iraq War.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Local government and external territories

The early European settlers divided New Zealand into provinces, which had a degree of autonomy. Due to financial pressures and the desire to consolidate railways, education, land sales and other policies, government was centralised and the provinces were abolished in 1876.Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

As a result, New Zealand now has no separately represented subnational entities. The provinces are remembered in regional public holidays and sporting rivalries.

Since 1876, various councils have administered local areas under legislation determined by the central government.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

In 1989, the government reorganised local government into the current two-tier structure of regional councils and territorial authorities. The 249 municipalities that existed in 1975 have now been consolidated into 67 territorial authorities and 11 regional councils.Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

The regional councils' role is to regulate "the natural environment with particular emphasis onresource management", while territorial authorities are responsible for sewage, water, local roads, building consents and other local matters. Five of the territorial councils are unitary authorities and also act as regional councils.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

The territorial authorities consist of 13 city councils, 53 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council. While officially the Chatham Islands Council is not a unitary authority, it undertakes many functions of a regional council. Asus f82 battery

The Realm of New Zealand is one of 16 realms within the commonwealth and comprises New Zealand, Tokelau, theRoss Dependency, the Cook Islands and Niue.The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand.The New Zealand Parliament cannot pass legislation for these countries,Dell XPS M1330 Battery

but with their consent can act on behalf of them in foreign affairs and defence. Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory that uses the New Zealand flag and anthem, but is administered by a council of three elders (one from each Tokelauan atoll). The Ross Dependency is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica, where it operates the Scott Base research facility.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

New Zealand citizenship law treats all parts of the realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency before 2006 are New Zealand citizens. Further conditions apply for those born from 2006 onwards.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery


New Zealand is made up of two main islands and a number of smaller islands, located near the centre of the water hemisphere. The main North and South Islands are separated by the Cook Strait, 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

Besides the North and South Islands, the five largest inhabited islands are Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island (in the Hauraki Gulf), d'Urville Island (in the Marlborough Sounds) and Waiheke Island (about 22 km (14 mi) from central Auckland).Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

The country's islands lie between latitudes 29° and 53°S, and longitudes 165° and 176°E.

New Zealand is long (over 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) along its north-north-east axis) and narrow (a maximum width of 400 kilometres (250 mi)), Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

with approximately 15,134 km (9,404 mi) of coastline and a total land area of 268,021 square kilometres (103,483 sq mi) Due to its far-flung outlying islands and long coastline, the country has extensive marine resources. Its Exclusive Economic Zone, one of the largest in the world, covers more than 15 times its land area. HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery

The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. There are 18 peaks over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), the highest of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). Fiordland's steep mountains and deep fiords record the extensive ice age glaciation of this south-western corner of the South Island.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highly active Taupo volcanic zone has formed a large volcanic plateau, punctuated by the North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2,797 metres (9,177 ft)). The plateau also hosts the country's largest lake, Lake Taupo, nestled in the caldera of one of the world's most active supervolcanoes.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

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 microcontinent nearly half the size of Australia that gradually submerged after breaking away from the Gondwanan supercontinent.Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

About 25 million years ago, a shift in plate tectonic movements began to contort and crumple the region. This is now most evident in the Southern Alps, formed bycompression of the crust beside the Alpine Fault. Elsewhere the plate boundary involves the subduction of one plate under the other, HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

producing the Puysegur Trench to the south, the Hikurangi Trench east of the North Island, and the Kermadec and Tonga Trenches further north.


New Zealand has a mild and temperate maritime climate with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10°C in the south to 16°C in the north.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Historical maxima and minima are 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and ?21.6 °C (?6.9 °F) in Ophir, Otago.Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to almost semi-arid in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland.HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Auckland the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average in excess of 2,000 hours of sunshine. Dell T117C battery

The southern and south-western parts of the South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1,400–1,600 hours; the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive approximately 2,400–2,500 hours.Asus x5dij-sx039c battery


New Zealand's geographic isolation for 80 million years and island biogeography is responsible for the country's unique species of flora and fauna. They have eitherevolved from Gondwanan wildlife or the few organisms that have managed to reach the shores flying, swimming or being carried across the sea.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

About 82 percent of New Zealand's indigenous vascular plants are endemic, covering 1,944 species across 65 genera and includes a single family. The two main types of forest are those dominated by broadleaf trees with emergent podocarps, or by southern beech in cooler climates.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

The remaining vegetation types consist of grasslands, the majority of which are tussock.

Before the arrival of humans an estimated 80 percent of the land was covered in forest, with only high alpine, wet, infertile and volcanic areas without trees.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

Massive deforestation occurred after humans arrived, with around half the forest cover lost to fire after Polynesian settlement. Much of the remaining forest fell after European settlement, being logged or cleared to make room for pastoral farming, leaving forest occupying only 23 percent of the land. HP Pavilion dm4 battery

The forests were dominated by birds, and the lack of mammalian predators led to some like the kiwi, kakapo and takah? evolving flightlessness. The arrival of humans, associated changes to habitat, and the introduction of rats, ferrets and other mammals led to the extinction of many bird species, including large birds like the moa and Haast's eagle.Sony NP-FS11 Battery

Other indigenous animals are represented by reptiles (tuataras, skinks and geckos), frogs, spiders (katipo), insects (weta) and snails. Some, such as the wrens and tuatara, are so unique that they have been called living fossils.Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

Three species of bats (one since extinct) were the only sign of native land mammals in New Zealand until the 2006 discovery of bones from a unique, mouse-sized land mammal.  Marine mammals however are abundant, with almost half the world's cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and large numbers of fur seals reported in New Zealand waters.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

Many seabirds breed in New Zealand, a third of them unique to the country. More penguin species are found in New Zealand than in any other country.

Since human arrival almost half of the country's vertebrate species have become extinct, including at least fifty one birds, three frogs, three lizards, one freshwater fish, four plant species, and one bat.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Others are endangered or have had their range severely reduced. However New Zealand conservationists have pioneered several methods to help threatened wildlife recover, including island sanctuaries, pest control, wildlife translocation, fostering, and ecological restoration of islands and other selected areas.Acer Aspire 5920 Battery


New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of roughly US$28,250. TheNew Zealand dollar, informally known as the "Kiwi dollar", is the currency of New Zealand. IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

It also circulates in the Cook Islands (see Cook Islands dollar), Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands. New Zealand was ranked the 3rd "most developed" country in 2010 according to the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index, 4th in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom published by The Heritage Foundation. Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Battery

Historically, extractive industries have contributed strongly to New Zealand's economy, focussing at different times on sealing, whaling, flax, gold, kauri gum, and native timber. With the development of refrigerated shipping in the 1880s meat and dairy products were exported to Britain, a trade which provided the basis for strong economic growth in New Zealand.Apple MB771 battery

High demand for agricultural products from the United Kingdom and the United States helped New Zealanders achieve higher living standards than both Australia and Western Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1973 New Zealand's export market was reduced when the United Kingdom joined the European Community and other compounding factors, Sony DSC-P5 Battery

such as the 1973 oil and 1979 energy crisis, led to a severe economic depression. Living standards in New Zealand fell behind those of Australia and Western Europe, and by 1982 New Zealand had the lowest per-capita income of all the developed nations surveyed by the World Bank.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

Since 1984, successive governments engaged in majormacroeconomic restructuring (known first as Rogernomics and then Ruthanasia), rapidly transforming New Zealand from a highly protectionist economy to a liberalised free-trade economy.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

Unemployment peaked above 10 percent in 1991 and 1992, following the 1987 share market crash, but eventually fell a record low of 3.4 percent in 2007 (ranking fifth from twenty-seven comparable OECD nations). The global financial crisis that followed however had a major impact on New Zealand with the GDP shrinking for five consecutive quarters, Sony NP-FP50 Battery

the longest recession in over thirty years, and unemployment rising back to 7 percent in late 2009. New Zealand has experienced a series of "brain drains" since the 1970s  that still continue today. Nearly one quarter of highly-skilled workers live overseas, most in Australia and Britain, the most from any developed nation.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

In recent years, however, a "brain gain" has brought in educated professionals from Europe and lesser developed countries.


New Zealand is heavily dependent on international trade, particularly in agricultural products.Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

Exports account for a high 24 percent of its output, making New Zealand vulnerable to international commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. Its principal export industries are agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry and mining, which make up about half of the country's exports.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

Its major export partners are Australia, United States, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom.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.Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

The service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and then farming and raw material extraction. Tourism plays a significant role in New Zealand's economy, contributing $15.0 billion to New Zealand’s total GDP and supporting 9.6 percent of the total workforce in 2010.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

International visitors to New Zealand increased by 3.1 percent in the year to October 2010 and are expected to increase at a rate of 2.5 percent annually up to 2015.

Wool was New Zealand’s major agricultural export during the late 19th century.Dell Inspiron E1505 Adapter

Even as late as the 1960s it made up over a third of all export revenues,  but since then its price has steadily dropped relative to other commodities and wool is no longer profitable for many farmers. In contrast dairy farming increased, with the number of dairy cows doubling between 1990 and 2007, to become New Zealand's largest export earner.Asus Eee PC 1201PN battery

In the year to June 2009, dairy products accounted for 21 percent ($9.1 billion) of total merchandise exports, and the country's largest company, Fonterra, controls almost one-third of the international dairy trade.Other agricultural exports in 2009 were meat 13.2 percent, wool 6.3 percent, fruit 3.5 percent and fishing 3.3 percent. Dell PA-12 Adapter

New Zealand's wine industry has followed a similar trend to dairy, the number of vineyards doubling over the same period, overtaking wool exports for the first time in 2007.


In 2008, oil, gas and coal generated approximately 69 percent of New Zealand's gross energy supply and 31 percent was generated from renewable energy, primarily hydroelectric power and geothermal power.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

New Zealand's transport network includes 93,805 kilometres (58,288 mi) of roads, worth 23 billion dollars, and 4,128 kilometres (2,565 mi) of railway lines. Most major cities and towns are linked by bus services, although the private car is the predominant mode of transport.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The railways were privatised in 1993, then re-purchased by the government in 2004 and vested into a state owned enterprise. Railways run the length of the country, although most lines now carry freight rather than passengers. Most international visitors arrive via air and New Zealand has seven international airports,fujifilm np95 battery

although currently only theAuckland and Christchurch airports connect directly with countries other than Australia or Fiji. The New Zealand Post Office had a monopoly over telecommunications until 1989 when Telecom New Zealand was formed, initially as a state-owned enterprise and then privatised in 1990.Asus Eee PC 900 Adapter

Telecom still owns the majority of the telecommunications infrastructure, but competition from other providers has increased.


The population of New Zealand is approximately 4.4 million.Sony VAIO PCG-713 Battery

New Zealand is a predominantly urban country, with 72 percent of the population living in 16 main urban areas and 53 percent living in the four largest cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton. New Zealand cities generally rank highly on international livability measures. Dell Latitude D830 Adapter

For instance, in 2010 Auckland was ranked the world's 4th mostlivable city and Wellington the 12th by the Mercer Quality of Life Survey .

The life expectancy of a New Zealand child born in 2008 was 82.4 years for females, and 78.4 years for males.Dell Studio XPS 1640 battery

Life expectancy at birth is forecast to increase from 80 years to 85 years in 2050 and infant mortality is expected to decline. In 2050 the population is forecast to reach 5.3 million, the median age to rise from 36 years to 43 years and the percentage of people 60 years of age and older to rise from 18 percent to 29 percent. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S  Battery

Ethnicity and immigration

In the 2006 census, 67.6 percent identified ethnically as European and 14.6 percent as M?ori. Other major ethnic groups include Asian (9.2 percent) and Pacific peoples (6.9 percent), while 11.1 percent identified themselves simply as a "New Zealander" (or similar) and 1 percent identified with other ethnicities.HP Compaq Business NX6320 Battery

This contrasts with 1961, when the census reported that the population of New Zealand was 92 percent European and 7 percent M?ori, with Asian and Pacific minorities sharing the remaining 1 percent. While the demonym for a New Zealand citizen is New Zealander, the informal "Kiwi" is commonly used both internationally and by locals.Canon POWERSHOT G2 Battery

The M?ori loanword P?keh? usually refers to New Zealanders of European descent, although some reject this appellation, and some M?ori use it to refer to all non-Polynesian New Zealanders.

The M?ori were the first people to reach New Zealand, followed by the early European settlers. Dell Latitude E6500 battery

Following colonisation, immigrants were predominantly from Britain, Ireland and Australia due to restrictive policies similar to the white Australian policies. There was also significant Dutch, Dalmatian, Italian, and German immigration together with indirect European immigration through Australia, North America, South America and South Africa.Dell LATITUDE D630 Battery

Following the Great Depressionpolicies were relaxed and migrant diversity increased. In 2009–10, an annual target of 45,000–50,000 permanent residence approvals was set by the New Zealand Immigration Service—more than one new migrant for every 100 New Zealand residents.Asus R33030 Adapter

Twenty-three percent of New Zealand's population were born overseas, most of whom live in the Auckland region. While most have still come from the United Kingdom and Ireland (29 percent), immigration from East Asia (mostly mainland China, but with substantial numbers also from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong)Dell Mini 1011 battery

is rapidly increasing the number of people from those countries. The number of fee-paying international students increased sharply in the late 1990s, with more than 20,000 studying in public tertiary institutions in 2002.


English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 98 percent of the population.toshiba pa3332u-1brs battery

New Zealand English is similar to Australian English and many speakers from the Northern Hemisphere are unable to tell the accents apart. After the Second World War, M?ori were discouraged from speaking their own language (te reo M?ori) in schools and workplaces and it existed as a community language only in a few remote areas.HP Compaq 6710b Adapter

It has recently undergone a process of revitalisation, being declared one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987, and is spoken by 4.1 percent of the population. There are now M?ori language immersion schools and two M?ori Television channels, the only nationwide television channels to have the majority of their prime-time content delivered in M?ori.HP Compaq nx6325 Adapter

Many places have officially been given dual Maori and English names in recent years. Samoan is the most widely spoken non-official language (2.3 percent), followed by French, Hindi, Yue and Northern Chinese.New Zealand Sign Language is used by approximately 28,000 people and was made New Zealand's third official language in 2006.Acer Aspire 5720 Adapter


tion and Religion

Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, with the majority attending from the age of 5. There are 13 school years and attendingpublic schools is free. New Zealand has an adult literacy rate of 99 percent, and over half of the population aged 15 to 29 hold a tertiary qualification.Toshiba Equium A110-252 Battery

In the adult population 14.2 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher, 30.4 percent have some form of secondary qualification as their highest qualification and 22.4 percent have no formal qualification.

Christianity is the predominant religion in New Zealand. In the 2006 Census, Acer Aspire 5052ANWXMi Battery

55.6 percent of the population identified themselves as Christians, while another 34.7 percent indicated that they had no religion (up from 29.6 percent in 2001) and around 4 percent affiliated with other religions.The main Christian denominations are Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Presbyterianism and Methodism.Dell Mini 1011v battery

There are also significant numbers of Christians who identify themselves withPentecostal, Baptist, and Latter-day Saint churches and the New Zealand-based Ratana church has adherents among M?ori. According to census figures, other significant minority religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter


Early M?ori adapted the tropically-based east Polynesian culture in line with the challenges associated with a larger and more diverse environment, eventually developing their own distinctive culture. Dell Vostro 1510 Battery

Social organisation was largely communal with families (whanau), sub-tribes (hapu) and tribes (iwi) ruled by a chief (rangatira) whose position was subject to the community's approval. The British and Irish immigrants brought aspects of their own culture to New Zealand and also influenced M?ori culture, particularly with the introduction of Christianity.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

However, M?ori still regard their allegiance to tribal groups as a vital part of their identity, and M?ori kinship roles resemble those of other Polynesian peoples. More recently American, Australian, Asian and other European cultures have exerted influence on New Zealand. Asus M50 battery

Non-M?ori Polynesian cultures are also apparent, with Pasifika, the world's largest Polynesian festival, now an annual event in Auckland.

The largely rural life in early New Zealand led to the image of New Zealanders being rugged, industrious problem solvers.Asus Eee PC 901 Battery

Modesty was expected and enforced through the "tall poppy syndrome", where high achievers received harsh criticism. At the time New Zealand was not known as an intellectual country. From the early 20th century until the late 1960s M?ori culture was suppressed by the attempted assimilation of M?ori into British New Zealanders.Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

In the 1960s, as higher education became more available and cities expanded urban culture began to dominate. Even though the majority of the population now lives in cities, much of New Zealand's art, literature, film and humour has rural themes.HP Compaq Business NC6220 Battery


As part of the resurgence of M?ori culture, the traditional crafts of carving and weaving are now more widely practiced and M?ori artists are increasing in number and influence. Most M?ori carvings feature human figures, generally with three fingers and either a natural-looking, detailed head or a grotesque head.Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Surface patterns consisting of spirals, ridges, notches and fish scales decorate most carvings. The pre-eminent M?ori architecture consisted of carved meeting houses (wharenui) decorated with symbolic carvings and illustrations. These buildings were originally designed to be constantly rebuilt, changing and adapting to different whims or needs. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

M?ori decorated the white wood of buildings, canoes and cenotaphs using red (a mixture of red ochre and shark fat) and black (made from soot) paint and painted pictures of birds, reptiles and other designs on cave walls. M?ori tattoos (moko) consisting of coloured soot mixed with gum were cut into the flesh with a bone chisel.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

Since European arrival paintings and photographs have been dominated by landscapes, originally not as works of art but as factual portrayals of New Zealand. Portraits of M?ori were also common, with early painters often portraying them as "noble savages", exotic beauties or friendly natives.HP Compaq 2510p Adapter

The country's isolation delayed the influence of European artistic trends allowing local artists to developed their own distinctive style of regionalism. During the 1960s and 70s many artists combined traditional M?ori and Western techniques, creating unique art forms.Dell Studio PP39L battery

New Zealand art and craft has gradually achieved an international audience, with exhibitions in the Venice Biennale in 2001 and the "Paradise Now" exhibition in New York in 2004.

M?ori cloaks are made of fine flax fibre and patterned with black, red and white triangles, diamonds and other geometric shapes.Nikon COOLPIX 5700  Battery

Greenstone was fashioned into earrings and necklaces, with the most well-known design being the hei-tiki, a distorted human figure sitting cross-legged with its head tilted to the side. Europeans brought English fashion etiquette to New Zealand, and until the 1950s most people dressed up for social occasions.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

Standards have since relaxed and New Zealand fashion has received a reputation for being casual, practical and lackluster. However, the local fashion industry has grown significantly since 2000, doubling exports and increasing from a handful to about 50 established labels, with some labels gaining international recognition. HP Compaq nx7400 Adapter


M?ori quickly adopted writing as a means of sharing ideas, and many of their oral stories and poems were converted to the written form. Most early English literature was obtained from Britain and it was not until the 1950s when local publishing outlets increased that New Zealand literature started to become widely known.HP Pavilion DV6500 Adapter

Although still largely influenced by global trends (modernism) and events (the Great Depression), writers in the 1930s began to develop stories increasingly focused on their experiences in New Zealand. During this period literature changed from a journalistic activity to a more academic pursuit.Dell T117C battery

Participation in the world wars gave some New Zealand writers a new perspective on New Zealand culture and with the post-war expansion of universities local literature flourished.


New Zealand music has been influenced by blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and hip hop, with many of these genres given a unique New Zealand interpretation.Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

M?ori developed traditional chants and songs from their ancient South-East Asian origins, and after centuries of isolation created a unique "monotonous" and "doleful" sound. Flutes and trumpets were used as musical instruments or as signaling devices during war or special occasions.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Early settlers brought over their ethnic music, with brass bands and choral music being popular, and musicians began touring New Zealand in the 1860s. Pipe bands became widespread during the early 20th century.Asus S1 Adapter

The New Zealand recording industry began to develop from 1940 onwards and many New Zealand musicians have obtained success in Britain and the USA. Some artists release M?ori language songs and the M?ori tradition-based art of kapa haka (song and dance) has made a resurgence. HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

Radio first arrived in New Zealand in 1922 and television in 1960, while the number of New Zealand films significantly increased during the 1970s.In 1978 the New Zealand Film Commission started assisting local film-makers and many films attained a world audience, some receiving international acknowledgement. Ibm Thinkpad T30 Battery

Deregulation in the 1980s saw a sudden increase in the numbers of radio and television stations.  New Zealand television primarily broadcasts American and British programming, along with a large number of Australian and local shows. Dell Studio PP39L battery

The country's diverse scenery and compact size, plus government incentives,  have encouraged some producers to film big budget movies in New Zealand. The New Zealand media industry is dominated by a small number of companies, most of which are foreign-owned, although the state retains ownership of some television and radio stations. HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

Between 2003 and 2008, Reporters Without Borders consistently ranked New Zealand's press freedom in the top twenty.


Most of the major sporting codes played in New Zealand have English origins. Golf, netball, tennis and cricket are the four top participatory sports, soccer is the most popular among young people and rugby union attracts the most spectators.HP Compaq Business NC6400 Battery

Victorious rugby tours to Australia and the United Kingdom in thelate 1880s and the early 1900s played an early role in instilling a national identity, although the sport's influence has since declined. Horse racing was also a popular spectator sport and became part of the "Rugby, Racing and Beer" culture during the 1960s.HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

M?ori participation in European sports was particularly evident in rugby and the country's team performs a haka (traditional M?ori challenge) before international matches.

New Zealand has competitive international teams in rugby union, netball, cricket, rugby league, and softball and has traditionally done well in triathlons, rowing, yachting and cycling. Compaq Presario CQ35-100 battery

The country has performed well on a medals-to-population ratio at Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. New Zealand is known for its extreme sports, adventure tourism  and strong mountaineering tradition.  Other outdoor pursuits such as cycling, fishing, swimming, running, tramping, canoeing, hunting, snowsports and surfing are also popular.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

The Polynesian sport of waka ama racing has increased in popularity and is now an international sport involving teams from all over the Pacific.

New Zealand has a market economy which is greatly dependent on international trade, mainly with Australia, HP Pavilion ZE4500 battery

the European Union, the United States, China, Japan and India. It has only small manufacturing and high-tech sectors, being strongly focused on tourism and primary industries like agriculture. Economic free-market reforms of the last decades have removed many barriers to foreign investment, HP G62-100EB battery

and the World Bank in 2005 praised New Zealand as being the most business-friendly country in the world, before Singapore.


Traditionally, New Zealand's economy was built upon on a narrow range of primary products, such as wool, meat and dairy products.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX battery

As an example, from approximately 1920 to the late 1930s, the dairy export quota was usually around 35% of the total exports, and in some years made up almost 45% of all New Zealand's exports. Due to the high demand for these primary products – such as the New Zealand wool boom of 1951 – HP Pavilion DV6-1220SO battery

New Zealand enjoyed high standards of living. However, commodity prices for these exports declined, and New Zealand lost its preferential trading position with the United Kingdom in 1973, due to the latter joining theEuropean Economic Community. Partly as a result, from 1970 to 1990, HP EliteBook 6930P battery

the relative New Zealand purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita declined from about 115% of the OECD average to 80%.


Since 1984, the government of New Zealand has undertaken major economic restructuring, HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

moving an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access toward a more industrialised, free market economy that can compete globally. This growth has boosted real incomes, broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

Inflation remains among the lowest in the industrial world. Per capita GDP has been moving up towards the levels of the big West European economies since the trough in 1990, but the gap remains significant. New Zealand's heavy dependence on trade leaves its growth prospects vulnerable to economic performance in Asia, Europe, and the United States.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

New Zealand's economy has traditionally been based on a foundation of exports from its very efficient agricultural system. Leading agricultural exports include meat, dairy products, forest products, fruit and vegetables, fish, and wool. New Zealand was a direct beneficiary of many of the reforms achieved under the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations,HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

with agriculture in general and the dairy sector in particular enjoying many new trade opportunities in the long term. The country has substantial hydroelectric power and sizable reserves of natural gas, much of which is exploited due primarily to major Keynesian import substitution-oriented industrial projects (See Think Big).HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery

Leading manufacturing sectors are food processing, metal fabrication, and wood and paper products. Some manufacturing industries, many of which had only been established in a climate of import substitution with high tariffs and subsidies, such as car assembly, have completely disappeared, and manufacturing's importance in the economy is in a general decline.HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 battery

Outlook and challenges

The New Zealand economy has recently been perceived as successful. However, the generally positive outlook includes some challenges. New Zealand income levels, which used to be above much of Western Europe prior to the deep crisis of the 1970s, have never recovered in relative terms.HP Pavilion DV6100 battery

The New Zealand GDP per capita is for instance less than that of Spain and about 60% that of the United States. Income inequality has increased greatly, implying that significant portions of the population have quite modest incomes. Further, New Zealand has a very large current account deficit of 8–9% of GDP. However, despite this, its public debt stands at only 21.2% (2006 est.) HP EliteBook 2730P battery

of the total GDP, which is small compared to many developed nations. However, between 1984 and 2006, net foreign debt increased 11-fold, to NZ$182 billion, NZ$45,000 for each person. The combination of a modest public debt and a large net foreign debt reflects that most of the net foreign debt is held by the private sector. HP Pavilion DV9000 battery

As of December 2010, net foreign debt was NZ$253 billion, or 132% of GDP.

New Zealand's persistent current account deficits have two main causes. HP Pavilion DV7 battery

The first is that earnings from agricultural exports and tourism have failed to cover the imports of advanced manufactured goods and other imports (such as imported fuels) required to sustain the New Zealand economy. Secondly, there has been an investment income imbalance or net outflow for debt-servicing of external loans.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

The proportion of the current account deficit that is attributable to the investment income imbalance (a net outflow to the Australian-owned banking sector) grew from one third in 1997 to roughly 70% in 2008.

1900s–1970s – Regulation and welfare state

Historically, New Zealand had a highly protected, regulated and subsidised economy.HP Compaq Business 6735S battery

This stemmed at least partly from trends started in the first half of the 20th century, when the First Liberal Government and later the First Labour Government introduced both social security systems with for the time very wide-ranging scope (from state pensions to unemployment benefits and free education and health care), HP 540 battery

while also regulating industry, mandating trade unionism and industrial arbitration. Imports were also heavily regulated. While called 'welfare statism' by some , it was accepted that until at least the 1950s, both main parties (Labour and National) generally supported this trend, HP Compaq Business NW9440 battery

even though critics pointed to negative effects on the general economy and argued that increasing emigration could be blamed to a large degree on these policies.

By the 1960s, the New Zealand economy's terms of trade began to decline. HP Compaq Business  TC4400 battery

This was largely due to the decline in export receipts from the United Kingdom, which in 1955 took 65.3 percent of New Zealand's exports. By the year ended June 1973, during which Britain formally entered the European Economic Community, this had fallen to 26.8 percent. HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

By the year ended June 1990 its share had fallen to 7.2 percent and in the year ended June 2000 its share was 6.2 percent.

To a substantial degree, the economic restrictions remained in place or were even sometimes extended in the early second half of the 20th century. HP HSTNN-LB31 battery

However, reforms in the 1980s and early 1990s were then to turn this situation into its opposite.

1980s–1990s – Reform and liberalisation

Since 1984, government subsidies including those for agriculture have been eliminated; import regulations have been liberalised;HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery

exchange rates have been freely floated; controls on interest rates, wages, and prices have been removed; and marginal rates of taxation reduced. Tight monetary policy and major efforts to reduce the government budget deficit brought the inflation rate down from an annual rate of more than 18% in 1987. HP Pavilion DV3-4000  battery

The deregulation of government-owned enterprises in the 1980s and 1990s reduced government's role in the economy and permitted the retirement of some public debt, but simultaneously massively increased the necessity for greater welfare spending and has led to considerably higher rates of unemployment than were standard in New Zealand in earlier decades.HP Pavilion TX1000 battery

Deregulation created a very business-friendly regulatory framework. A survey 2008 study ranked it 99.9% in "Business freedom", and 80% overall in "Economic freedom", noting amongst other things that it only takes 12 days to establish a business in New Zealand on average, compared with a worldwide average of 43 days.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA  battery

Other indicators measured were property rights, labour market conditions, government controls and corruption, the last being considered "next to non-existent" in the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal study.

In its 'Doing Business 2008' survey, the World Bank (which in that year rated New Zealand as the second-most business-friendly country worldwide), ranked New Zealand 13th out of 178 in the business-friendliness of its hiring laws. HP 448007-001 battery

The 1990s liberalisations also had a number of significant negative effects for New Zealand. One of them was the leaky homes crisis, where the liberalisation of building standards (in the expectation that market forces would assure quality) led to many thousands of severely deficient buildings (mostly residential homes and apartments)HP Compaq Business  6530B  battery

being constructed over a period of a decade. The costs of fixing the damage has been estimated at over NZ$11 billion.

2000s – Recent trends

Economic growth, which had slowed in 1997 and 1998 due to the negative effects of the Asian financial crisis and two successive years of drought, rebounded in 1999.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery

A low New Zealand dollar, favourable weather, and high commodity prices boosted exports, and the economy is estimated to have grown by 2.5% in 2000. Growth resumed at a higher level from 2001 onwards due primarily to the lower value of the New Zealand dollar which made exports more competitive. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA  battery

The return of substantial economic growth led the unemployment rate to drop from 7.8% in 1999 to 3.4% in late 2005, the lowest rate in nearly 20 years.

Although New Zealand enjoyed low unemployment rates in the years immediately prior to the financial crisis beginning in 2007,HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB battery

subsequent unemployment rose and according to Statistics New Zealand"In seasonally adjusted terms", New Zealand’s unemployment rate stood at 6.8% percent during the December 2010 quarter".

New Zealand's large current account deficit, which stood at more than 6.5% of GDP in 2000, HP Pavilion ZD8181EA  battery

has been a constant source of concern for New Zealand policymakers and hit 9% as of March 2006. The rebound in the export sector is expected to help narrow the deficit to lower levels, especially due to decreases in the exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar during 2008.HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

China is now New Zealand's second-largest trading partner, behind Australia. On June 17, Xi Jinping travelled to Auckland, New Zealand for a three-day visit, along with more than 100 senior business leaders.

Foreign business relations

New Zealand's economy has been helped by strong economic relations with Australia.HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR  battery

Australia and New Zealand are partners in "Closer Economic Relations" (CER), which allows for free trade in goods and most services. Since 1990, CER has created a single market of more than 25 million people, and this has provided new opportunities for New Zealand exporters.HP Pavilion DV5-1111EA Battery

Australia is now the destination of 19% of New Zealand's exports, compared to 14% in 1983. Both sides also have agreed to consider extending CER to product standardisation and taxation policy. New Zealand initiated afree trade agreement with Singapore in September 2000 which was extended in 2005 to include Chile and Brunei and is now known as the P4 agreement.HP Pavilion DV6-1234TX battery

New Zealand is seeking other bilateral/regional trade agreements in the Pacific area.

U.S. goods and services have been competitive in New Zealand, though the strong U.S. dollar created challenges for U.S. exporters in 2001. HP Pavilion DV3-2008TX  battery

The market-led economy offers many opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. Investment opportunities exist in chemicals, food preparation, finance, tourism, and forest products, as well as in franchising. The best sales prospects are for medical equipment, information technology, and consumer goods. HP Pavilion DV8  battery

On the agricultural side, the best prospects are for fresh fruit, snack foods, specialised grocery items (e.g. organic foods), and soybean meal. A number of U.S. companies have subsidiary branches in New Zealand. Many operate through local agents, with some joint venture associations. HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA  battery

The American Chamber of Commerce is active in New Zealand, with its main office in Auckland and a branch committee in Wellington.

New Zealand welcomes and encourages foreign investment without discrimination. HP Compaq 490306-001  battery

The Overseas Investment Commission (OIC) must give consent to foreign investments that would control 25% or more of businesses or property worth more than NZ$50 million. Restrictions and approval requirements also apply to certain investments in land and in the commercial fishing industry. Compaq Presario CQ50  battery

In practice, OIC approval requirements have not hindered investment. OIC consent is based on a national interest determination, but no performance requirements are attached to foreign direct investment after consent is given. Full remittance of profits and capital is permitted through normal banking channels.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO  battery

This free investment by foreign capital has also been criticised. Groups like Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) consider that New Zealand's economy is substantially overseas-owned, noting that direct ownership of New Zealand companies by foreign parties increased from $9.7 billion in 1989 to $83 billion in 2007 (an over 700% increase), HP Compaq 490306-001  battery

while 41% of the New Zealand sharemarket valuation is now overseas-owned, compared to 19% in 1989. Around 7% of all New Zealand agriculturally productive land is also foreign-owned. CAFCA considers that the effect of such takeovers has generally been negative in terms of jobs and wages. Compaq Presario CQ35-100 battery


In the middle 2000s, New Zealand unemployment (at 3.4% as of December 2007) stood at its historically lowest level since the current method of surveying began in 1986, and has been very low for several years.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51  battery

This gave the country the 5th-best ranking in the OECD (with an OECD average of 5.5%), with the low numbers attributed to the robust economy with its large backlog of job positions at all levels. The unemployment numbers of the compared OECD nations do not take into consideration sickness, invalid or single parent (domestic) beneficiaries.HP Pavilion ZE4500  battery

Before economic shocks of the 1970s in particular (Britain joining the EEC), actual unemployment was also very low, possibly even lower than in the mid 2000s – in 1959, only 21 people were officially unemployed, and it was joked that the Prime Minister knew the name of every unemployed person.HP G62-100EB  battery

The percentage of the population employed also increased in recent years, to 68.8% of all inhabitants, with full-time jobs increasing slightly, and part-time occupations decreasing in turn. The increase in the working population percentage is attributed to increasing wages and higher costs of living moving more people into employment.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX  battery

The low unemployment also had some disadvantages, with many companies unable to fill jobs.

In the late 2000s, mainly as a result of the global financial crisis, unemployment numbers surged again, rising to a 10-year high of 6% in mid-2009, with the job losses being especially hard amongst women. Seasonally adjusted employment levels fell 0.4 per cent to 2.17 million people, while the number of unemployed rose to 138,000 people. HP EliteBook 6930P battery

The electricity sector in New Zealand uses mainly renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal power and increasingly wind energy. The 70% share of renewable energy sources makes New Zealand one of the lowest carbon dioxide emitting countries in terms of electricity generation.HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

Electricity demand is growing by an average of 2.1% per year since 1974 and 0.2% from 2004 to 2009. Despite being slightly above global average in thelist of countries by energy intensity, New Zealand has been called one of the least energy efficient countries in the OECD when comparing economic output against electricity consumption.Compaq Evo N610C  battery

New Zealand suffers from a geographical imbalance between electricity production and consumption. The most substantial electricity generation (both existing and as remaining potential) is located on the South Island and to a lesser degree in the central North Island, while the main demand (which is continuing to grow) is in the northern North Island, HP Pavilion DM3-1050EO battery

particularly the Auckland Region. This requires electricity to be transmitted north through a power grid which is reaching its capacity more often. While initiatives are underway to build new transmission power lines, most notably from the South Waikato to theAuckland Region, there is substantial local protest against these initiatives.Compaq Presario 1245  battery

Regulation of the electricity industry is the responsibility of the Electricity Authority (formerly the Electricity Commission). Control is also exerted by the Minister of Energy in the New Zealand Cabinet, though the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and the Minister for Climate Change also have some powers by virtue of their positions and policy influence in the government.HP G6000  battery


Initial use of electricity in New Zealand was tied to mining, with Reefton on the West Coast becoming the first electrified city in 1888 after the Reefton Power Station was commissioned, while the first sizable power station was built for the Waihi gold mines at Horahora on the Waikato River. HP Compaq 451086-661  battery

This set a precedent which was to dominate New Zealand's electricity generation, with hydropower becoming and remaining the dominant source. In 1930, the percentage was at 92%.

While industrial use quickly took off, it was only government programmes in the first two thirds of the 20th century that caused private demand to climb strongly as well.HP Pavilion DV2166EA  battery

Especially the rural areas were beneficiaries of subsidies for electrical grid systems, where supply literally was provided to create demand, with an intention to modernise the countryside. The results were notable - in the 1920s, electricity use increased at a rate of 22% per year. HP Compaq 464119-143  battery

In fact, the 'load building' programmes were so successful that shortages started to occur from 1936 on, though a large number of new power stations built in the 1950s enabled supply to catch up again.

After the massive construction programmes had created a substantial supply of energy not dependent on international fossil fuel prices, New Zealand became less frugal with its energy use. Compaq Presario CQ71  battery

While in 1978, its energy consumption (as expressed against economic output) hovered around the average of all OECD countries, during the 1980s New Zealand dropped far behind, increasing its energy use per economic unit by over 25%, while other nations slowly reduced their energy usage levels.HP Pavilion DV9565EA  battery

Based on this economic comparison, in 1991 it was the second-least energy-efficient country out of 41 OECD countries.


Hydroelectric power stations generate the majority of New Zealand's electricity, with 23,963 GWh generated by hydroelectricity in 2009 - equal to 57.0% of New Zealand's electricity generated that year. HP Pavilion DV6203TX battery

The total hydroelectricity installed capacity is 5,378 MW.  The South Island is heavily reliant on hydroelectricity - 98.7% of its electricity was generated by hydroelectricity in 2009, and the South Island hydro stations generated 65.4% of New Zealand's total hydroelectricity in that year.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO  battery

There are three major hydroelectric schemes in the South Island: Waitaki, Clutha and Manapouri. Waitaki has three distinct parts - the original Waitaki and Tekapo A powerhouses (1936 and 1951 respectively), the 1960s Lower Waitaki development consisting of Benmore and Aviemore, HP HSTNN-OB51  battery

and the 1970-80's Upper Waitaki development of Tekapo B and Ohau A, B, and C. In total, the nine powerhouses generate approximately 7600 GWh annually, around 18% of New Zealand's electricity generation and more than 30% of all its hydroelectricity. HP Pavilion DV7-2185DX  battery

Manapouri Power Station is a single underground power station in Fiordland, and the largest hydroelectric station in the country. It generates 730 MW of electricity and produces 4800 GWh annually, mainly for the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter near Invercargill. Both Waitaki and Manapouri are operated by Meridian Energy. HP Compaq Business  6830S  battery

The Clutha River scheme is operated by Contact Energy, and consists of two powerhouses: Clyde Dam (432 MW, commissioned 1992) and Roxburgh Dam (360 MW, commissioned 1962).

The North Island has two major schemes: Tongariro and Waikato. HP PP2200 battery

The Tongariro Power Scheme consists of water taken from the catchments of the Whangaehu, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Tongariro Rivers passing through two powerhouses (Tokaanu and Rangipo) before being deposited in Lake Taupo. The scheme is operated by Genesis Energy and has an installed capacity of 360 MW. Compaq CQ50 battery

The Waikato River Scheme, operated by Mighty River Power, consists of nine powerhouses on the river between Lake Taupo and Hamilton, generating 3650 GWh annually.

Other smaller hydroelectricity facilities and schemes are scattered around both islands of mainland New Zealand.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

Hydroelectric schemes have largely shaped hinterland New Zealand. Towns including Mangakino, Turangi, Twizel and Otematata originally were founded for workers on the construction of hydroelectric schemes and their families. The hydroelectric reservoirs of Lake Ruataniwha and Lake Karapiro are world-class rowing venues,Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

with the latter having hosted the 1978 and the 2010 World Rowing Championships. Other schemes have shaped political New Zealand. In the 1970s, the original plans to raise Lake Manapouri for the Manapouri station were scrapped after major protests. HP DV9700 battery

Later in the 1980s, protests were made against the creation of Lake Dunstan behind the Clyde Dam, which would flood the Cromwell Gorge and part of Cromwell township, destroying many fruit orchards and the main street of Cromwell. However, the project was given the go ahead and Lake Dunstan was filled in 1992-93.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

Hydroelectricity generation has remained relatively steady since 1993 - the only major hydroelectricity projects since then was the completion of the second Manapouri tailrace tunnel in 2002, increasing the station from 585 MW to 750 MW. No major new hydroelectric projects have been committed as of December 2010, HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

but there are proposals for further developments on the Waitaki and Clutha Rivers, and on the West Coast of the South Island.


New Zealand lies on the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate, creating favourable geological conditions for the exploitation ofgeothermal power. Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Geothermal fields have been located across New Zealand, but at present, most geothermal power is generated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone - an area in the North Island stretching from Mount Ruapehu in the south to White Island in the north. As at 31 December 2009,HP 448007-001 battery

the installed capacity of geothermal power was 635 MW, and in 2009, geothermal generated 4542 GWh of electricity - 10.8% of the country's electricity generation that year. Since 2009, two new stations being commissioned has boosted total installed geothermal capacity to at least 798 MW.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

Most of New Zealand's geothermal power is generated north of Lake Taupo. Seven stations generate electricity here, including Wairakei Power Station, New Zealand's oldest (1958) and largest (176 MW) geothermal power station, and the world's second large-scale geothermal power facility. Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Also in this area areNga Awa Purua, which is home to the world's largest geothermal turbine at 147 MW  (although the plant only generates 140 MW); and Ohaaki, which has a 105-metre tall hyperboloid natural draft cooling tower: the only one of its kind in New Zealand.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Geothermal electricity is also generated near Kawerau in the eastern Bay of Plenty, and near Kaikohe in Northland.

No new geothermal power stations are under construction as of January 2011. Contact Energy has however called for construction tenders on its 220 MW Te Mihi Power Station to replace the ageing Wairakei Power Station using the same steam field.Apple A1280 battery

Another 110 MW of capacity is consented, and another 250 MW is proposed.

Much of New Zealand's geothermal power potential still lies untapped, with the New Zealand Geothermal Association estimating an installation capacity (using only existing technology) of around 3,600 MW.Apple A1281 battery


Wind is the newest electricity power source for New Zealand, and the fastest growing. In December 2009, total installed wind capacity was 496 MW, and in 2009, wind generated 1456 GWh of electricity - 3.4% of all electricity generated that year.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Electricity was first generated by wind in New Zealand in 1993, by a 225 kW demonstration turbine in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn. The first commercial wind farm was established in 1996 - the Hau Nui Wind Farm, 22 km southeast of Martinborough had seven turbines and generated 3.85 MW. HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

The Tararua Wind Farm was first commissioned in 1999 with 32 MW of generating capacity, gradually expanding over the next eight years to 161 MW - the largest wind farm in New Zealand. Other major wind farms include Te Apiti, West Wind and White Hill.Dell Latitude E6400 Battery Battery

Wind power in New Zealand shares the difficulties typical to other nations (uneven wind strengths, ideal locations often remote from power demand areas). The Tararua Wind Farm averages slightly more than New Zealand's 45% full capacity usage (in other words, wind farms in New Zealand produce more than double their average energy during periods of maximum useful wind strengths).HP Pavilion DM4 Battery

However, the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority figures indicate that wind power is also expected to operate at maximum capacity for around 4,000 hours a year, much more than for example the approximately 2,000 hours (Germany) to 3,000 hours (Scotland, Wales, Western Ireland) found in European countries.Apple MB772LL/A battery

Wind power is continuing to grow rapidly - as of January 2011, a total of 115 MW capacity is under construction and is expected to commissioned by mid-2011. Another 1109 MW of capacity has been given resource consent, and there is at least another 2500 MW of capacity under proposal or yet to receive consent.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuels, specifically coal, oil and gas, produced 11,472 GWh of electricity in 2009 - 27.3% of all electricity generated. This was split into 8385 GWh by gas, 3079 GWh by coal, and 8 GWh by oil. Total combined installed capacity in 2009 was 2852 MW, taking into account stations that ran partially on fossil fuels that year. Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

The North Island generates nearly all (99.8%) of New Zealand's fossil-fuelled electricity.

Up until the 1950s, fossil-fuelled stations were small scale and usually fuelled by coal or coal by-products, providing electricity to cities yet to be connected to hydro schemes and to provide additional support to such schemes. HP 448007-001 battery

Large-scale coal-fired generation came in 1958 with the establishment of the 210 MWMeremere Power Station. Oil-fired stations such as Otahuhu A, Marsden A&B, and New Plymouth were commissioned in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The discovery of natural gas off the Taranaki coast, and the oil crises of the 1970s,Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

saw oil-fueled stations converted to gas operation or mothballed, while gas-fired stations proliferated, especially in Taranaki and Auckland, well into the 2000s. Only in recent years has coal made a comeback, as Taranaki gas has slowly depleted.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery 

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