New Zealand

Map New Zealand
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of New Zealand


Background: The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both world wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.
Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Area land: 267,710 sq km
Area water: NA
Coastline: 15,134 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: New Zealand
Country name former: none
Population: 4,290,347 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.4% (male 448,106/female 426,348); 15-64 years: 66.4% (male 1,426,595/female 1,420,643); 65 years and over: 13.3% (male 260,454/female 308,201) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.882% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 13.68 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 7.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.048 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.78 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 5.37 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 4.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.59 years; male: 78.61 years; female: 82.67 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,500 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: New Zealander(s); adjective: New Zealand;
Ethnic groups: European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5% (2006 Census);
Religions: Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9% (2006 Census);
Languages: English 91.2% (official), Maori 3.9% (official), Samoan 2.1%, French 1.3%, Hindi 1.1%, Yue 1.1%, Northern Chinese 1%, other 12.9%, New Zealand Sign Language (official);

note: shares sum to 114.6% due to multiple responses on census (2006 Census)

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $119.2 billion (2010 est.); $116.8 billion (2009 est.); $118.8 billion (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $138 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2010 est.); -1.7% (2009 est.); -0.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $28,000 (2010 est.); $27,700 (2009 est.); $28,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4.6%; industry: 24%; services: 71.4% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: NA%;
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: %NA; highest 10%: %NA;
Labor force: 2.32 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 7%; industry: 19%; services: 74% (2006 est.);
Unemployment rate: 6.5% (2010 est.); 6.2% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $56.24 billion; expenditures: $62.18 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining;
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 42.4 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 39.24 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


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Dominion Post, The

(Independent), Wellington

Marlborough Express, The

(Conservative), Blenheim

Nelson Mail, The

(Independent), Motueka

New Zealand Herald, The

(Conservative), Auckland

New Zealand Listener, The

(Liberal weekly), Auckland

Otago Daily Times

(Conservative), Dunedin


(Independent), Wellington

New Zealand in the News

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Displaying 5 to 8 of 9 items.

Who's Paying for That Latte?

New Zealand's The Press newspaper reports on the wide disparities between the prices coffee growers get for their product and the prices Western consumers pay for it.

New Zealand: Kernels of Truth

Correspondent Ken Coates reviews local coverage of a scandal involving genetically modified corn and electoral politics.

The Unflappable Helen Clark

New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark faces an election this year with confidence, and well she might reports correspondent Ken Coates.

Master of Consensus

New Zealand’s Don McKinnon, 60, the longest-serving foreign minister in the democratic world today, is scheduled to take over the post of secretary-general of the commonwealth—the group of nations that once were British colonies or dependencies.