New Zealand | History, Map, Flag, Capital, Population …

Posted: January 17, 2022 at 8:36 am

New Zealand, Mori Aotearoa, island country in the South Pacific Ocean, the southwesternmost part of Polynesia. New Zealand is a remote landone of the last sizable territories suitable for habitation to be populated and settledand lies more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia, its nearest neighbour. The country comprises two main islandsthe North and the South Islandand a number of small islands, some of them hundreds of miles from the main group. The capital city is Wellington and the largest urban area Auckland; both are located on the North Island. New Zealand administers the South Pacific island group of Tokelau and claims a section of the Antarctic continent. Niue and the Cook Islands are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand.

New Zealand is a land of great contrasts and diversity. Active volcanoes, spectacular caves, deep glacier lakes, verdant valleys, dazzling fjords, long sandy beaches, and the spectacular snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps/K Tiritiri o te Moana on the South Islandall contribute to New Zealands scenic beauty. New Zealand also has a unique array of vegetation and animal life, much of which developed during the countrys prolonged isolation. It is the sole home, for example, of the long-beaked, flightless kiwi, the ubiquitous nickname for New Zealanders.

Britannica Quiz

Match the Country with Its Hemisphere Quiz

This quiz will present you with the name of a country. You have to decide whether its in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. (There will be no trickery with countries that touch the Equator.)

New Zealand was the largest country in Polynesia when it was annexed by Great Britain in 1840. Thereafter it was successively a crown colony, a self-governing colony (1856), and a dominion (1907). By the 1920s it controlled almost all of its internal and external policies, although it did not become fully independent until 1947, when it adopted the Statute of Westminster. It is a member of the Commonwealth.

The ascent of Mount Everest by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 was one of the defining moments of the 20th century. In some ways, Hillary suggested, I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed.

Despite New Zealands isolation, the country has been fully engaged in international affairs since the early 20th century, being an active member of a number of intergovernmental institutions, including the United Nations. It has also participated in several wars, including World Wars I and II. Economically the country was dependent on the export of agricultural products, especially to Great Britain. The entry of Britain into the European Community in the early 1970s, however, forced New Zealand to expand its trade relations with other countries. It also began to develop a much more extensive and varied industrial sector. Tourism has played an increasingly important role in the economy, though this sector has been vulnerable to global financial instability.

The social and cultural gap between New Zealands two main groupsthe indigenous Mori of Polynesian heritage and the colonizers and later immigrants from the British Isles and their descendantshas decreased since the 1970s, though educational and economic differences between the two groups remain. Immigration from other areasAsia, Africa, and eastern Europehas also made a mark, and New Zealand culture today reflects these many influences. Minority rights and race-related issues continue to play an important role in New Zealand politics.

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