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Last updated : Nov 2009
New Zealand General Info
New Zealand General Information - TravelPuppy.com
Area

270,534 square kilometres (104,454 square miles)

Population

4,009,200 (the 2003 official estimate)

Population Density

14.8 people per square kilometre

Capital

Wellington.

Population of Wellington

423,765 (the 2003 official estimate).

Although it is not the capital, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and has a population of 1,158,891 (the 2003 official estimate).

Geography:

 New Zealand is 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) southeast of Australia.

 New Zealand's 3 islands make up a country that is relatively small, especially compared to it's huge neighbour, Australia.The country consists of 3 main islands:

 North Island (which is 116,031 square Kilometres/44,800 square miles)

 South Island (which is 153,540 square Kilometres/59,283 square miles)

Stewart Island which is 1,750 square Kilometres(676 square miles), lies directly south of South Island.


 The north and south islands are separated by Cook Strait.

 The Chatham Islands are located 800 Kilometres (500 miles) east of Christchurch.

 Travelling from the north to the south, the temperature reduces.

 New Zealand only takes up about 20% more land mass than the British Isles.

 2 thirds of the country is mountainous, a region of deep alpine lakes, swift-flowing rivers, and dense subtropical forest.

 Auckland (the country's largest city) is positioned on the peninsula that forms the northern part of the North Island.

 The southern part of the North Island is known for fertile coastal plains rising up to volcanic peaks.

 Around Rotorua, 240 Kilometres (149 miles) south of Auckland, there is thermal activity in the form of hissing fumaroles, silica terraces, springs of hot mineral water, geysers, coloured craters and pools of boiling mud, which make Rotorua an amazing world wide tourist attraction.

 The South Island is a larger island, however, only about 1 third of the population lives there.

 The Southern Alps extend the whole length of the island, culminating in the country’s highest peak, Mount Cook.

 Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are in the same region as Mount Cook.

There are 4 associated territories of New Zealand:

 The Cook Islands (which are about 3500 Kilometres/2175 miles northeast of New Zealand)

 Niue (which is 920 Kilometres/570 miles west of the Cook Islands) has an area of 260 square Kilometres/100 square miles

 Tokelau, three atolls (which is about 960 Kilometres/600 miles northwest of Niue) has an area of 12 square Kilometres/4 square miles

 The Ross Dependency, which consists of over 700,000 square Kilometres (270,270 square miles) of the Antarctic.

Government

New Zealand has had a constitutional monarchy since 1907.

The Head of State is HM Queen Elizabeth II, since 1952, and has been represented locally by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright since 2001.

The Head of Government has been Prime Minister Helen Clark, since 1999.

Language

English is the main everyday language, however other languages are also spoken, including Maori. Maori is New Zealand’s second official language, which is spoken by the native Maori people (who make up approximately 15% of the population).

Religion

60% of the population is Christian, whilst the other 40% is represented by Methodist, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian.

Time Zone

Main islands: Greenwich Mean Time +12 (Greenwich Mean Time +13 from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March).

Chatham Island: GMT + 12.45 / GMT + 13.45 from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in Marc.

Electricity:

230 volts AC, 50Hz.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use.

Many hotels provide 110-volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) but only for electric razors.
Useful travel links
CIA Factbook - New Zealand information on the geography, people & maps