Portal:New Zealand


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New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands, covering a total area of 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country's varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

Owing to their remoteness, the islands of New Zealand were the last large habitable lands to be settled by humans. Between about 1280 and 1350, Polynesians began to settle in the islands, and then developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full statutory independence in 1947 and the British monarch remained the head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language, with English being very dominant.

A developed country, New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, government transparency, and economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. The service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, and agriculture; international tourism is a significant source of revenue. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, currently Jacinda Ardern. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica.

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The Highlanders (formerly the Otago Highlanders and currently known as the Pulse Energy Highlanders for sponsorship reasons) is a New Zealander professional rugby union team based in Dunedin that compete in Super Rugby. The team was formed in 1996 to represent the lower South Island in the newly formed Super 12 competition, and includes the Otago, North Otago and Southland unions. The Highlanders take their name from the Scottish immigrants that helped found the Otago, North Otago, and Southland regions in the 1840s and 1850s.

Their main ground through the 2011 Super Rugby season was Carisbrook in Dunedin, with home games occasionally being played in Invercargill and Queenstown. The Highlanders moved into Carisbrook's replacement, Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, for the 2012 season; the stadium opened in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but after the Super Rugby season. Read more...

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The following are images from various New Zealand-related articles on Wikipedia.

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...that New Zealand's longest road tunnel connects the city of Christchurch and the port of Lyttelton?

...that Mount Wellington have won New Zealand's premier soccer competition, the Chatham Cup, seven times - more than any other team?

...that the male and female of the extinct bird Huia had very differently-shaped beaks?

...that Wellington's famous blanket man Ben Hana worships the Egyptian sun god Ra?


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Possibly the best-known building in the southern half of New Zealand's South Island, Dunedin Railway Station is a jewel in the country's architectural crown.

Designed by George Troup, the station is the fourth building to have served as Dunedin's railway station. It earned its architect the nickname of "Gingerbread George".

In Flemish style, it is constructed from local dark basalt rock capped with lighter Oamaru stone, giving it the distinctive light and dark pattern common to many of the more stately buildings of Dunedin and Christchurch. The booking hall features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 tiles of Royal Doulton porcelain. Its main platform is the country's longest, being one kilometre in length. It was opened in 1906 by Prime Minister Joseph Ward. A thorough refurbishment of the exterior took place in the late 1990s, accompanied by the landscaping of the gardens outside the entrance, in Anzac Square.

With the decrease in passenger rail traffic, the station now serves more functions that the one for which it was originally designed. It is still the city's railway station, catering for the Otago Excursion Train Trust's Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train. Much of its ground floor is now used as a restaurant, and the upper floor is home to both the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and the Otago Art Society.

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Muriwai Extreme Fishing.

Muriwai - also called Muriwai Beach - is a coastal community approximately 17km West of Kumeu, 42 kilometres Northwest of Auckland city, at the southern end of an unbroken 50 kilometre stretch of beach which extends up the Tasman Sea coast to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour. It is unique because of its black sand, caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area.

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