Island state of the southern hemisphere formed by two main islands: North Island, South Island (the latter includes numerous islands: Stewart, Chatham, Campbell, Kermadec and, all uninhabited, Auckland, degli Antipodi, Tre Re, Snares, Solander and Bounty) and numerous other minor ones. Freely associated with New Zealand since 1965 are the Cook Islands and dependencies and the atoll of Niue, while annexed since January 1948 is the group of madreporic islets of Tokelau (or Union islands). New Zealand also administers the Ross Addiction, in Antarctica. The closest coasts, the Australian ones, are over 1900 km away and the South American ones over 6400 km. This clearly gives an idea of the geographical isolation that distinguishes New Zealand, the state furthest from Europe and nevertheless long linked by feelings and traditions to the motherland, Great Britain, to which an ideal sovereignty has been attributed. A former English colony, New Zealand became Dominion in 1907, a title attributed to all the colonies with responsible government and in 1931 an independent state within the Commonwealth. Discovered by the Dutch navigator Tasman (and it is precisely to the Dutch region of Zealand that the country refers in its name), explored over 120 years later by the famous Captain Cook, English, New Zealand is now largely populated by descendants of Europeans, essentially English, who colonized and populated the territory from the middle of the century. XIX, totally marginalizing the pre-existing residents, the Polynesian Maori. The British thus easily succeeded in imposing on the country, in addition to language and religion, their own habits of life, economic and social organization, political system, urban structure, culture in general; they even wanted to recreate a natural environment in the image of Great Britain, which New Zealand, particularly the North Island, resembles to a large extent in the green temperate landscapes. Colonization has not only upset the anthropic landscape but also the wildlife one: before the arrival of the British, in fact, the country essentially did not know mammals such as sheep, cattle and pigs, which today constitute the backbone of the livestock sector. Only in 1997 did the government offer compensation to the ethnic group of Maori after acknowledging the violations of the Waitangi treaty between the English captain Hobson and 40 Maori leaders (1840), with whom the British crown had acquired sovereignty over the archipelago.
New Zealand. The political map was unclear after the October elections. The New Zealand First Disappointment Party (New Zealand First, NZF) received 15 seats in Parliament and was given a wave role. Jim Bolger and the ruling Nationalist Party received 53 seats, while the opposition and the three-party coalition on the left with Labor, led by Helen Clark, as the largest party received 50 seats.
In December, the Nationalist Party formed a coalition government with the NZF, whose party leader Winston Peters became Deputy Prime Minister and received a newly created post as Chief Minister of Finance.
In September 2005, Prime Minister Clark and her party won big over the National Party in the parliamentary elections.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does NZ stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means New Zealand. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
In May 2006, the government decided that in future the country’s largest river – Waikato – should be administered jointly with the Maoris. These had fought for 30 years for their ancestors access to the river’s resources.
In an attempt to offset New Zealand’s diminished market share for agricultural products in Europe, Minister of Commerce Phil Goff traveled to the Persian Gulf in July 2007 to negotiate free trade agreements with the countries of the region. New Zealand’s exports to this region had grown by 10% annually in previous years.
The November 2008 parliamentary election was won by the Conservative National Party, which rose almost 6% to 45% of the vote. Party leader, John Key, with the support of smaller parties, formed a minority government. The Conservatives thus broke 9 years of Labor rule. Labor itself went back 7% to 34% of the vote. The dramatic shift in power was mainly due to the economic crisis. In August, the Labor-led coalition government had announced that the country was in recession. Many jobs were already closed and several were on the way. Labor tried to halt voter turnout by promising the tax cut, but the Conservatives promised even more tax cuts, and many New Zealand voters prioritized tax cuts higher than welfare.
New Zealand was relatively hard hit by the economic crisis. The economy shrank by 2.6% in 2009. The government tried to offset the recession by providing tax cuts, and as a result, government debt is projected to grow from 25% in 2008 to 40% in 2013. At the same time, the Key government raised VAT from 12.5 % to 15%. A change that particularly affected the poor part of the population.
Immigration legislation was amended in November 2009 so that the Director of Immigration can now prohibit entry without further explanation. This move was criticized by Amnesty International as it reduces the ability of persecuted people to flee their home country. In the same year, prison legislation was changed so that prisons can now be privatized. Already, the number of prisoners is rapidly increasing, and the Maoris are disproportionately heavily represented were imprisoned.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of New Zealand in 1996 was 3,674,825, ranking number 120 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.580% yearly, and the population density was 13.9567 people per km2.