The New Zealand Portal

New Zealand
Aotearoa (Māori)
A map of the hemisphere centred on New Zealand, using an orthographic projection.
Location of New Zealand, including outlying islands, its territorial claim in the Antarctic, and Tokelau
ISO 3166 codeNZ

New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country, 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.

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 also 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 the governor-general. 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. (Full article...)

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Troops preparing to disembark waiting to land New Zealand troops at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey, 1915 (3465992155).jpg

The New Zealand and Australian Division was a composite army division raised for service in the First World War under the command of Major General Alexander Godley. Consisting of several mounted and standard infantry brigades from both New Zealand and Australia, it served in the Gallipoli Campaign between April and December 1915.

At Gallipoli, the division landed at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, coming ashore as follow-on troops to the initial assault force that had made it ashore earlier in the day, and later occupied the northern areas of the Allied lodgement. After the initial Allied assault at Anzac Cove, elements of the division were sent to Cape Helles in early May, where they participated in the Second Battle of Krithia, launching an unsuccessful attack towards the Achi Baba peak. The division's mounted units were sent to Gallipoli in mid-May without their horses, to serve as dismounted infantry, making up for previous losses. Later that month, the division helped repel an Ottoman counter-attack at Anzac Cove, after which it occupied the line until August, when the Allies launched an offensive designed to break the deadlock. During this period, the division attacked Chunuk Bair and Hill 971, and then later Hill 60. These efforts failed, and as winter set in on the peninsula, the division was evacuated from Gallipoli in mid-December 1915 as part of a general Allied withdrawal. (Full article...)

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...that the Cardrona Bra Fence was an unusual South Island tourist attraction?


...That Lawyer's Head headland in Dunedin (pictured) is named for its likeness to the profile of a man in a traditional legal wig?

...that the wild population of New Zealand's endangered Kaka Beak has plummeted to under one sixth of the number found 10 years ago?

...that the U.S. base at the South Pole follows New Zealand time?

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Waikato river 750px.jpg
The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand. It runs for 425 kilometres from the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. It then drains Taupo at the lake's north-eastern edge, creates the Huka Falls, then flows northwest, through the Waikato Plains. It empties into the Tasman Sea south of Auckland at Port Waikato. It gives its name to the Waikato region that surrounds the Waikato Plains.

The name "Waikato" comes from Māori and translates as "flowing water". (Full article...)

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Rapanui Rock during sunset, Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand

Shag Rock, also known as Rapanui, is a notable sea stack that marks the entrance of the Avon Heathcote Estuary near Christchurch, New Zealand. It is a prominent landmark for navigators at sea as well as travelers on the road to Sumner. The rock stands close to the southern shore just above the low tide level. In the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake it shattered and the remains, which are still easily seen from the road, have, with dark humour by some locals, been called "Shag Pile" (a pun referencing the style of carpet). (Full article...)

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