New Zealand is an island country about 1,600 kilometres southeast of Australia, in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, part of and the largest island group in Polynesia.
Made up of the North and the South Island and several dozen smaller islands.
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, and Auckland is the largest city.
The country was part of the British Empire, now an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations, that replaced the empire.
New Zealand has a spectacular natural scenery with snow-capped mountains, green, lush meadows, beaches, lakes and waterfalls.
Many Hollywood studios use this beauty as backdrops in their films, and they come in increasing numbers for the natural beauty and talented people.
The Maori people were the first people to settle in New Zealand and according to some expert they came from Polynesian islands and they settled as long ago as the 900's A.D., maybe earlier, although there are many other different stories as well, once upon a time an Egyption, Malaysia or lately a Taiwanese origins were popular..
The first Europeans visited the islands in 1642, settlements started in the late 1700's.
Today's New Zealand is a very cosmopolitan country with the European settler's descendants making up the majority of the 4 million population, with the Maori people the next largest group and Polynesians, Asians and many other races making up the rest.
New Zealanders enjoy a high standard of living, with agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries all playing a considerable role in New Zealand's economy being a major exporting country of dairy products, meat, fruit and many other agricultural and manufactured products.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to provide social security benefits and old-age pensions and has one of the world's finest public health services and has a long tradition of basic democratic and human rights, as equal rights and benefits for all its citizens.
In 1893, it led the whole world, to give women the vote.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth II of Britain as its monarch, represented by a governor general with very little real power.
The New Zealand parliament, the prime minister and the Cabinet run the government.
In 1852 Britain gave New Zealand a constitution as a British colony but over the years the New Zealand parliament has enacted numerous changes to it.
New Zealand has a mild, moist climate, without many extremities.
I lived in New Zealand since the 5th of January, 1957.
My New Zealand pages
In 2004, Hui Chin and I visited the Cook Islands, one of the many
South Pacific Island nations. The Cook Islands, although an independent
nation have a 'close association' with New Zealand.
List of my Cook Islands pages
Many more pages and photos to come.
New Zealand photos
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