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 New Zealand [Country Flag of New Zealand]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of New Zealand]

New Zealand

Geography

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Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 S, 174 00 E

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 268,680 sq km
land: 268,670 sq km
water: 10 sq km
note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Area—comparative: about the size of Colorado

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 15,134 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain: predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Cook 3,764 m

Natural resources: natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 50%
forests and woodland: 28%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 2,850 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity

Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by species introduced from outside

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography—note: about 80% of the population lives in cities

People

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Population: 3,625,388 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (male 427,776; female 407,074)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,188,468; female 1,181,002)
65 years and over: 12% (male 182,253; female 238,815) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.04% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 14.89 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.6 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.37 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.55 years
male: 74.35 years
female: 80.91 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.91 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: New Zealander(s)
adjective: New Zealand

Ethnic groups: New Zealand European 74.5%, Maori 9.7%, other European 4.6%, Pacific Islander 3.8%, Asian and others 7.4%

Religions: Anglican 24%, Presbyterian 18%, Roman Catholic 15%, Methodist 5%, Baptist 2%, other Protestant 3%, unspecified or none 33% (1986)

Languages: English (official), Maori

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1980 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ

Data code: NZ

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Wellington

Administrative divisions: 93 counties, 9 districts*, and 3 town districts**; Akaroa, Amuri, Ashburton, Bay of Islands, Bruce, Buller, Chatham Islands, Cheviot, Clifton, Clutha, Cook, Dannevirke, Egmont, Eketahuna, Ellesmere, Eltham, Eyre, Featherston, Franklin, Golden Bay, Great Barrier Island, Grey, Hauraki Plains, Hawera*, Hawke's Bay, Heathcote, Hikurangi**, Hobson, Hokianga, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Hutt, Inangahua, Inglewood, Kaikoura, Kairanga, Kiwitea, Lake, Mackenzie, Malvern, Manaia**, Manawatu, Mangonui, Maniototo, Marlborough, Masterton, Matamata, Mount Herbert, Ohinemuri, Opotiki, Oroua, Otamatea, Otorohanga*, Oxford, Pahiatua, Paparua, Patea, Piako, Pohangina, Raglan, Rangiora*, Rangitikei, Rodney, Rotorua*, Runanga, Saint Kilda, Silverpeaks, Southland, Stewart Island, Stratford, Strathallan, Taranaki, Taumarunui, Taupo, Tauranga, Thames-Coromandel*, Tuapeka, Vincent, Waiapu, Waiheke, Waihemo, Waikato, Waikohu, Waimairi, Waimarino, Waimate, Waimate West, Waimea, Waipa, Waipawa*, Waipukurau*, Wairarapa South, Wairewa, Wairoa, Waitaki, Waitomo*, Waitotara, Wallace, Wanganui, Waverley**, Westland, Whakatane*, Whangarei, Whangaroa, Woodville
note: there may be a new administrative structure of 16 regions (Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wanganui-Manawatu, Wellington, West Coast) that are subdivided into 57 districts and 16 cities* (Ashburton, Auckland*, Banks Peninsula, Buller, Carterton, Central Hawke's Bay, Central Otago, Christchurch*, Clutha, Dunedin*, Far North, Franklin, Gisborne, Gore, Grey, Hamilton*, Hastings, Hauraki, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Hutt*, Invercargill*, Kaikoura, Kaipara, Kapiti Coast, Kawerau, Mackenzie, Manawatu, Manukau*, Marlborough, Masterton, Matamata Piako, Napier*, Nelson*, New Plymouth, North Shore*, Opotiki, Otorohanga, Palmerston North*, Papakura*, Porirua*, Queenstown Lakes, Rangitikei, Rodney, Rotorua, Ruapehu, Selwyn, Southland, South Taranaki, South Waikato, South Wairarapa, Stratford, Tararua, Tasman, Taupo, Tauranga, Thames Coromandel, Timaru, Upper Hutt*, Waikato, Waimakariri, Waimate, Waipa, Wairoa, Waitakere*, Waitaki, Waitomo, Wanganui, Wellington*, Western Bay of Plenty, Westland, Whakatane, Whangarei)

Dependent areas: Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau

Independence: 26 September 1907 (from UK)

National holiday: Waitangi Day, 6 February (1840) (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty)

Constitution: no formal, written constitution; consists of various documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments; Constitution Act 1986 was to have come into force 1 January 1987, but has not been enacted

Legal system: based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for Maoris; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Michael HARDIE BOYS (since 21 March 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Jenny SHIPLEY (since 8 December 1997) and Deputy Prime Minister Winston PETERS (since 16 December 1996); note—SHIPLEY wrested control of the National Party in November from Prime Minister BOLGER, replacing BOLGER as prime minister in December
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the queen; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general for a three-year term; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
note: the government is a coalition of the National Party and the New Zealand First Party

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives—commonly called Parliament (120 seats; members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 12 October 1996 (next must be called by October 1999)
election results: percent of vote by party—NP 34.1%, NZLP 28.3%, NZFP 13.1%, Alliance 10.1%, ACT 6.17%, UNZ 0.91%; seats by party—NP 44, NZLP 37, NZFP 17, Alliance 13, ACT 8, UNZ 1

Judicial branch: High Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: National Party (NP), Jenny SHIPLEY; New Zealand First Party (NZFP), Winston PETERS; New Zealand Labor Party (NZLP, opposition), Helen CLARK; Alliance (a coalition of five small parties—NewLabor Party, Jim ANDERTON; Democratic Party, John WRIGHT; New Zealand Liberal Party, Frank GROVER; Green Party, Jeanette FITZSIMONS; and Mana Motuhake, Sandra LEE), codeputy leaders are Sandra LEE and Jeanette FITZSIMONS; United New Zealand (UNZ), Clive MATTHEWSON; Conservative Party (formerly Right of Centre Party), Trevor ROGERS; Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, New Zealand (ACT), Richard PREBBLE; Christian Coalition (a coalition of the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage Party), coleaders Graeme LEE and Rev. Graham CAPILL

International organization participation: ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, C, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), OECD, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador-designate James BOLGER
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Josiah Horton BEEMAN
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, FPO AP 96531-1001
telephone: [64] (4) 472-2068
FAX: [64] (4) 472-3537
consulate(s) general: Auckland

Flag description: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation

Economy

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Economy—overview: Since 1984 the government has accomplished major economic restructuring, moving an agrarian economy dependent on a concessionary British market access toward a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes, broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Business confidence strengthened in 1994, and export demand picked up in the Asia-Pacific region, resulting in 6.2% growth. Growth continued strong in 1995, but tailed off in 1996-97. Inflation remains among the lowest in the industrial world. Per capita GDP has been moving up to the levels of the big West European economies. However, the Asian economic crisis may slow GDP growth in 1998.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$63.4 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$17,700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.3%
industry: 25.9%
services: 66.8% (1990)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1,634,500 (September 1995)
by occupation: services 64.6%, industry 25.0%, agriculture 10.4% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 5.9% (December 1996)

Budget:
revenues: $24.1 billion
expenditures: $21.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 7.747 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 33.696 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 9,889 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, meat, dairy products; fish catch reached a record 503,000 metric tons in 1988

Exports:
total value: $18.5 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: wool, lamb, mutton, beef, fish, cheese, chemicals, forestry products, fruits and vegetables, manufactures, dairy products, wood
partners: Australia 19%, Japan 15%, UK 15%, US 12%

Imports:
total value: $19.2 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, consumer goods, plastics
partners: Australia 21%, US 18%, Japan 16%, UK 6%

Debt—external: $28.5 billion (FY95/96 est.)

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $98 million (1993)

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1—1.7283 (January 1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

Communications

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Telephones: 1.7 million (1986 est.)

Telephone system: excellent international and domestic systems
domestic: NA
international: submarine cables to Australia and Fiji; satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 64, FM 2, shortwave 0

Radios: 3.215 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 14 (1986 est.)

Televisions: 1.53 million (1992 est.)

Transportation

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Railways:
total: 3,973 km
narrow gauge: 3,973 km 1.067-m gauge (519 km electrified)

Highways:
total: 92,200 km
paved: 53,568 km (including at least 144 km of expressways)
unpaved: 38,632 km (1994 est.)

Waterways: 1,609 km; of little importance to transportation

Pipelines: petroleum products 160 km; natural gas 1,000 km; liquefied petroleum gas or LPG 150 km

Ports and harbors: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tauranga, Wellington

Merchant marine:
total: 16 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 155,478 GRT/195,836 DWT
ships by type: bulk 4, cargo 1, liquefied gas tanker 1, oil tanker 3, railcar carrier 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 6 (1997 est.)

Airports: 111 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 44
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 67
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 43 (1997 est.)

Military

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Military branches: New Zealand Army, Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Military manpower—military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 938,194 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 789,542 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 25,612 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $1.12 billion (FY97/98)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.05% (FY97/98)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)