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Portal:New Zealand

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THE AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND PORTAL

Flag of New Zealand
Coat of Arms of New Zealand
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New Zealand (Aotearoa in te reo Māori) is a country of two large islands and many much smaller islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. Among South Pacific nations, New Zealand has the largest and most industrialised economy and is second only to Papua New Guinea in population. It is situated some 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of Fiji and Tonga. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and is represented in the country by a governor-general. Legislative authority is vested in a democratically elected Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the self-governing Cook Islands and Niue, as well as Tokelau and New Zealand's claims in Antarctica.

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White Terraces - Blomfield.jpg
The Pink and White Terraces in New Zealand, or Otukapuarangi ("fountain of the clouded sky") and Te Tarata (Māori) were a natural wonder until they were destroyed by a violent volcanic eruption in 1886.

Similar to Pamukkale in Turkey, hot water containing large amounts of calcium bicarbonate precipitated calcium carbonate, leaving thick white layers of limestone and travertine cascading down the mountain slope, forming pools of water and terraces. The White terraces were the larger and more beautiful formation while the Pink terraces were where people went to bathe.

The terraces located on the edges of Lake Rotomahana near Rotorua were considered to be the eighth wonder of the natural world and were New Zealand's most famous tourist attraction ( they were attracting tourists from Europe in the early 1880s when New Zealand was still relatively inaccessible) until they were destroyed when Mount Tarawera, five kilometres to the north, erupted at 03:00 on June 10, 1886.

The volcano belched out hot mud, red hot boulders and immense clouds of black ash. The eruption caused approximately 153 deaths and buried the village of Te Wairoa. The lake, and several others nearby, were substantially altered in shape and area by the eruption.

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Whitianga beach

Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. The town has a deepwater harbour. Its harbours has made Whitianga the home of the Mercury Bay Boating club and the departure point for big game fishing enthusiasts. Many charter boats ply the waters of Mercury Bay for fishing or scenic cruising.

Did you know...

...that New Zealand's first long-distance telephone service was between Dunedin and Milton?

...that Rangitata Island is the only place that State Highway 1 leaves New Zealand's two main islands?

...that Otago Girls' High School claims to be the oldest girls' high school in the Southern hemisphere?

...that the line "Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle" from Denis Glover's poem The Magpies is one of the most famous lines in New Zealand poetry?


In the news

  • November 24: Ferry MV Suilven sinks in Suva, Fiji
  • October 19: Searchers find wreckage of New Zealand fishing boat 'Jubilee'
  • May 7: New Zealand begins process to consider changing national flag design
  • April 27: Over 10,000 attend Gallipoli dawn service for ANZAC Day centenary
  • March 10: Cricket World Cup 2015: New Zealand defeats Afghanistan by six wickets in Napier
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