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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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Nugget Point lighthouse.jpg
The Catlins (sometimes referred to as The Catlins Coast) comprises an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island's southernmost point, Slope Point.

The Catlins, a rugged, sparsely populated area, features a scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest, both of which harbour many endangered species of birds. Its exposed location leads to its frequently wild weather and heavy ocean swells, which are an attraction to big-wave surfers.

Ecotourism has become of growing importance in the Catlins economy, which otherwise relies heavily on dairy farming and fishing. The region's early whaling and forestry industries have long since died away, along with the coastal shipping that led to several tragic shipwrecks. Only some 1,200 people now live in the area, many of them in the settlement of Owaka.

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Sunrise at Kerikeri.

Kerikeri, the largest town in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 kilometres north of Whangarei. It is often described as the Cradle Of The Nation, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most historic buildings in the country.

Did you know...

...that after the New Zealand Railways Department's RM class Thomas Transmission railcar was written off in 1925, the railcar's body was used as a private dwelling?

...that the Kaimai Tunnel running through the Kaimai Ranges is the longest rail tunnel in New Zealand?

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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