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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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Burtmunro1920indian.JPG
Herbert James 'Burt' Munro (25 March 1899 – 6 January 1978) was a New Zealand motorcycle racer, famous for setting an under-1000cc world record, at Bonneville, 26 August 1967. This record still stands today. Burt Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year old machine when he set his last record.

Working from his home in Invercargill, he worked for 20 years to highly modify the 1920 Indian motorcycle which he had bought in 1920. Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938 and later set seven more. He travelled to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, attempting to set world speed records. During his ten visits to the salt flats, he set three speed records, one of which still stands today. His efforts, and success, are the basis of the motion picture The World's Fastest Indian (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, and an earlier 1971 short documentary film Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed

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Typical rugged coastline of the West Coast.

The West Coast region reaches from Kahurangi Point in the north to Awarua Point in the south, a distance of 600 km. Much of the land is rugged, although there are coastal plains around which much of the population resides. The land is very scenic, with wild coastlines, mountains, and a very high proportion of native bush, much of it native temperate rain forest.

Did you know...

Anglican Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland

...that around two thirds of New Zealanders claim adherence to a religion, but not the leaders of both main political parties?

...that Albert F. A. L. Jones, awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1987 for his services to astronomy, is an amateur astronomer 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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