New Zealand

New Zealand

Background

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. That same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both world wars. New Zealand’s full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates:
41 00 S, 174 00 E

Map references:
Oceania

Area:
total: 267,710 sq km
country comparison to the world: 76
land: 267,710 sq km
water: NA
note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Area – comparative:
Area comparison map:

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
15,134 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:
temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain:
predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 1.76%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 97.98% (2011)

Irrigated land:
6,193 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources:
327 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 4.75 cu km/yr (23%/5%/72%)
per capita: 1,200 cu m/yr (2010)

Natural hazards:
earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul
Island, Tongariro, and White Island

Environment – current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation

Geography – note:
almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world


People & Society

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

Ethnic groups:
European 71.2%, Maori 14.1%, Asian 11.3%, Pacific peoples 7.6%, Middle Eastern, Latin
American, African 1.1%, other 1.6%, not stated or unidentified 5.4%
note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because people were able to identify more than one ethnic group (2013 est.)

Languages:
English (de facto official) 89.8%, Maori (de jure official) 3.5%, Samoan 2%, Hindi 1.6%, French 1.2%, Northern Chinese 1.2%, Yue 1%, Other or not stated 20.5%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official)
note: shares sum to 120.8% due to multiple responses on census (2013 est.)

Religions:
Christian 44.3% (Catholic 11.6%, Anglican 10.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 7.8%, Methodist, 2.4%, Pentecostal 1.8%, other 9.9%), Hindu 2.1%, Buddhist 1.4%, Maori Christian 1.3%, Islam 1.1%, other religion 1.4% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha’i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 38.5%, not stated or unidentified 8.2%, objected to answering 4.1%
note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because people were able to identify more than one religion (2013 est.)

Population:
4,401,916 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 450,985/female 429,184)
15-24 years: 13.9% (male 313,711/female 298,427)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 890,678/female 888,565)
55-64 years: 14.3% (male 245,084/female 255,879)
65 years and over: 14% (male 290,429/female 338,974) (2014 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 52.5 %
youth dependency ratio: 30.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 21.8 %
potential support ratio: 4.6 (2014 est.)

Median age:
total: 37.6 years
male: 36.7 years
female: 38.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.83% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Birth rate:
13.4 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Death rate:
7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123

Net migration rate:
2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Urbanization:
urban population: 86.2% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.09% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:
Auckland 1.452 million; WELLINGTON (capital) 410,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
27.8
note: median age at first birth (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
15 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 144

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 184
male: 5.14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.93 years
country comparison to the world: 26
male: 78.88 years
female: 83.08 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.05 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Health expenditures:
10.1% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 24

Physicians density:
2.74 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:
2.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
28.3% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 34

Education expenditures:
7.4% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 16

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 19 years
male: 19 years
female: 20 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 17.7%
country comparison to the world: 69
male: 17.3%
female: 18.1% (2012)


Government

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

Government type:
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:
name: Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 18 S, 174 47 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
note: New Zealand has two time zones – New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)

Administrative divisions:
16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast

Dependent areas:
Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau

Independence:
26 September 1907 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)

Constitution:
Constitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005 (2013)

Legal system:
common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Lt Gen Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Simon William ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Representatives – commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, 50 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 November 2011 (next to be held not later than November 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party – National Party 48%, Labor Party 27.1%, Green Party 10.6%, NZ First 6.8%, Maori 1.4%, ACT Party 1.1%, Mana 1%, United Future 0.6%, other 3.43%; seats by party – National Party 60, Labor Party 34, Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori 3, ACT Party 1, Mana 1, United Future 1
note: results of 2011 election saw the total number of seats decline to 121

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices including the chief justice )
note – the Supreme Court in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London, as the final appeals court
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the attorney-general; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; tribunals and authorities; district courts; specialized courts for issues related to employment, environment, Maori lands, and military

Political parties and leaders:
ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]
Green Party [Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI]
Mana Party [Hone HARAWIRA]
Maori Party [Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES]
New Zealand National Party [John KEY]
New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS]
New Zealand Labor Party [Phil GOFF]
Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]
United Future New Zealand [Peter DUNNE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Women’s Electoral Lobby or WEL
other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women’s rights groups

International organization participation:
ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Kenneth MOORE (since 5 August 2010)
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), Santa Monica (CA)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’ Affaires Marie C. DAMOUR note – also accredited to Samoa
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
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

National symbol(s):
Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars); kiwi (bird), silver fern

National anthem:
name: “God Defend New Zealand”


Economy

Economy – overview:
Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes – but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder – and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for ten consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy pulled out of recession late in 2009, and achieved 2-3% per year growth in 2010-13. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$136 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$132.7 billion (2012 est.)
$129.2 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$181.1 billion (2013 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
2.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
2.7% (2012 est.)
1.4% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$30,400 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$29,900 (2012 est.)
$29,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
15.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
14.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 58.1%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.2%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 30%
imports of goods and services: -28.7%
(2013 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 25.5%
services: 69.5% (2013 est.)

Agriculture – products:
dairy products, lamb and mutton; wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate:
1.9% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128

Labor force:
2.413 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 7%
industry: 19%
services: 74% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:
6.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
6.9% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
36.2 (1997)
country comparison to the world: 86

Budget:
revenues: $69.17 billion
expenditures: $72.65 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
38.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Public debt:
38.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
38.1% of GDP (2012 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April – 31 March
note: this is the fiscal year for tax purposes

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
1.1% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
2.5% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 70
5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.7% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
5.82% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$30.03 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$29.87 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$91.28 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$84.55 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$256.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$265.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$71.66 billion (31 December 2011)
$71.83 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:
-$8.358 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
-$8.508 billion (2012 est.)

Exports:
$37.84 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$37.87 billion (2012 est.)

Exports – commodities:
dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery

Exports – partners:
Australia 21.1%, China 15%, US 9.2%, Japan 7% (2012)

Imports:
$37.35 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$37.04 billion (2012 est.)

Imports – commodities:
machinery and equipment, vehicles, aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics

Imports – partners:
China 16.4%, Australia 15.2%, US 9.3%, Japan 6.5%, Singapore 4.8%, Germany 4.4% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$20.01 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$17.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt – external:
$81.36 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$85.18 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$84.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$81.36 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$59.08 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 37

Exchange rates:
New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar –
1.247 (2013 est.)
1.2334 (2012 est.)
1.3874 (2010 est.)
1.6002 (2009)
1.4151 (2008)


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