The Leading Global Portal for Diplomats!    
    Keep in touch with the community Succeed in your new posting Take care of personal affairs Chat with diplomats online      
Home > New Diplomat > Country Briefs
New Zealand

Area: 270,500 sq. km.; about the size of Colorado.
Cities (as of June 30, 2003): Capital--Wellington (363,400). Other cities--Auckland (1,199,300), Christchurch (358,000), Hamilton (179,000).
Terrain: Highly varied, from snowcapped mountains to lowland plains.
Climate: Temperate to subtropical.

Nationality: Noun--New Zealander(s). Adjective--New Zealand.
Population (2003): 4,010,000.
Annual growth rate (as of June 30, 2004): 1.3%.
Ethnic groups: European 75%, Maori 15%, other Polynesian 6.5%.
Religions: Anglican 15.22%, Roman Catholic 12.65%, Presbyterian 10.87%.
Languages: English, Maori.
Education: Years compulsory--ages 6-16. Attendance--100%. Literacy--99%.
Health (2000-2002): Infant mortality rate--6.1/1,000. Life expectancy--males 76.3 yrs., females 81.1 yrs.
Work force (March 2004, 1.98 million): Services and government--65%; manufacturing and construction--25%; agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and mining--10%.

Type: Parliamentary.
Constitution: No formal, written constitution.
Independence: Declared a dominion in 1907.
Branches: Executive--Queen Elizabeth II (chief of state, represented by a governor general), prime minister (head of government), cabinet.
Legislative--unicameral House of Representatives, commonly called parliament. Judicial--four-level system: District Courts, High Courts, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, which in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London as New Zealand's highest court of appeal. There also are specialized courts, such as employment court, family courts, youth courts, and the Maori Land Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 12 regions with directly elected councils and 74 districts (15 of which are designated as cities) with elected councils. There also are a number of community boards and special-purpose bodies with partially elected, partially appointed memberships.
Political parties: Labour, National, Progressive Coalition Party, New Zealand Green Party, New Zealand First, ACT, United Future, and several smaller parties not represented in Parliament.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

GDP (March 2004): US$76.42 billion.
Real annual GDP growth rate (March 2004): 3.6%.
Per capita income (2002): US$12,804.
Natural resources: Timber, natural gas, iron sand, coal.
Agriculture (9.7% of GDP): Products--meat, dairy products, forestry products.
Industry (46.1% of GDP): Types--food processing, textiles, machinery, transport equipment.
Trade (2003): Exports--US$19.02 billion: meat, dairy products, forest/wood/paper products, fish, machinery & equipment, metals, fruit.. Major markets--Australia, U.S., Japan, China
Imports--US$20.89 billion: vehicles, machinery & equipment, mineral fuels, petroleum, plastics, medical equipment. Major suppliers--Australia, U.S., Japan, China.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
Share |