Portal:New Zealand

The New Zealand Portal

New Zealand
Aotearoa (Māori)
A map of the hemisphere centred on New Zealand, using an orthographic projection.
Location of New Zealand, including outlying islands, its territorial claim in the Antarctic, and Tokelau
ISO 3166 codeNZ

New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country by area, covering 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country's varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

A developed country, New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, government transparency, and economic freedom. The country was the first to introduce a minimum wage, and the first to give women the right to vote. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. The service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, and agriculture; international tourism is also a significant source of revenue. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, currently Jacinda Ardern. King Charles III is the country's monarch and is represented by the governor-general. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. (Full article...)

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall (close-up).jpg
Marshal of the RAF Sir Cyril Newall c. 1940

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Cyril Louis Norton Newall, 1st Baron Newall, GCB, OM, GCMG, CBE, AM (15 February 1886 – 30 November 1963) was a senior officer of the British Army and Royal Air Force. He commanded units of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the First World War, and served as Chief of the Air Staff during the first years of the Second World War. From 1941 to 1946 he was the Governor-General of New Zealand.

Born to a military family, Newall studied at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, before taking a commission as a junior officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1905. After transferring to the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in the Indian Army, he saw active service on the North West Frontier, but after learning to fly in 1911 turned towards a career in military aviation. During the First World War he rose from flying instructor to command of 41st Wing RFC, the main strategic bombing force, and was awarded the Albert Medal for putting out a fire in an explosives store. (Full article...)

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...that the Cardrona Bra Fence was an unusual South Island tourist attraction?

Lawyer's Head, New Zealand.

...That Lawyer's Head headland in Dunedin (pictured) is named for its likeness to the profile of a man in a traditional legal wig?

...that the wild population of New Zealand's endangered Kaka Beak has plummeted to under one sixth of the number found 10 years ago?

...that the U.S. base at the South Pole follows New Zealand time?


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Dunedin Railway Station2.jpg
Possibly the best-known building in the southern half of New Zealand's South Island, Dunedin Railway Station is a jewel in the country's architectural crown.

Designed by George Troup, the station is the fourth building to have served as Dunedin's railway station. It earned its architect the nickname of "Gingerbread George".

In Flemish style, it is constructed from local dark basalt rock capped with lighter Oamaru stone, giving it the distinctive light and dark pattern common to many of the more stately buildings of Dunedin and Christchurch. The booking hall features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 tiles of Royal Doulton porcelain. Its main platform is the country's longest, being one kilometre in length. It was opened in 1906 by Prime Minister Joseph Ward. A thorough refurbishment of the exterior took place in the late 1990s, accompanied by the landscaping of the gardens outside the entrance, in Anzac Square.

With the decrease in passenger rail traffic, the station now serves more functions that the one for which it was originally designed. It is still the city's railway station, catering for the Otago Excursion Train Trust's Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train. Much of its ground floor is now used as a restaurant, and the upper floor is home to both the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and the Otago Art Society. (Full article...)

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Beach at New Brighton, New Zealand
A view of the beach at New Brighton, Christchurch, New Zealand

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