Portal:New Zealand

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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 around 600 smaller islands, covering a total area of 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.

Owing to their remoteness, the islands of New Zealand were the last large habitable lands to be settled by humans. Between about 1280 and 1350, Polynesians began to settle in the islands, and then developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full statutory independence in 1947 and the British monarch remained the head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language, with English being very dominant.

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. 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 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. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy. 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.

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Donald Forrester Brown, VC (23 February 1890 – 1 October 1916) was a New Zealand recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Born in Dunedin, Brown was a farmer when the First World War began. In late 1915, he volunteered for service abroad with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, the Otago Infantry Regiment. He saw action on the Western Front, and was awarded the VC for his actions during the Battle of Flers–Courcelette in September 1916. As he was killed several days later during the Battle of Le Transloy, the award was made posthumously. His VC was the second to be awarded to a soldier serving with the NZEF during the war and was the first earned in an action on the Western Front. Read more...

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Patrick Marshall

... that New Zealand geologist Patrick Marshall (pictured) was the first who used the term "andesite line"?

...that the New Zealand Railways Department dumped tank locomotives of the WB class in the Mokihinui River to protect against erosion beside the route of the Seddonville Branch line?

...that New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart uses an obsolete camera and photographic paper that no longer exists?

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Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, KG, GCMG, CH, QSO, KStJ (11 February 1904 - 8 December 1983) was a New Zealand politician. The only person to have been both Prime Minister and Governor-General of New Zealand, Holyoake was National Party prime minister from 20 September 1957 to 12 December 1957, then again from 12 December 1960 to 7 February 1972. He was appointed as governor-general in 1977 and served until 1980. Before becoming National Party leader, Holyoake served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, under Sidney Holland.

Holyoake was the third longest-serving New Zealand prime minister (just under 12 years), surpassed only by Richard Seddon's 13 years and William Massey's close to 13 years; he was also the first to be born in the 20th century. He was known for his diplomatic style and "plummy" voice. He was also fondly (or mockingly) known as Kiwi Keith, a name given to him in childhood to distinguish him from an Australian child with the same name.

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Geothermic craters at Craters of the Moon in Taupo, New Zealand.

Craters of the Moon is a small but highly active geothermal field covering about 50,000 m², close to State Highway 1 a few kilometres north of Taupo, New Zealand. There are numerous steam vents, constantly shifting, collapsing and reforming, giving the whole area desolate appearance, hence the name. There are also some bubbling thermal mud pools.

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