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 more than 700 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, the 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 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 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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Joanne Gair (born c. 1958), nicknamed Kiwi Jo (alternatively Kiwi Joe), is a New Zealand-born and -raised make-up artist and body painter whose body paintings have been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue from 1999 to 2017. She is considered the world's leading trompe-l'œil body painter and make-up artist, and she became famous with a Vanity Fair Demi's Birthday Suit cover of Demi Moore in a body painting in 1992. Her Disappearing Model was featured on the highest-rated episode of Ripley's Believe It or Not. She is the daughter of George Gair.

In addition to achieving pop culture prominence and respect in the fashion and art worlds starting with her body painting of Demi Moore, she is a make-up artist in the rock and roll world who has helped several of her music clients win fashion and style awards. She is also considered a fashion and art trendsetter, and for a long time she was associated with Madonna. In 2001, she had her first retrospective and in 2005, she published her first book on body painting. At the peak of her pop culture fame after the Vanity Fair cover, she was seriously considered for an Absolut Vodka Absolute Gair ad campaign. She has done magazine editorial work, and in 2005, she became a photographer of her own body paintings in both books and magazines. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various New Zealand-related articles on Wikipedia.

More Did you know? - show different entries

... that the wood rose, a parasitic plant with no green leaves, is primarily pollinated by the native New Zealand Lesser Short-tailed bat?

... that Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the longest placename in the world?

... that the native Parapara tree catches birds in its sticky seeds?

... that Houhora Mountain was the first part of New Zealand that the early explorer Kupe saw, but he thought it was a whale, according to Māori legend?


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Maungatautari morning scene
Maungatautari morning scene
The Maungatautari Restoration Project is the largest ecological restoration project in New Zealand, located near Cambridge in the Waikato region in the central North Island of New Zealand.

The project is engineered to remove all non-native pest mammals and predators and restore endangered native flora and fauna to Maungatautari. There is no intention to restrict all introduced birds, but efforts will be made to control non-native wasps.

It includes private land and a government-owned scenic reserve administered by Waipa District Council. It is a community project under the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust. (Full article...)

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Magpie Moth Nyctemera annulata taken in Point England, Auckland.

The magpie moth is an arctiid moth (Nyctemera annulata) found in New Zealand. It is a medium sized moth. The adults have a wing span of 35 – 45 mm, and are black with white patches. They flutter away slowly when disturbed. Some species in other countries are also known as Magpie moths.

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