Portal:New Zealand
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Portal:New Zealand

The New Zealand Portal

Location of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand

New Zealand (M?ori: Aotearoa [a?'t?aa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses--the North Island (Te Ika-a-M?ui) 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 M?ori culture. In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and M?ori 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 M?ori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from M?ori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, M?ori, 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 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. (Full article...)

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a formal painting of a man in a military uniform
A portrait of Frickleton by Mollie Tripe

Samuel Frickleton, (1 April 1891 - 1 September 1971) was a soldier in the New Zealand Military Forces and a recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award of the British Commonwealth for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Born in 1891 in Scotland, Frickleton moved to New Zealand in 1913 and was a miner when he enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) the year after the outbreak of the First World War. He took ill on reaching the Middle East and had to be repatriated to New Zealand. Although he had been discharged from the NZEF, he rejoined after recovering his health. He was posted to the 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, then serving on the Western Front. Wounded during the Battle of Messines when he destroyed two machine gun posts, an action that earned him the VC, he received medical treatment in England. He then underwent officer training but his health was still poor and before the end of the war he was returned to New Zealand. (Full article...)

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A petrified log embedded in rocks at Curio Bay.

...that Curio Bay in the Catlins is the site of a petrified forest, buried by a volcano some 160 million years ago?

...that Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, New Zealander Alan Deere was shot down or crashed nine times?

...that English law was deemed to have taken effect in New Zealand on 14 January 1840, the date that New South Wales Governor George Gipps proclaimed his jurisdiction over New Zealand. New Zealand became a colony in its own right in 1841.

...that the mineral motukoreaite is named after one of Auckland's volcanoes, Browns Island (Motukorea in M?ori), where it was first found?

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Prime Minister David Lange posts a letter, at the opening of the new Foxton Post Office, 1980's
Prime Minister David Lange posts a letter, at the opening of the new Foxton Post Office, 1980's
David Russell Lange CH, ONZ (who pronounced his name "long-ee", ) (4 August 1942 - 13 August 2005), served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. He headed New Zealand's fourth Labour Government, one of the most reforming administrations in his country's history, but one which did not always conform to traditional expectations of a social-democrat party. He had a reputation for cutting wit and eloquence. His government implemented far-reaching free market reforms, some of which he later came to oppose and regret. New Zealand's nuclear-free legislation, perhaps his most lasting legacy, symbolised for many a pacifist identity for New Zealand. (Full article...)

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Muriwai Extreme Fishing.

Muriwai - also called Muriwai Beach - is a coastal community approximately 17km West of Kumeu, 42 kilometres Northwest of Auckland city, at the southern end of an unbroken 50 kilometre stretch of beach which extends up the Tasman Sea coast to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour. It is unique because of its black sand, caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area.

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