New Zealand lies in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia.
New Zealand is made up of two main islands, North Island and South Island, with further outlying islands called the Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands.
Guide to New Zealand – history
According to Maori history, the Polynesian Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand, they arrived and settled there around 800 AD and remained fairly untroubled until 1840 when Maori chieftains entered into the Treaty of Waitangi with Britain.
In the Treaty they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria but retained territorial rights. Following the establishment of the Treaty, Britain began its first organized colonial settlement in New Zealand the same year.
There ensued the New Zealand Wars between 1843 and 1872 following conflicting land claims. The native people were defeated and the New Zealand government has since paid out compensation, but the entire issue remains contentious to this day.
In 1907 the British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion and has always supported the UK militarily – particularly in both World Wars.
Geography, economy & climate
New Zealand is a geographically breathtaking country with glacier carved mountains, lakes, beaches, thermal springs, sub tropical pools etc., and where you can enjoy everything from skiing to surfing, from fishing to mountain climbing.
The economy of New Zealand is strongly dependent on its agriculture but it has benefited in recent years from it fledgling film industry, the fact that it has been used in a number of high profile Hollywood films, and from the fact that its tourist industry has grown as a direct result. Other sources of income to the country come from its exports of wool, sheep and dairy products, wood and paper products.