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Erin Keiser
World Geography
TuTh 2:00-3:15pm
A. Geography page 4
B. Brief History page 5
C. Climate page 8
D. Points of Interest page 11
E. People page 14
F. Economy page 17
G. Government page 20
H. Census Data page 21
I. Language page 23
J. Health Concerns page 24
K. Dos and Donts page 25
L. Conclusion page 26
M. Biography page 30


A. Geography
New Zealand is located southeast of Australia in the South Pacific Ocean. Its
geographic coordinates are 41 00 S, 174 00 E. The country has a total area of 268,680
square kilometers, including the Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands,
Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands. Its coastline stretches 15,134
kilometers. When it comes to elevation extremes, the lowest point is the Pacific Ocean
at 0 meters, and the highest point being Aoraki-Mount Cook at 3,754 meters. New
Zealands wide variety of natural resources include natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal,
timber, hydropower, gold, and limestone. The terrain is predominately mountainous
with some large coastal plains. Natural disasters can be common, with the most
common hazard being earthquakes. However they are not very severe. Some volcanic
activity can also be present. Current environment issues include deforestation and soil
erosion. 80% of the population lives in cities and Wellington is the capital.


B. Brief History:

Maori first arrived in New Zealand by canoes from the mythical island of Hawaiki
around 1,000 years ago where they began a tribal society. They currently make
up 14% of the population. The Maori culture is very important to modern New
Maori Legend has it that New Zealand was actually fished up from the sea by
Maui, a clever demigod of Polynesian mythology.
Although Abel Tasman, a Dutchman was the first European to discover the
country, he never actually set foot on New Zealand, the British were the first to
settle down in the land and colonize.
In 1840, The Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori chiefs and the British was
signed, declaring the land a British Colony, while promising Maori authority over
their land and culture.
From 1845-1872, disputes over ownership between the Maori and British caused
the New Zealand Land Wars. Both sides suffered, but the British were the
While disagreements over the Treaty of Waitangi still are apparent in todays
society, it is still considered New Zealands founding document.
In 1893, New Zealand becomes the worlds first country to give women the right
to vote.
In 1898, New Zealand government introduces old-age pensions.
New Zealand becomes a Dominion within the British Empire in 1907.
Under the influence of Britain, New Zealand fought in the Boer War and both
World War I and II.
Following WWII, New Zealand remained culturally strong with Great Britain, but
also signed SEATO (South-East Asia Treaty Organisation) and the ANZUS Pact
(Australia, New Zealand and United States).
While still a member of the British Commonwealth, and keeping friendly
relations with the United States, New Zealand is more independent in their
trading and foreign policy.
In 1947, New Zealand gains full independence from Britain.
Since the mid 1980s, New Zealand has focused on peacekeeping in the Pacific
region and is declared a nuclear free zone.
In 1984, Labour government is elected and Prime Minister David Lange begins
radical economic reforms.
Prime Minister Lange resigns in 1989 and is replaced by Geoffrey Palmer.
In 1990, Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer resigns just before the general election,
which is won by the opposition National Party. James Bolger becomes Prime
After leadership challenge, Bolger resigns and Jenny Shipley becomes New
Zealands first woman Prime Minister in 1997.
In 2008, New Zealands economy goes into recession for the first time since


C. Climate:

In a normal year, New Zealand has decently mild temperature, moderately high
rainfall, and lots of sunshine. Temperatures are spread out in a wide range, and
decrease as you travel south. Being a small island, most of the country lies close to
the coast, resulting in mild temperatures.

On the South Island, the Southern Alps stand as a barricade from the moist winds
blowing in from the Tasman Sea, resulting in a wet climate on the western side of
the mountains, and a dry climate on the eastern side. After the winds let out all their
moisture, they continue east collecting heat and speed, crossing the Canterbury
Plains and occasionally causing ferociously hot summers.

On the North Island, the western side of the volcanoes draws more rainfall than the
eastern slopes, but doesnt result in nearly as much rain as in the South Island.

Snow in New Zealand falls in the mountainous areas such as the Central Plateau in
the north, the Southern Alps in the south, and some inland areas such as Canterbury
and Otago. Snow is rare among the coastal areas with the exception of the South
Islands east coast.

New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it has opposite seasons to
countries living in the Northern Hemisphere.
Seasons are as follows:
Summer: December-February
Autumn: March-May
Winter: June-August
Spring: September-November
During the summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-39
degrees Celsius and between 10-15 degrees Celsius during the winter.

Best time to visit:
If you enjoy outdoor adventures, the warmer months from November to April are
the best time to go explore the beautiful scenery and participate in summer
festivals. However, if you prefer skiing and other winter activities, the best time to
travel is when the snow powder is thickest, from June to August. If you want to
avoid the tourist crowds and holiday seasons, it is best to travel during the spring
and autumn seasons around October-November and April-May.

Clothing needed:
It has been said that New Zealand weather changes so unexpectedly that you may
experience four seasons in one day, so be prepared to pack a wide variety of
clothing items covering warm and cool weather, as well as equipment such as
umbrellas and sunscreen.



D. Points of Interest:
New Zealand is absolutely jam-packed with things to do. The most difficult part
of your trip will be planning and deciding what to do. Whether you are into
adventure, culture, the outdoors, or relaxing in a resort, New Zealand has plenty of
opportunities for you.

Bungy jumping has become a rite of passage for many visitors. If you like
adventure, then taking that heart-stopping leap of faith may be an excellent
attraction for you. If youre going for height, you will want to check out Sky Jump
Ltd, located in Auckland. Sky Jump Ltd is New Zealands highest jump soaring 192m
(630ft) off the ground from Aucklands Sky Tower.
Spelunkers say that New Zealand has some of the most difficult and amazing
caving systems in the world, but even beginner cavers can enjoy the sites. The
Waitomo Caves, in the North Island are the best-known caving areas in New
Zealand. You can brave the caves by foot, climbing, or even floating in a raft.
Other adventure-related activities include Sky Diving for those who want to see
New Zealands beautiful views from above and Rafting through fast flowing rivers for
those who enjoy extreme sports!

Food and Wine
If you prefer indulging in fine cuisine, then the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is
for you! On the trail, you will explore your pick of 120 vineyards and wineries for
tasting. New Zealand has developed a Pacific Rim cuisine, full of a variety of seafood,
award winning cheeses, and their famous lamb. There are also a variety of Food and
Wine festivals throughout the year to attend, such as Taste of Auckland in
November, or the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival in February.

Water Activities
New Zealand is said the be a scuba diving paradise, with the Poor Knights Islands
Marine Reserve, off New Zealands Bay of Islands as one of the worlds top five
diving locations. You can dive almost anywhere; wrecks, drop-offs, and sub-tropical
reefs in clear water. Just dont forget your divers certificate card! Lessons and
certifications in scuba diving are also available.
If physically being in the water isnt for you, do not fear! Kayaking is a wonderful
way to experience New Zealands waterways without getting wet. You can go
anywhere from the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds, to open water
safaris such as Aucklands Huraki Gulf. You may even end up paddling with a flock of
Other water activities include sailing along the stunning coastline, relaxing on a
boat cruise, surfing the roaring waves, or fishing in various lakes, rivers and the

Maori Culture
The Maori are a critical part of New Zealands origins and history. A population of
the Maori still live in New Zealand today and throughout a variety of Maori
attractions, you can experience some of New Zealands true culture. Maori
performances and dances are always exciting events. You may also find yourself
walking through Te Wharenui, a spiritual meeting house for the Maori. Whether you
enjoy different cultures or not, you can always learn something from the Maori.

Walking, Hiking and Nature
New Zealand is known for its beauty. Hiking in New Zealand is the best way to
see the beautiful landscapes and explore the outdoors and wilderness areas. The
national parks and nine Great Walks take you to the most majestic places in New
Zealand. Whether you are a beginner backpacker or hiker, or have been walking for
years, these trails are an absolute must do.

Other Activities
Other general activities include shopping in New Zealand markets, enjoying the
nightlife at Aucklands SkyCity Casino, or relaxing in New Zealands hot pools and
health spas. No matter how old or young, adventurous or introverted, New Zealand
has an activity or sight seeing event for you.

E. People

Out of the 4.4 million New Zealand residents, 69% are of European descent,
14.6% are indigenous Maori, 9.2% are Asian, and 6.9% are non-Maori Pacific Islanders.
While in New Zealand, you may hear some of the locals refer to themselves as Kiwis.
Kiwi is the nickname used as self-reference and internationally for the people from New
Zealand. The Kiwi is a flightless bird, and also the national symbol of New Zealand. The
term Kiwi is not an offensive demographic label; instead it is viewed as a symbol of pride
for the people. Until the mid-20
century, the Maori population was mostly rural, but by
2001, the Maori were as likely to be living in cities and larger towns as the rest of the
population. While most New Zealanders only speak English, more than half a million
New Zealanders speak at least one other language. One in four Mori speak the Maori
language and have made conscious efforts to keep it alive. The most common language
besides English and Maori is Samoan, which is spoken by more than 80,000 people in
New Zealand.
More than half of New Zealanders live in the northern half of the North Island.
The urban areas around Auckland are filled with more than one million people, more
than the population of the entire South Island. About 90% of the Maori live in the North
Island. Three out of four New Zealanders live in urban areas. The most concentrated
cities are Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch. Only one in seven people
live in rural areas. One third of New Zealands residents rent homes rather than owning
them. Detached, single-family houses make up around 80% of all private dwellings. The
number of larger homes (four or more bedrooms) has been slowly rising, as a result of
increased wealth and greater inequalities in income. A few New Zealanders own a
second or holiday home.
Women spend more time doing unpaid work than men and are more likely to
care for other household members. Discrimination based on sexual orientation was
made illegal in 1993 by the Human Rights Act. In fact, by 2003, New Zealand had openly
gay and transsexual members of Parliament.
Education through state schools is free for children ages 5 to 19, with the
exception that parents may be expected to pay fees to cover school expenses that the
state does not meet. Most New Zealand children start school at age five. One quarter of
New Zealanders age 15 and older have no educational qualification, while one in eight
people hold a university degree.
About half of the population list Christianity as their religion. The largest
denominations are Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian. However, under a quarter of
those who identify themselves as Christians actually attend church regularly. Other
popular religions include Hindu, Buddhism, and Islam. Following the 19
century, most
of the Maori have embraced features of Christianity.
97% of households own telephones and one third of private households have
access to the Internet. Around 90% of households have at least one vehicle and only one
in twenty people walk to work. Only 2% of travel is made by bus, and even less by train.
Some New Zealand stars include actor Russell Crowe, country singer Keith Urban,
and director of Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson.


F. Economy
The main industries of New Zealand are agriculture, timber, energy, and tourism.
New Zealands main source of income comes from agriculture. Around 50% of New
Zealands total export income comes from meat, dairy products, and wool. 68 million
sheep and 4.8 million beef cattle are supplied in New Zealand. The beef industry is
growing rapidly and supplies around 90 countries, including the U.K, Iran, Russia, Japan,
the U.S. and Canada. New Zealand is also one of the largest dairy product exporters,
with 3.3 dairy cows in the country. Timber is the next most important industry. 1.2
million hectares of product plantation forest and 6.2 million hectares of indigenous
forest cover the country. Forest export products include timber, wood pulp and chips,
paper, building boards, plywood, veneers, and a variety of oils. New Zealands largest
forest product customers are Australia and Japan. When it comes to energy supplies,
New Zealand does not have large mineral deposits, so it relies on imported raw
materials to manufacture chemicals. 50% of New Zealands energy needs are supplied
by imported petroleum and hydroelectricity, natural coal and gas, solar energy and
geothermal steam cover the rest. Nuclear power will most likely never be used in the
future of New Zealand. The country is the top earner of foreign exchange and brings in a
huge income from tourism. The majority of New Zealands visitors come from Australia,
but more and more visitors are traveling from North America, Japan, the U.K, Europe
and Taiwan.
The crops grown for local markets are commonly wheat, barely, maize, oats,
vegetables, berry fruit, and tobacco. Export crops include malting barley, herbage seeds,
and a variety of herbs and oilseed rape. Fruits such as apples and pears are also
important export items.
The currency of New Zealand is the NZ dollar, which has gained considerable
ground against other currencies in recent years, such as the US dollar. New Zealand
dollars have values of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The coins have values of 10, 20, and
50 cents, $1 and $2. There is a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). One United States
Dollar (USD) equals 1.22401 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)



G. Government

New Zealand is a democratic country where the members of parliament (MPs)
are chosen in free and fair elections. They have a singer chamber of parliament, which is
made up of the House of Representatives (120 MPs), and the Governor-General. The
house is elected for a maximum three-year term. The government counts on parliament
for its actions and policies. Ministers answer to parliament for their own actions and
policies and for the actions and policies of the departments that they have responsibility
for. Most ministers are members of the cabinet. The cabinet is the main decision-
making body of the government. New Zealand has an unwritten constitution. Queen
Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and Head of State. The Governor-General is the
Queens representative for the country who has all the powers of the Queen in relation
to New Zealand. Although the Queen and Governor-General are an important part of
the government, they remain politically neutral and do not get involved in the political
contest. In addition, New Zealand possesses sub-national elected government bodies
such as territorial local authorities, district heath boards, and school boards of trustees.
New Zealands current Governor-General is Jeremiah Mateparae. He is the 20

Governor-General and has been in office since 2011. He was formerly Chief of the New
Zealand Defense Force, the first Maori to hold the position, and the Director of the New
Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau. The current Prime Minister is
John Phillip Key. He is the 38
Prime Minister and has been in office since 2008. He has
led the New Zealand National Party since 2006.
H. Census Data

According to the World Bank and Population Reference Bureau, as of 2011 the
population is 4.405 million. In 2010, the GDP (in USD) was $142.5 billion. As of 2011, Life
expectancy was 83 years for females and 79 years for males. 20% of New Zealands
population is under the age of 15 years old. 14% of the population is aged 65 years old.
Infant morality rate was 5.1 as of 2011.

Population in 2000:

Population in 2010:

Predicted population for 2020:


I. Language
English is the common language of New Zealand, so when traveling,
communication will be quite easy. However, there are many Kiwi and Maori terms and
phrases that you may want to know before traveling over to New Zealand.

Beaut = Great, Good fun
Brekkie = Short for breakfast
Buggered = Exhausted
Bloke = The common man, The ordinary guy in the street
Cheers = Goodbye, Thanks, or Good luck
Choice = Very good, Great, Excellent
Dairy = Convenience store, sometimes called the corner dairy
Motu = Island
Ta = Thanks
Wop-Wops = In the middle of nowhere

Haere mai/Nau mai = Welcome
Kia ora = Hello, Good morning/afternoon/evening, Thank you
Kei te pehea ko? = How are you?
Ko wai tou ingoa? = Whats your name?
E noho ra = Goodbye (said by person leaving)
E haere ra = Goodbye (said by person staying)
Kia pai to ra = Have a nice day
Kaore au e marama/Aroha mai = I dont understand
Arohaina mai = Excuse me, Sorry
Kei hea te wharepaku? = Wheres the toilet?
J. Health Concerns

New Zealand does not have any vaccination requirements for travellers.
However, The World Health Organization recommends that all travellers have recieved
vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and polio,
and hepatitis B, regardless of destination
Violent crime is not common in New Zealand, but Auckland is considered the
crime capital of the country, however it is very safe by most international city
standards. The biggest issue would be car theft. Car theft is a major problem and
travellers are easy targets. Avoid leaving valuables in vehicles. If you must leave items in
the car, pack them in the trunk of the car.
Attacks on humans from marine life are rare, but occasionally happens. Do take
precaution when swimming out in the ocean.
There is a small risk of developing Amoebic Meningitis from swimming in
geothermal pools in New Zealand in the Rotorua and Taupo regions. To prevent the
symptoms, keep head above water when swimming or bathing. If you drink untreated
water from streams or lakes, you may come across Giardiasis. Use water filters, boil
water, or treat water with iodine before you drink from streams or lakes to avoid the
giardia parasite. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, so
make sure you monitor your UV exposure carefully. Always use SPF30+ sunscreen and
make sure you apply 30 minutes before exposure and reapply when needed.

K. Dos and Donts

Even though New Zealanders speak English, that doesnt always mean they act
just like Americans. There are certain behaviors that may be acceptable in the United
States that are not acceptable in New Zealand. When shaking hands with someone,
women will always be expected to offer their hands first and shake in a firm confident
manner. The V for victory sign should not be used, as it is an insulting gesture. Do not
photograph someone without his or her permission, out of curtsy. In the United States,
it is usually okay to be fashionably late. In New Zealand however, that is not an option
as most events start promptly on time as a part of the culture. In the United States, we
think of mealtimes as a social event to interact. While in New Zealand, make sure your
talking is drawn down to a minimum while eating. The conversation will stop during
your meal and resume after you are finished. A few things to remember is that
afternoon tea is between 3:00-4:00pm and tea is between 6:00-8:00pm during the
evening meal. Tips are rare, and may even be refused in some instances. Cover your
mouth when yawning and do not chew gum in public. Address people using their full
title (ex: Mr., Mrs., Miss.). Do not be loud or boisterous in pubic, even when intoxicated.
At all costs, avoid comparing New Zealand to Australia. They are very separate countries
and the people of New Zealand will take offense if you mix them up.

L. Conclusion

I chose to do my travel guide on New Zealand because I love the outdoors. I have
always wanted to visit New Zealand, as it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I
love the landscapes and mountains and I hope to someday backpack throughout the
country. In fact, this project created an even stronger wanderlust as it engrained all the
wonderful things about New Zealand. In regards to the geography of New Zealand, the
country is relatively small, about the size of Colorado if it were all smashed together.
The history of New Zealand is a fascinating one as it did not start off as its own country.
The Maori were the first people of New Zealand, and soon the British came and took
over, causing the New Zealand land wars. Today, New Zealand is independent of Britain.
I think it is amazing how two completely different cultures can come together and live
together in peace. North America, instead of trying to live in peace with the Native
Americans, they were driven out. Even though New Zealand suffered through the New
Zealand Land Wars between the Maori and British, in the long run, the two cultures live
in peace.
For people like me, who enjoy seasons, but not to the drastic Iowan measures,
New Zealand is the perfect country to visit. They have nice temperatures all year round,
rarely spiking above 30 degrees Celsius and hardly ever dropping below 10 degrees
Celsius. The summers and winters are both very mild, which are great for activities of all
seasons. Although there is a wide range of activities to do while in New Zealand, the
outdoor activities are the ones that drew me in. They were the very reason I chose New
Zealand as a topic. I think it would be incredible to hike the nine Great Walks in the
duration of my life. I love photography, mountains and other beautiful landscapes, so
hiking and photographing the outdoors of New Zealand is on my bucket list. In addition
to hiking, there are a plethora of other things to do such as Bunge jumping, kayaking,
shipping, wine tasting, and much, much more.
There are two major populations in New Zealand, the Maori, and those of
European descent. 69% are of European descent and 14.6% are Maori. New Zealanders
often reference themselves as Kiwis after the flightless bird, the Kiwi. The Kiwi also
happens to be their national symbol. More than half of the population lives in the
northern part of the Northern Island. I think if I visited New Zealand I might pop in to
see the densely populated areas, but then would steer clear of the large cities. It is more
difficult to enjoy the true beauty of the land with the crowding of people. While they
have a variety of present religions, Christianity is their main religion. Agriculture, timber,
energy, and tourism are New Zealands main industries. Agriculture takes over as the
main source of income for the country. The New Zealand currency is the NZD (New
Zealand Dollar). One USD equals 1.22401 NZD. The government of New Zealand is a
democratic one. The members of parliament (MPs) are selected by free and fair
elections. Parliament is made up of the House of Representatives and the Governor-
General. Queen Elizabeth II is the current Queen of New Zealand and Head of State. The
current Governor-General is Jeremiah Mateparae and the current Prime Minister is John
Phillip Key.

As of 2011 the population is 4.405 million, according to the World Bank and
Population Reference Bureau. While visiting New Zealand, it is important to learn a few
Kiwi and Maori phrases or words. One of the most important phrases is a Maori one.
Kia ora means hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and thank you.
There are not many health concerns regarding New Zealand. Just make sure you
have been updated on all your vaccinations that you would have when traveling
anywhere in the world, not just New Zealand. If anything, dont drink the lake or river
water without purifying it first to avoid Giardiasis. Also, make sure you apply sunscreen
regularly, as New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. If you
are being transported by car, make sure you lock your car doors and take all valuables
with you. Crime is not that common in New Zealand, but car theft is one of the main
criminal issues. Auckland is considered the crime capital of the country, so be extra
careful with your personal belongings when staying there. Another reason why I want to
visit New Zealand is because it is a country where English is the primary language.
However, do not let that fool you. Just because they speak the same language that
Americans do does not mean that they have the same mannerisms that we do in the
United States. Make sure you are promptly on time to events as it is not socially
acceptable to be fashionably late. Also, keep your obnoxious behavior to a minimum.
The people of New Zealand tend to be a little more reserved, even when intoxicated.
Meal times are not used for socializing. Talking is mostly done before meals and is
resumed after the meal. Make sure you do not mix up Australia and New Zealand. The
Kiwi people of New Zealand are very offended by this remark.
This project was a great way to open my eyes about a country in depth,
especially one that I want to visit so much someday. I have learned a lot of surprising
things that I will forever remember and be able to reference when talking about New
Zealand or perhaps visiting someday.


M. Bibliography