Health conditions vary greatly across the many countries
in Oceania. Infant mortality, which is a good measure of the
general health of a population, ranges from 7 Hawaii in
Hawaii and under 20 ‰ in New Caledonia, French Polynesia,
Guam, Fiji and American Samoa to over 50 ‰ in Papua New
Guinea and Vanuatu. Similarly, the average life span is only
about 60 years in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, but over 70
years in Hawaii, New Caledonia, Guam, American Samoa, Wallis
and Futuna, French Polynesia and Palau.
In the poorest countries in Oceania, the pattern of
illness is characterized by deficient nutrition and
infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria,
diarrhea, respiratory infections and intestinal worms.
Outside urban areas lacking 2/3 of
the population have access to safe drinking water, while
3/4 not have health safe disposal of
waste water and latrine.
In other countries, diet and lifestyle have changed in
the western direction. This has led to a strong increase in
the incidence of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes
mellitus (diabetes), atherosclerosis and heart
disease, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Nauru is a scare
on how particularly vulnerable populations may be exposed to
Western abundance. Mainly due to obesity and excessive diet
and lack of exercise, more than 70% of Naurus are severely
obese and 40% have diabetes.
Incorporating radioactive iodine compounds from nuclear
weapons trials has in some places increased the population's
risk of thyroid disease, including cancer.
To see country facts about New Zealand, just click
New Zealand is an independent state of Oceania in the
southwestern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1900 kilometers
southeast of Australia. New Zealand consists of three main
islands, the North Island (North Island), the South Island
(South Island) and Stewart Island south of the South Island,
and several hundred smaller islands.
New Zealand also manages the Tokelau Islands in the
Pacific and claims the Ross Dependency in the Antarctic. The
Cook Islands and Niue are self-governed island communities
with free association with New Zealand.
Three-quarters (2013) of New Zealand's population comes
from European immigrants and their descendants. Of these, 90
percent are of British or Irish origin. The first people to
settle on the land mass, the Moors, are called the
indigenous people. They constitute a large minority of about
15 per cent. Kiwis are a neutral collective term
for New Zealanders.
The economy is primarily related to services (63 per cent
in 2013), agriculture, livestock and industry. Up to 90 per
cent of the country's production of meat, fish, milk, fruit
and wine is exported.
New Zealand's national anthem is 'God Defend New Zealand'
The landmass was named Nieuw Zeeland, in English
New Zealand, from discoverer Abel Tasman after his
Dutch home province, Zeeland. The Moorish name of the
country, Aotearoa, is usually translated as 'the land of the
long white cloud'. In 2019, a public debate began to equate
Aotearoa and New Zealand as official names
of the country.
New Zealand Geography and environment
The two main islands, Nordøya and Sørøya, are separated
by the Cook Strait. Both islands have many mountains. In
total, they have a coastline totaling 15,000 km.
New Zealand has active volcanoes and geysers. Each year
there are about 20,000 earthquakes. Of these, about 200 are
noticeable to humans, and some have done extensive damage.
On the North Island there are mountains in the southern
half. Ruapehu, which rises 2797 meters above sea level, is
the highest peak. North of this volcano lies the country's
largest lake, Taupo, in an area with numerous hot springs.
The north side consists of a land tongue with lowlands,
hills and many small islands. Along the coast in both east,
west and south there are fertile lowlands. The west side
gets more rain. In the east, the possibility of farming and
livestock varies depending on the rain shadow.
70 per cent of Sørøya consists of mountain chains. The
most powerful is the Southern Alps, which extend along
almost the entire island from northeast to southwest. Here
is the highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook, 3754 meters
above sea level. In the mountains there are over 3000
glaciers and many narrow lakes, most over 300 meters deep.
In the southwest are narrow fjords and narrow valleys with
waterfalls (Fiordland). Lowlands are found especially along
the east and south coasts.
Stewart Island/Rakiura has many hills and is
covered by temperate rainforest. Mount Anglem/Hananui
(980 meters) is the highest peak. The majority of the island
is a national park . There are few roads and only
one permanent town, Oban.
The climate is characterized by proximity to the western
wind belt in the southern hemisphere. Migrating low pressure
creates a mild climate without large temperature
fluctuations. In the north the vegetation is subtropical and
in the south temperate, but with little difference between
summer and winter temperatures in both the south and the
north. Due to the high mountain ranges in the west, there
are sometimes extreme differences in the annual rainfall
between the west and the east.
Due to the country's long-standing isolation from the
rest of the world, the flora and fauna are unique. Of the
approximately 2,300 vascular plants, 82 percent are found in
New Zealand alone. On the North Island there are forests of
kaurifuru and on Sørøya forests of southern beech, with lush
endemic rainforest west of the Southern Alps. Wooden ferns
and ferns are also numerous.
Harvesting in the 1800s and early 1900s has resulted in
80 percent of the original forest having disappeared. The
remaining forest is currently strictly protected by law and
is monitored by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Three bat species, seals and whales are the only native
mammals; all other mammals on the islands are introduced. Of
53 species of mammals are about ten wild. The Maori
introduced the dog and rat. They also hunted birds.
Many of the country's native bird species cannot fly, as
there were no terrestrial mammals in New Zealand for an
estimated 60 million years. More than 20 species of avian
large moose birds have been exterminated. Two owls, a hawk
and a falcon make up what remains of the original bird of
Otherwise, there are native parrots such as kea and owl
parrot (kakapo). Kivi (five species) is New Zealand's
national bird. All endangered endemic endangered avian
species are protected by nature and are actively monitored
by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
New Zealand has no snakes, but a few endemic lizards
including two species of tuatara (broøgler). Europeans
introduced black swan, cane, catfish and grayling as well as
two other rat species, goat, pig, rabbit, cat, cattle,
cattle, llama and sheep. Furthermore, snow mice, noise tax
and scrotum rats were introduced for the fur. American
moose, nest and European deer were introduced in recent
times for hunting purposes. There are no kangaroos, but
wallabies have been released near Christchurch. These and
the crabs are the only mammals found in both Australia and
In the sea, there are plenty of animal species, including
sharks, penguins, killer whales, seals and sea lions.
Trout and salmon are exposed in lakes and streams. In
addition, salmon is grown in both aquaculture and freshwater
plants. Besides marine and aquaculture, is ø sters, scallops
and green lip mussel important export products.
New Zealand People and society
About 74 per cent of the population is of European,
mainly British, descent. 15 percent are Maori, while Asians
make up 12 percent and non-Maori Pacific Islanders seven
percent. The figures are from the 2013 census where people
could indicate more ethnicities, which is why the total of
the percentages is higher than 100. About 80 percent of the
population lives in cities and urban areas. Three-quarters
of the country's population lives on the North Island.
Wellington is the capital, but Auckland is the largest city.
The population composition of the big cities has a more
multicultural character. 39 per cent of Auckland's
inhabitants are born outside New Zealand and only 59 per
cent of Auckland's inhabitants are of European descent
50 percent of the population are Christian, although only
ten percent state that they regularly visit a church. 40
percent are without religious affiliation. Religious
minorities are mainly Hindus and Buddhists.
96.1 percent of the population speak English, 3.7 percent
Maori and 2.2 percent Samoan.
Life expectancy at birth is 83.4 years for women and 79.9
years for men (2016).
New Zealand State and politics
New Zealand is a monarchy with Queen Elizabeth 2 as head
of state, represented by a Governor General. The country has
a parliamentary system of government. The Prime Minister is
the leader of the majority party in the House of
Representatives. The house has 120 members elected for three
years. From these, a government is appointed.
New Zealand is divided into eleven regions and one
territory in addition to the freely affiliated states and a
number of uninhabited islands. There are 67 territorial
authorities ("municipalities") with varying relations
with the regions. New Zealand is among the few countries in
the world where the boundaries of the different levels of
administration do not match.
New Zealand is a member of, inter alia the United
Nations, Commonwealth, World Trade Organization, OECD, APEC,
Pacific Islands Forum and ANZUS.
Military service is voluntary. The country has army, navy
and air force.
New Zealand History
New Zealand is one of the last large land masses
inhabited by humans. Eastern Polynesians immigrated between
1250 and 1300 according to our times (possibly) and
developed Maori culture.
The Dutchman Abel Tasman was probably the first European
to visit the archipelago, in 1642. He named it New Zealand.
In 1769-1770 James Cook surveyed almost the entire coast and
then recommended the archipelago to the United Kingdom for
At the end of the 18th century, traders, whales and
sealers visited the archipelago from Britain and Norway,
among others, without settling. British missionaries settled
among the Moors as the only immigrants from the early 1800s
to about 1830.
From 1830 settlers began to flow towards New Zealand,
initially without the permission of neither the Maoris nor
the British crown. Contradictions arose between immigrants
and the natives; Between 1801 and 1840, 30,000 to 40,000
Maoris were killed in more than 600 battles. In addition
contributed introduced diseases to decrease in the Maori
population simultaneously with the colonists put under his
Maori land for sheep farming.
In 1840 New Zealand became a British colony; from 1852
with his own government. New Zealand became a pioneering
country in terms of democratization and social policy: men
gained universal suffrage in 1889, women in 1893 and age
bracket for anyone over 65 were introduced in 1899. New
Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907. 40 hours
working week was introduced in 1936.
New Zealand participated in the first and second world
war with large forces on the allied side. The Americans
created temporary military bases in the country.
In 1984, New Zealand declared the South Pacific a
nuclear-free zone and the United States declared its defense
obligations to the country.
Since the 1970s, the activism of the indigenous people,
including in connection with land control, has increased.
An agreement with Australia on the gradual introduction
of free trade came into full force in 1995. In 2008, New
Zealand became the first Western country to enter into a
free trade agreement with China.
New Zealand Economy and business
Agriculture is very important to New Zealand's economy,
but still accounts for less than ten percent of the
country's gross domestic product (GDP). The main emphasis is
on animal husbandry, and half of the agricultural land is
grazing land. New Zealand is the world's largest exporter of
sheep and lamb meat and wool, accounting for about 40
percent of world trade in these products. The country is
also a major producer of butter and other dairy products.
The number of sheep is declining, with increasing
emphasis on milk production. The most important agricultural
products are barley, wheat, peas and fruits (kiwi, apple,
pear). New Zealand is a major exporter of wine.
Forestry is important. Over 20 per cent of the area is
forest covered, but felling of native native forest is
currently illegal. Almost all harvesting is therefore now
taking place in planted forest.
Fishing is operated within the world's fourth largest
economic zone. 90 percent of the catch value is exported.
Aquaculture is operated with the production of oysters,
mussels and salmon. Salmon farming is also operated in
Coal is extracted on Sørøya and there is operation on
smaller metal and petroleum deposits. There is ample supply
of hydropower and geothermal heat, which together with wind
power cover 82 percent of the country's electricity needs.
The industry includes in particular the processing of
agricultural products and the production of consumer goods
for the domestic market. New Zealand is one of the world's
leading manufacturers of recreational craft.
New Zealand's main trading partners are China, Australia,
the United States and Japan.
With the country's clean and beautiful nature, tourism
plays a major and increasing role (6.1 per cent of GDP in
New Zealand Knowledge and culture
Schooling is mandatory for all children aged 6-16, but
almost all children start school when they reach the age of
five. An increasing number of schools are bilingual (English
and Maori). 99 percent of the adult population can read and
write. There are eight universities and many colleges.
New Zealand has 23 daily newspapers (2018) and many
weekly newspapers. In 1988, the state broadcaster was split
into Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand. There are
many local radio stations and television channels.
The earliest poems were Maori poems and oral narratives.
Some of these were translated into English by missionaries.
New Zealand literature in English was produced by emigrant
writers from the 1860s. Only from the 1890s was the
literature written by writers born in the country.
Novel art was strongly developed in the 20th century.
Central names are Katherine Mansfield and Frank Sargeson. Of
the lyricists after the Second World War are mentioned Janet
Frame, Bill Manhire and Hone Tuwhare, the first Moorish
lyricist who wrote in English.
Since the 1980s, there have been an increasing number of
poets of Moorish and Polynesian descent, including Alan
Duff, Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace. Maurice Gee and
Lloyd Jones are renowned novelists and Roger Hall a
The Maoris are known for wood carving and tattoo art. Key
sculptors in the 1940s and 1950s were Alison Duff and Molly
Macalister, and in the 1960s Paul Beadle and Greer Twiss.
Prominent painters of the 20th century were Robert Nettleton
Field, Colin McCahon, Christopher Perkins and Mountford
Tosswill Wollaston, among others. Of central younger
painters, Julia Morison, Paratene Matchitt and Ruth Watson
can be mentioned.
Maori vocal music is an important part of culture. In
connection with guest visits and funerals, the group
unanimously sings by a leader. As entertainment, the Maoris
developed kapa haka, a kind of dance theater with
multi-voice singing. Immigrants brought European music
traditions with them. The country's most famous composer is
Douglas Lilburn (1915–2001).
New Zealand's first topical films were produced in 1898.
Documentary films were unmatched until 1970. The feature
film "Once Were Warriors" (1994), based on Alan Duff's novel
of the same name, received a lot of international attention.
Piano (1993) by director Jane Campion won the main prize at
the Cannes Film Festival. Peter Jackson got a big name with
the feature films The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003) and The
New Zealand's most popular sports are rugby and cricket.
Sailing is another national sport.