New Zealand Geography
New Zealand is a kingdom in the Commonwealth of Nations, headed by the Queen as Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand as head of state. The island state is located in the southern Pacific Ocean and includes the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand. If New Zealand appears on the map as an appendage to Australia, it is completely isolated from this continent, which is made clear by the distance of about 1,600 kilometers between the two states. The distances to other coasts are even greater: 2,300 kilometers to Antarctica, 9,000 kilometers to Singapore and 10,600 kilometers to South America. The total area of New Zealand is about 267,000 square kilometers. The island nation ranks between Great Britain and Japan.
The two main islands of New Zealand are separated from each other by the Cook Strait, which is around 35 kilometers wide. At 151,700 square kilometers, the South Island takes up the greater part of the state area than the approximately 114,500 square kilometers of the North Island. According to 800zipcodes, New Zealand also includes a large number of smaller islands, of which the Stewart Islands in the south, with an area of 1,750 square kilometers, are by far the largest. The extension from north to south is around 1,700 kilometers, and that from west to east is barely more than 200 kilometers. At no point in New Zealand are you more than 110 kilometers from the sea.
The North Island is of volcanic origin and is characterized by a young volcanic mountain range, the Central Plateau, running from southwest to northeast. Here is the Ruapehu crater mountain, which at 2,803 meters is the highest mountain on the North Island. It is followed by Mount Taranaki at 2,520 meters. In the center of the island lies the Taupo Sea in the middle of a collapsed crater, the largest inland lake in the country, which has an area of 626 square kilometers. The landscape of the central plateau, which presumably consisted of once molten rock such as pumice and lava from the Pacific plate, is dominated by countless geysers, mud volcanoes and solfataras. Another volcanic fault line runs in the north-west of the island, with volcanic mountains that are not quite as massive and extends as far as Auckland. However, this region is predominantly dominated by plains and gentle hills. The east coast of the North Island is characterized by numerous bays and a large number of small islands, of which the Coromandel Peninsula and other areas even have a partially jungle-like vegetation.
Over the entire South Island, the New Zealand Alps run like a gigantic backbone that slopes steeply to the Tasman Sea in the west. The New Zealand Alps even reach alpine heights with Mount Cook, which at 3,754 meters is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Rugged, fjord-like river valleys shape the coast of this island in the extreme southwest. In the east, the high mountains gradually merge into vast plains with huge debris moraines, while in the south of the island the Southland, an extensive and very fertile plain, spreads out.
The Stewart Islands also belong to the national territory of New Zealand whose nature is comparable to that of Scotland. The Chatham Islands, Bounty Island, Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands and the Antipode Islands also belong to New Zealand, of which only the Chatham Islands are inhabited. These islands are exposed to the constant wind and can be compared to the South American Falkland Islands because of their very barren landscape. Finally, the Ross Conservation Area in Antarctica is part of New Zealand, which is absolutely uninhabited except for the researchers at Scott Base.
New Zealand – key data
Area: 267,710 km²
Population: 4.3 million residents (estimate July 2011, CIA). Europeans 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asians 5.7%, Pacific islanders 4.4%, others 0.5%, residents with mixed ancestors 7.8%, no information 3.8% (2001 census ).
Population density: 16 people per km²
Population growth: 0.882% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Wellington (449,000 residents, 2006)
largest city: Auckland (1.32 million residents, 2006)
Highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook, 3,754 m
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, 0 m
Form of government: New Zealand has been a parliamentary monarchy since 1907 and is represented in the Commonwealth. A written constitution does not exist. The New Zealand Parliament consists of a single chamber with 120 members. New Zealand has been de facto independent from Great Britain (Dominion status) since 1907, and on November 25, 1947, New Zealand’s parliament accepted the offer of complete sovereignty.
Administrative division: 16 regions (Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington and West Coast) and 1 territory (Chatham Islands).
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand (since February 6, 1952) represented by Governor General Jerry Mateparae (since August 31, 2011).
Head of Government: Prime Minister John Key, since November 19, 2008
Language: The official languages in New Zealand are English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language
Religion: Anglicans 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterians 10.9%, Methodists 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptists 1.3%, other Christians 9.4%, others 3, 3%, no information 17.2%, no religion 26% (2001 census).
Local time: CET + 11 hrs
. Summer time in New Zealand is between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October (CET + 12 hrs).
The time difference to Central Europe is +10 h in both winter and summer.
CET + 11¾ hrs.
Between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October there is summer time on the Chatham Islands (CET + 12¾ hrs).
The time difference to Central Europe is + 10¾ h in both winter and summer.
International phone code: + 64
Mains voltage: 230/240 V, 50 Hz