New Zealand

Flag Coat of arms
God Defend New Zealand
God Save the Queen
Location of New Zealand
Capital Wellington
- From 1952 Elizabeth II
- From 2006 Sir Anand Satyanand
Prime Minister
- From 2008 John Key
Legislature House of Representatives
May 25, 1854 1st Parliament
September 26, 1907 Dominion
December 11, 1931 Statute of Westminster
November 25, 1947 Statute of Westminster Adopted
December 13, 1986 Constitution Act 1986
Commonwealth accession December 11, 1931
Area 268,021 km²
- 2010 4,393,500
 Density 16.3/km²
GDP 2010 (PPP)
- Total US$ 126.1 billion
- Per capita US$ 28,722
Currency New Zealand dollar

New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy in Oceania, and a part of the Realm of New Zealand.


The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.[1]


Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for ten consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy posted a 1.7% decline in 2009, but pulled out of recession late in the year, and achieved 2.1% growth in 2010. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.[2]


  • Elizabeth II () (February 6, 1952 - )


  • Sir Anand Satyanand () (August 23, 2006 - )

Prime Minister

  • John Key () (November 19, 2008 - )


New Zealand Polities

Neighbouring Nations


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview
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