50 Fascinating Facts about New Zealand

New Zealand is an island that is located east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. The country is also located south of New Caledonia, Tonga and Fiji. It is comprised of multiple islands, with the North and South Island being the largest, and the most populated. Some of the smaller islands that are a part of New Zealand aren’t populated by humans. New Zealand’s total population is 4.4 million, while the capital city of Wellington is home to 395,000 people. The country has three official languages, English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language. The majority of the population speaks English, since approximately 78% of the people are of European descent. It’s estimated that 14.6% of the population is of indigenous Maori origin, and many still speak the language. The country has no official religion and practices religious freedom under their constitution. Their flag is similar to the United Kingdom’s flag, and has a royal blue background with the red and white symmetrical cross and X in one corner. In the other corner of the horizontal flag lie four solid red stars.

New Zealand Facts

1
New Zealand has an estimated total nominal GDP of $161.8 billion, and a nominal per capita GDP of $36,648.
2
The country is run by a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, and is ruled by Queen Elizabeth II.
3
The New Zealand economy experiences brain drains on a yearly basis. Many of New Zealand's brightest professionals are leaving the country to work in Australia and Britain. Nearly 25% of their most educated have left since the 1970s.
4
New Zealand participates greatly in many independent trade routes. They rely heavily on trade routes in order to keep their GDP increasing. They export a variety of goods including agriculture, fishing, forestry products and plants. Their major imports include oil, machinery, vehicles and textiles.
5
Tourism plays a huge part in bringing wealth to New Zealand as well. Each year, tourists contribute $15 billion to the country's GDP.
6
New Zealand imports most of its goods from China, Australia and the United States.
7
Maori people are indigenous to New Zealand and are of Polynesian decent.
8
New Zealand citizens are nicknamed Kiwis.
9
All of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand.
10
The most popular sport in New Zealand is rugby.
11
New Zealand was founded in 1642 by a Dutch sailor. Several of his crew members were killed by indigenous people, and he left. Over 100 years later in 1789, another sailor entered the land to map out the country.
12
The country has two official national anthems that are taught and sung equally throughout the entire country.
13
New Zealand's national holiday is celebrated each year on February 6th. It is called Waitangi Day and is a great time to visit with friends and family and have picnics outside.
14
The Maori people have many traditions that can be found throughout New Zealand. In almost every public event there is a Maori ceremonial dimension in order to keep their culture alive.
15
Newzild is the term used for New Zealand English. It is a mixture of English and Maori languages.
16
Anzac Day is a national holiday celebrated in New Zealand in order to remember all of the New Zealanders who have served and died in any wars or conflicts. The day is also celebrated in Australia in order to honor their veterans.
17
The Queen's Birthday is always celebrated on the first Monday in June by having numerous military ceremonies and parties.
18
Along with their other popular exports, New Zealand also provides much of the world with sheep meat. There are nine sheep to each one person in the country.
19
New Zealanders rarely use paper money. Most of the people use solely credit or debit cards to buy goods.
20
The driving age in New Zealand is 15, and the drinking age is 18. However, minors below the age of 18 are allowed to drink in public if they are with responsible adults.
21
The first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest was Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander.
22
22% of the residents of New Zealand were born overseas.
23
To become an official New Zealand citizen, you must sing their national anthem in front of the immigration committee.
24
In 1926, New Zealand became a founding member of the British Commonwealth.
25
Auckland is one of the largest Polynesian cities in the world.
26
New Zealand has become known for helping Pacific island economies and democratic nations, including donating millions to the island of Niue after destruction from a tropical cyclone.
27
New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa. This is translated to mean "land of the long white cloud."
28
New Zealand is made up of two land masses known as North Island and South Island. It also has several smaller islands.
29
Over 70% of citizens are of European descent.
30
Over three-quarters of the population reside on the North Island.
31
About 1/3 of the population resides in the metropolitan city, Auckland.
32
In 1893, New Zealand changed the laws to allow women to vote.
33
Sign language is an official language of New Zealand.
34
In New Zealand, a person can start a business in just one day. Unsurprisingly, this is the fastest time in the world.
35
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu in Hawkes Bay has the distinction of being the place with the longest name in the world.
36
There are no land snakes in New Zealand.
37
Bungee jumping originated in New Zealand.
38
Same sex marriage was legalized in the country in 2013.
39
New Zealand has the smallest wage gap between men and women. At 5%, it is the lowest in the world.
40
Approximately one-third of the country is protected national park land.
41
New Zealand's casualty rate in World War I was 58%.
42
Despite its name, New Zealand's Ninety-Mile beach isn't 90 miles at all. It is only 55 miles long.
43
New Zealand is the second largest producer of wool in the world.
44
New Zealand does not have any nuclear power stations.
45
Three-quarters of New Zealand citizens that live overseas reside in Australia.
46
"Tramping" is the country's most popular activity. Tramping simply means walking or hiking.
47
Many useful inventions have come out of New Zealand. This includes the child-proof cap, electric fence, and disposable syringe.
48
New Zealand earns one billion dollars annually from selling kiwi fruit.
49
New Zealand has won more Olympic gold medals per capita than any other country in the world.
50
This country is one of the least populated nations in the world. It was also the last populated habitable area.

New Zealand is a beautiful country that is has great ties to its history. The country has experienced numerous rulers during its time, but now is an independent island country that is flourishing. Its GDP comes largely from tourism from many European countries. Today, the country thrives through tourism and agriculture exports.

Sources