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Portal:New Zealand

Introduction

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New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that later were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full independence in 1947, but the British monarch remained the head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori, and NZ Sign Language, with English being very dominant.

Selected article

University of Auckland Clock Tower.jpg
The University of Auckland (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau) is New Zealand's largest university. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is now made up of eight faculties over six campuses, and has more than 39,000 students at April 2006. [1] Over 1300 doctoral candidates were enrolled at the University of Auckland in 2004.

It offers a wide range of programmes including Arts, Business, Education, Music, Teacher Training and Special Education, Architecture, Planning, Nursing, Creative and Performing Arts, Theology, Science, Information Management, Engineering, Medicine, Optometry, Food and Wine Science, Property, Law, Fine and Visual Arts and Pharmacy.

It also provides the most conjoint combinations across the entire nation, with over 35 combinations available. Conjoint programs allow students to achieve multiple degrees in a shortened period of time.

The University of Auckland was the only New Zealand institution ranked in the top 50 of the THES - QS World University Rankings, ranked at number 46.

Selected image

This is a panorama of the view from the White Horse above Waimate, in New Zealand. Waimate can be seen near the centre, while part of the White Horse can be see on the lower right

Waimate is a town and district in the South Island of New Zealand. It is 40 km south of Timaru in south Canterbury, 20 km north of the Waitaki River. Waimate is well-known locally for its population of wallabies. These marsupials were introduced from Australia and now live in the wild in the countryside surrounding the town.

Did you know...

... that the Hocken Collections, one of the country's main historical archives, is housed in a former cheese factory?

... that Lloyd Geering was tried for heresy in 1967?

... that the main streets of Martinborough in the Wairarapa were deliberately laid out in the shape of a Union Jack?

... that the township of Whangamomona proclaimed itself a republic in 1989 when boundary changes moved it out of the Taranaki Region?


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