Facts and figures of New Zealand:

Here are some facts and figures of New Zealand.

Early New Zealand History

New Zealand's colourful history commences from the time when the Rangitata Land mass separates from the ancient super continent of Gondwana 80 million years ago, evolving over time to become modern New Zealand. As Polynesians discover and settle New Zealand, thought to be sometime between 950 and 1130 AD, the Moriori people are settling, possibly around the same time, the Chatham Islands, or Rekohu, a small group of islands off the coast of New Zealand.

In 1642 the first of the European explorers, Abel Janszoon Tasman from Holland, sails into New Zealand waters. The first encounter between Maori and European is violent, leading to bloodshed. After partly charting the coastline, Tasman leaves New Zealand without ever having had the occasion to set foot ashore. One hundred years pass by before the next Europeans arrive. In 1769 James Cook, British explorer, and Jean François Marie de Surville, commander of a French trading ship, both arrive by coincidence in New Zealand waters at the same time. Neither ship ever sights the other.

From the late 1790's on, whalers, traders and missionaries arrive, establishing settlements mainly along the far northern coast of New Zealand. Wars and conflicts between Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) tribes were always constant, and weapons used until now were spears or clubs. The arrival of traders leads to a flourishing musket trade with local Maori, who rapidly foresee the advantages of overcoming enemy tribes with this deadly new weapon. The devastating period known as the inter tribal Musket Wars commences.

Rumours of French plans for the colonisation of the South Island help hasten British action to annexe, and then colonise New Zealand. A number of Maori chiefs sign a Treaty with the British on 6th February 1840, to be known as the Treaty of Waitangi. The subsequent influx of European settlers leads to the turbulent period of the New Zealand Wars, also known as the Land Wars, which last for over twenty years. The Maori, although inferior in number, proves a formidable foe

New Zealand Today

New Zealand or Aotearoa which is her Maori name is an island in the South Pacific. New Zealand is an independant member of the British Commonwealth and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.
The area of New Zealand is 270,534 sq Km and is principally made up of three main islands.
The North Island is the most populated and is where the capital Wellington is situated as well as the largest city, Auckland.
The South Island is the largest island and the biggest city in the South is Christchurch.
Stewart Island is at the bottom of the South Island and is sparsely populated.

The population of New Zealand is 4.3 million people made up off the following ethnicities:

European (Pakeha) - 74%
Maori - 13%
Polynesian - 6%
Asian - 6%
Other - 1%

The two official languages of New Zealand are English and Maori.
Christianity makes up 60% with 25% having no religion.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is John Key and he is the leader of the National Party which leans to the centre right.
The main opposition party is Labour which leans to the centre left.

The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar and as of November 4 , 2016 NZD$ 1 = USD$ 0.72.
The Unemployment rate as of November 4, 2016 is 4.9 %.
The KiwiBank variable Home mortgage rate as of November 4, 2016 is 5.45 %
The Official Cash Rate as of November 4, 2016 is 2.0 %.

The 10 biggest cities by population in New Zealand are as follows:

Auckland - 1.4 million
Wellington - 395,000
Christchurch - 375,000
Hamilton - 180,000
Tauranga - 122,000
Palmerston North - 87,000
Hastings - 70,000
Nelson - 61,000
Napier - 58,000

There are 3 main International airports in New Zealand and they are located at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
There are also smaller International airports mainly servicing Australian and Pacific Island destinations.
New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT and is the first major country to see the sun each day.
New Zealand school children start school at the age of 5 and have a 4 term school year.

There are 8 Universities in New Zealand and are as follows:
Auckland University - (Auckland)
University of Technology - (Auckland)
Waikato University - (Hamilton)
Massey University - (Palmerston North)
Victoria University - (Wellington)
Canterbury University - (Christchurch)
Lincoln College - (Christchurch)
Otago - (Dunedin)

The national sport of New Zealand is Rugby and the national team of New Zealand are widely known as The All Blacks.
Other main sports are Rugby League, Cricket, Netball, Basketball and Football.

Here are the words to the World Famous Haka that the All Blacks perform before every match.

Haka in Maori

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
Nana nei i tiki mai
Whakawhiti te ra
A upa ... ne! ka upa ... ne!
A upane kaupane whiti te ra!
Hi !!!

Haka in English

I die! I die! I live! I live!
I die! I die! I live! I live!
This is the hairy man
Who fetched the Sun
And caused it to shine again
One upward step! Another upward step!
An upward step, another.. the Sun shines!

New Zealanders have alot of words that we call 'Kiwi Slang'. Here are just a few:

Aussie - Australia, or an Australian
biscuits - cookies
big smoke - city
cheesed off - mad at someone or something
choppers - teeth
bathroom - literally the room with bath and basin
cordial - a bottle of concentrated fruit-flavored juice
crook - ill, not feeling well
cuppa - usually refers to a cup of hot tea
dairy - small shop selling products
deli - delicatessen
entree - a small appetizer before the main course of the meal
greengrocer - fruit and vegetable shop
hotel - a public bar
kiwis - what New Zealanders call themselves after the Kiwi bird
peckish - a bit hungry
smoko - coffe break at work
takeaway - food to go
trundler - shopping cart
tucker - food

Here are some Maori words and there English meaning

haera ra - farewell
haere mai - welcome
kia ora - hello
haka - war dance and chants performed by the men
hangi - Maori feast where the food is cooked in the ground
Hawaiiki - legendary homeland of the Maori
kumara - sweet potato
manu - bird
pakeha - European
puna - spring of water
roto - lake
whare - house
whanau - family
koha - love