Portal:New Zealand

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THE NEW ZEALAND PORTAL

Flag of New Zealand
Coat of Arms of New Zealand
Location on the world map

New Zealand (Aotearoa in te reo Māori) is a country of two large islands and many much smaller islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. Among South Pacific nations, New Zealand has the largest and most industrialised economy and is second only to Papua New Guinea in population. New Zealand is notable for its isolation, being separated from Australia on the northwest by the Tasman Sea, some 2,000 km wide. The closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand is the Queen of New Zealand and is represented in the country by the non-partisan Governor-General. De facto political power is held by Prime Minister John Key who, as Head of the Government, requires the confidence of the democratically elected New Zealand House of Representatives. The Realm of New Zealand includes the self-governing Cook Islands and Niue, as well as Tokelau and New Zealand's claims in Antarctica.

Selected article

Montana Marlborough Sauvignon blanc in Iittala Glass.jpg
New Zealand wine includes the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc, by critical acclaim. In the 1980s, wineries in New Zealand, especially in the Marlborough region, began producing outstanding, some critics said unforgettable, Sauvignon Blanc. "New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is like a child who inherits the best of both parents—exotic aromas found in certain Sauvignon Blancs from the New World and the pungency and limy acidity of an Old World Sauvignon Blanc like Sancerre from the Loire Valley" (Oldman, p. 152). One critic said that drinking one's first New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was like having sex for the first time (Taber, p. 244). "No other region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes" (Taber, p. 244). Oz Clarke, a well known British wine critic wrote in the 1990s that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was "arguably the best in the world" (Rachman).

The New Zealand wine industry exported about 76 million litres in the year to June 2007. The first vines are thought to have been introduced by missionary Samuel Marsden, and official British resident James Busby is credited with producing wine at Kerikeri in 1833, and Charles Darwin noted the winery in his diary when he visited Kerikeri in 1835. However wine consumption remained low until recent decades, with per capita consumption of only about 2.6 litres in 1966. The quality of these wines slowly improved, with New Zealand wines winning three gold and 13 silver medals at the International Wine Fair in 1963. Aided by the deregulation of the economy in the 1980s and 1990s, domestic wine consumption increased and New Zealand wine won increasing accolades internationally.

Selected picture

Mahuia River, Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is the oldest National Park in New Zealand. It is located in the central North Island of New Zealand. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 24 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites.

Did you know...

...that New Zealand's longest road tunnel connects the city of Christchurch and the port of Lyttelton?

...that Mount Wellington have won New Zealand's premier soccer competition, the Chatham Cup, seven times - more than any other team?

...that the male and female of the extinct bird Huia had very differently-shaped beaks?

...that Wellington's famous blanket man Ben Hana worships the Egyptian sun god Ra?


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