Portal:New Zealand

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THE NEW ZEALAND PORTAL

Flag of New Zealand
Coat of Arms of New Zealand
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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

Matauri Bay Rainbow Warrior memorial4.JPG
The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, codenamed Opération Satanique, was an operation by the "action" branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), carried out on July 10, 1985. It aimed to sink the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa.

Fernando Pereira, a photographer, drowned on the sinking ship. Two French agents were arrested by the New Zealand Police on passport fraud and immigration charges. They were charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As part of a plea bargain, they pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years, of which they served just over two.

The scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu, and the subject remained controversial. It was twenty years afterwards that the personal responsibility of French President François Mitterrand was admitted.

Selected picture

Maungatua, New Zealand, from the shore of Lake Waihola.

Often incorrectly called The Maungatuas or The Maungatua Range, Maungatua is a prominent ridge which dominates the skyline of the Taieri Plains in Otago, New Zealand. Rising 900 metres above the floodplain of the Taieri River, directly to the west of Dunedin's airport at Momona, it can be clearly seen from much of Dunedin's urban area, 35 kilometres to the east.

Did you know...

Te Mana

... that at up to 1.4 metres long the North Auckland worm (Spenceriella gigantea) is the longest in New Zealand?

... that HMNZS Te Mana (F111) (pictured) was the first New Zealand warship to visit a Russian port?

...that Garry Mallett, the former President of ACT New Zealand, is an owner-operator of a branch of a Les Mills International fitness studio?

Rob Hamill

... that New Zealand rower Rob Hamill has also stood as a political candidate, and his brother was a victim of the Khmer Rouge?

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