New Zealand

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Autor: Dievča apfel
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 02.11.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 686 slov
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Tlačení: 522
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Basic Facts: New Zealand consists of two large islands separated by narrow Cook Strait. The distance between the North and South Islands is 150 km. It´s located in south-west Pacific Ocean. Nearest countries is Australia on west, Fiji and Tonga on north. Its area is about 269 000 sq. km. The country is divided into counties.
 
History: The Maoris, a Polynesian group from the eastern Pacific, reached New Zealand during the 14th century.
New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 17th century. In 1769, the next recorded voyage to New Zealand was made by a Captain James Cook of the Royal Navy. On the first of three visits, he mapped the two main islands and discovered the passage between the two islands, later named after him. In February 1840 was signed the Treaty of Waitangi, by which was received for the Maori people full British citizenship. The first ships bringing colonists arrived in the same year, after this act. In 1852, Britain granted self-government to New Zealand. In addition, Provincial Governments had wide powers until 1876, when they were abolished. For several decades after the start of organized European settlement there was friction between Maori and European people. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give the vote to women in 1893, to have old age pensions and the eight-hour working day. New Zealand became a dominion in the British Empire in 1907 and was granted full independence in 1931. Independence was formally accepted by the New Zealand legislature in 1947.
 
Population: Population is about 4 million people. 83% of the whole population live in urban areas. 85% of people are of European (above all British) origin and about 9% are Polynesian. Officially English is spoken here but some people still speak Maori.
 
Geography: Each of two main islands is mainly hilly and mountainous; the highest peak of Pennines is Mount Cook (3764 m). The coast consists of fertile plains, especially the large Canterbury Plains on South Island. A volcanic plateau is in the centre of North Island. South Island has glaciers and 15% peaks over 3 000 m. There are several important rivers, which are mainly short and torrential; most of them run swiftly to the sea. The largest lake Taupo is in the North Island. The North Island is predominantly famous for its volcanic area. It also has many small lakes. The climate is quite pleasant. There is a lot of sun and it often rains there. Summers are not too hot and the winters are mild.
 
Political system: New Zealand has a parliamentary system where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor. The head of government is the Prime Minister. Parliament has only one chamber, the House of Representatives, which consist of 92 members elected for 3 years. Four of the members are Maoris elected by the Maori electors. There are two main political parties - The National party and the Labour Party. New Zealand is member of UN, OECD and the Commonwealth. The flag consists of the British Union Jack in the left upper corner and four red stars in the Southern Cross constellation.
 
Economy: Food processing, textiles, machinery and forest industry are the main industries. New Zealand is rich in oil, gas, iron ore, sulphur, gold and coal. Only 2% of land is arable and the main crop is grain. New Zealand’s prosperity is founded on dairy farming. The pleasant climate allows cattle and sheep to stay outside even in winter. Grass grows faster in New Zealand than in most countries and is called ‘the green gold’ there.The main trading partners of New Zealand are the USA, Australia, Japan and Great Britain.
 
Towns: All the principal towns lie on the coast. The capital is Wellington that lies on the North Island. It’s not only political but also cultural center of New Zealand. Other big cities are Auckland, the largest city and Hamilton in the North Island and Christchurch, also called “Gate to the Antarctica”, Nelson, Dunedin and Manukau in the South Island.
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