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The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both world wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.


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Geography

Location
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

Geographic coordinates
41 00 S, 174 00 E

Map references
Oceania

Area World Ranking: 76
Total 267,710 sq km
Land 267,710 sq km
Water NA
Note
Includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Area - comparative
About the size of Colorado

Land boundaries
0 km

Coastline
15,134 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm
Continental shelf
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate
Temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain
Predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m

Natural resources
Natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Land use
Arable land 5.54%
Permanent crops 6.92%
Other 87.54% (2005)

Irrigated land
6,190 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
397 cu km (1995)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 2.11 cu km/yr (48%/9%/42%)
Per capita 524 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
Volcanism
Significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island

Environment - current issues
Deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note
Almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world


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  New Zealand (Wellington):


  GPS points from New Zealand (Wellington)

East Cape New Zealand (general)

Kahuranaki New Zealand (general)

Harpers Saddle New Zealand (general)

Makaraka Stream New Zealand (general)

Makara River New Zealand (general)

Whakarongo Wellington

Fox Point New Zealand (general)

Middle Point New Zealand (general)




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