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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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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form New Zealand
Abbreviation NZ

Government type
Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital
Name Wellington
Geographic coordinates 41 18 S, 174 47 E
Time difference
UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
Note
New Zealand is divided into two time zones - New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)

Administrative divisions
16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast

Dependent areas
Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau

Independence
26 September 1907 (from the UK)

National holiday
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)

Constitution
Consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987

Legal system
Common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Lt Gen Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011)
Head of government
Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Simon William ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)
Cabinet
Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections
The monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch
Unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, 50 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 26 November 2011 (next to be held not later than November 2014)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - National Party 48%, Labor Party 27.1%, Green Party 10.6%, NZ First 6.8%, Maori 1.4%, ACT Party 1.1%, Mana 1%, United Future 0.6%, other 3.43%; seats by party - National Party 60, Labor Party 34, Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori 3, ACT Party 1, Mana 1, United Future 1
Note
Results of 2011 election saw the total number of seats decline to 121

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; High Court; note - judges appointed by the governor general

Political parties and leaders
ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]; Green Party [Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI]; Mana Party [Hone HARAWIRA]; Maori Party [Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES]; New Zealand National Party [John KEY]; New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party [Phil GOFF]; Jim Anderton's Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]; United Future New Zealand [Peter DUNNE]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL
Other
Apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups

International organization participation
ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Michael K. MOORE
Chancery
37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX [1] (202) 667-5227
Consulate(s) general New York, Santa Monica

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador David HUEBNER
Embassy
29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
Mailing address
P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
Telephone [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX [64] (4) 499-0490
Consulate(s) general Auckland

Flag description
Blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation

National symbol(s)
Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars); kiwi (bird)

National anthem
Name "God Defend New Zealand"
Lyrics/music
Thomas BRACKEN [English], Thomas Henry SMITH [Maori]/John Joseph WOODS
Note
Adopted 1940 as national song, adopted 1977 as co-national anthem; New Zealand has two national anthems with equal status; as a commonwealth realm, in addition to "God Defend New Zealand," "God Save the Queen" serves as a national anthem (see United Kingdom); "God Save the Queen" normally is played only when a member of the royal family or the governor-general is present; in all other cases, "God Defend New Zealand" is played

Government - note
While not an official symbol, the Kiwi, a small native flightless bird, represents New Zealand


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  New Zealand (Wellington):


  GPS points from New Zealand (Wellington)

Te Roto O Kiwa New Zealand (general)

Porter River New Zealand (general)

Te Ahu-patiki New Zealand (general)

Mangaroa New Zealand (general)

Poutakoro New Zealand (general)

Fishers Stream New Zealand (general)

Long Sound New Zealand (general)

Allen Range New Zealand (general)




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