New Zealand Geography and Demographics
New Zealand is known for its rich magnificence; scenically beautiful regions, each within easy reach of the other. This diverse scenery includes impressive mountainous areas, fertile farmland, beautiful beaches and coastline, forests, numerous rivers and lakes. New Zealand offers some of the most beautiful and varied Landscapes on earth. You can experience the sights of high snowcapped peaks, glaciers, ancient beech forests, a wild coastline with unusual wildlife; long, deserted sandy beaches, alpine meadowlands, wide open sheep country, bubbling hot springs, green lush rain-forests and a great deal more.
Total Area: 270,534 square kilometers (104,453 square miles)
Ethnic Composition: 73 percent European; 12 percent Native Maori; 4 percent Polynesian; 11 percent other, including Chinese, Korean and other Asian peoples.
Official Language: English
Religion: 22 percent Anglican; 21 percent none; 16 percent Presbyterian; 15 percent Roman Catholic; 26 percent other
New Zealand has a distinct culture and heritage. Lifestyles are generally more relaxed and informal than in most other developed countries and New Zealanders are self-reliant and practical, open and hospitable. They tend to have little patience for ostentatious or loud behavior. They also value their families and their leisure time.
New Zealand Climate
Being located in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand seasons are completely opposite to countries north of the equator. Winter lasts from June until August and our summer is between December and February. Surrounded by sea, the climate doesn’t get uncomfortably hot or unbearably cold in the areas where the majority of people live, although extremes will be found, particularly in the mountain ranges in winter. Overall, our temperate climate ranges from 20-30?C (68-86?F) in summer, and from 5-15?C (41-59?F) in winter. New Zealand’s Seasons.
The North of New Zealand is sub-tropical and the South temperate. The warmest months are December to March and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30 degrees C and in winter between 10-15 degrees C. You can check on weather conditions in New Zealand on the New Zealand Met Service website.
Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and nightspots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities. In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or in case you visit the high country. You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat. Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and September. Layer your clothing.
English is the main written and spoken language in New Zealand. It is the ability to read, speak, write and understand English to a relatively high level which makes living and working in New Zealand easier and more satisfying. The language is very informal and relaxed and people also use unique slang words to describe everyday things..
New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster parliamentary system. New Zealand’s Parliament is currently made up of 120 Members representing eight parties. The present make-up of the Members is 82 men and 39 women and of these 21 class themselves as Maori. New Zealanders go to the polls every three years, with the next election in 2008.
Prime Minister is the head of the country. While voting is not compulsory, as a New Zealand resident or citizen you will be required to enrol as an elector.
Because it’s a very compact place, travel within New Zealand – whether by plane, bus, rail, car or campervan – is easy and affordable. Accommodation too is cheap and varied. And the culinary promise of venison, fresh seafood, sublime ice cream and award-winning wines should more than whet the appetite.
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