New Zealand Country Overview

By | November 8, 2021

According to Internetsailors, New Zealand is a parliamentary monarchy in the southwestern Pacific. The government and parliament are located in the capital Wellington. The island nation covers an area of ​​269,000 km 2, the North Island, the South Island and around 700 smaller islets. The mild climate gave rise to diverse forms of vegetation with largely endemic flora and fauna. Beaches, mountains, glaciers and geysers make the country attractive, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions are dangerous. Almost two thirds of the population are of European descent, around 17% Māori. The indigenous Māori call their country »Aotearoa«, the land of the long white cloud, the English country name is New Zealand. In addition to English as the national language, the Māori language Te Reo Māori and the sign language NZ Sign Language have official status. Almost 50% of the population are non-denominational, almost 40% Christians. The Waitangi Treaty concluded in 1840 between the Māori tribes and the British Crown de facto led to the annexation of the island empire. The Māori only achieved equality and the promotion of their culture and language in the 20th century. Overall, New Zealand’s culture appears to be clearly European. The economy focuses on agricultural and energy production. In addition to the Asian countries, Australia is one of the most important trading partners. New Zealand is considered a reliable ally of NATO and is a founding member of the Commonwealth and the UN. It has been a member of the WHO since 1995 and pursues an immigration policy oriented towards selective immigration.


Due to the lack of connection to other land masses, the flora of New Zealand has a high proportion of endemic species (around 35% of the ferns, lichens and mosses, around 85% of the bloom, 100% of the naked). In addition to the division from north to south, there is a clear differentiation of the vegetation in the mountains, especially in the New Zealand Alps. Mangrove forests can be found in the subtropical north; In the warm, humid lowland areas there are evergreen laurel and conifer forests (including kauri spruce)) before, in the southern part of the pseudo-beech forests. Tree ferns, which usually form trunks and whose crowns consist of long fronds, are characteristic. In the east, grasslands dominate (often tussock grasses). Forests with native trees now only cover approximately 24% of the country (compared to 80–90% before humans arrived on the New Zealand islands). Between 1870 and 1920 in particular, European settlers created large areas of pasture for sheep and cattle by clearing and burning. So far, afforestation has mainly taken place in the interior of the North Island, mainly with the Californian Monterey pine (Pinus radiata). In 2017 the government started the “One Billion Trees Program”, according to which one billion trees will be planted over the next ten years.


New Zealand’s economy was and is closely intertwined with Great Britain. After the settlement by European immigrants, it was based almost exclusively on colonial trade (export of agricultural products, import of industrial products). With the change of government to the Labor Party in the mid-1980s, an economic policy began that strengthened the elements of the market economy and aimed at faster integration of New Zealand into the world economy. The policy change led, among other things. for deregulation the financial markets, liberalization of foreign trade, simplification of the tax system (tax cuts, introduction of value added tax), privatization of public companies, reform of labor legislation and reorganization of the transport system. At the beginning of the 21st century, this made a decisive contribution to the solid growth of the economy (gross domestic product increased by an average of 3.2% annually from 2003 to 2008). As a result of the global economic and financial crisis and the severe earthquakes in Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011, the country’s economy suffered a severe setback. By 2012, however, the economic situation had stabilized again. Economic growth was 2.9% again in 2018 and 3.4% (estimated) in 2019.

With a gross national income (GNI) per resident of (2017) US $ 38,970, New Zealand is one of the high-income countries. The inflation rate, which has been slightly below 2% on average for many years, was driven up by rising oil prices in 2918/2019. The relatively high unemployment rate for New Zealand in the crisis years 2009–12 was around 4% in 2018 and 2019. After years of positive budget balances, government revenues fell below expenditure for the first time in 2009. In 2018, on the other hand, the household increase amounted to 1.9% of the domestic bread product.

Foreign trade: While Great Britain was previously the most important trading partner, New Zealand’s foreign trade is now increasingly oriented towards the countries of the East Asian and Pacific regions. The most important export countries of New Zealand (2017 in US- $) are China (8.79 billion), Australia (5.61 billion), the USA (3.61 billion), Japan (2.39 billion) and South Korea (1.14 billion). Imports come mainly from China (7.28 billion), Australia (4.51 billion), the USA (3.37 billion), Japan (2.79 billion) and Germany (1.88 billion).

The main export goods in 2017 were milk concentrates (14%), sheep and goat meat (6.4%), butter (6.2%), wood (5.4%), frozen beef (4.8%); Wine, fruit, crude oil, wool, gold, machines, etc. were also exported. Cars (10%), crude oil (5.4%), refined crude oil (3.9%) and delivery vans (3.7%) dominate the imports.

New Zealand’s trade balance is relatively balanced in the long term (export 2017: 37.3 billion US $, import 2017: 36.3 billion US $). The export earnings are dependent on the strongly fluctuating prices in the agricultural sector. Over half of the export value was generated with food products.

New Zealand Country Overview


Christchurch [ kraistt ʃ ə ː t ʃ ], largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, on the east coast at the edge of Canterburyebene, (2019) 374 100 residents.

Seat of an Anglican archbishop and a Catholic bishop; University of Canterbury (founded 1873) and Lincoln University (founded 1990), Canterbury Museum, art gallery, Town Hall (with convention center), botanical garden, International Antarctic Center to supply several Antarctic research stations; Trade and industrial center (food, textile, electrotechnical and chemical industry, agricultural machinery construction, software development); Tourism; Lyttelton Harbor is on the Banks Peninsula; Harewood International Airport.

Christchurch, laid out in a checkerboard plan in 1850, became a town in 1862. The city center, characterized by the Avon River and numerous parks and gardens, is dominated by Cathedral Square with the cathedral built in neo-Gothic style (completed in 1881). In 2011 an earthquake caused severe damage and killed around 185 people.


Hamilton [ hæm ɪ ltn], city on the North Island of New Zealand, the Waikato River, (2019) 165 850 residents.

University (founded in 1964); Art gallery, zoological garden; Aerospace, construction, clothing and food industries, agricultural equipment manufacturing; Airport.

Nearby in Ruakura Agricultural Research Center, in Newstead Animal Research Center, in Rukuhia Soil Research Station.


Tauranga, city ​​on the east side of the North Island of New Zealand, on a bay protected by a spit (Tauranga Harbor), (2019) 144 670 residents.

Open-air museum (Tauranga Historic Village), zoological garden; Building materials and clothing industry, in the vicinity horticultural companies (kiwi, avocado, wine); Tourism. Above all, agricultural products are exported via the Mount Maunganui port, which is located on the open sea, and it is also a landing stage for cruise ships.