About New Zealand
New Zealand, truly is one of the most picturesque and photogenic places on earth. A small island nation of just over 4.5 million people, New Zealand is made up of two major land masses and a number of smaller islands including Stewart Island located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. The two main islands are divided by a 22km stretch of water called the Cook Strait.
New Zealand is located approximately 1,500km east of Australia and about 1,000km from the Pacific Islands. Due to its relative remoteness and being water locked, New Zealand was one of the last countries to be found and settled. The country is made up of some of the worlds most spectacular landscapes, from vast mountain ranges, steaming volcanoes to sweeping coastlines. It is a natural playground for thrill seekers and adventurers and those who simply want to visit for the culture and landscapes.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy under England and while the Queen is the head of state, New Zealand effectively governs itself through its parliamentary system with a Prime Minister. The public votes every three years which often sees a change in government. The two main political parties are the National Party and the Labour Party. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1893.
New Zealand's free trade economy is dependant on International trade, with the principal export industries being agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry and mining. The major export partners are New Zealand's trans-tasman neighbours, Australia, as well as the USA, United Kingdom and Japan. China and Asian markets are increasingly export destinations.
The climate condition in New Zealand varies between the North and South Islands and is quite complex. The general climate is mild and temperate however areas in the far north experience warm subtropical temperatures while the far south is much cooler. Alpine conditions ensue in mountainous areas.