New Zealand


New Zealand
New Zealand (also Aotearoa) is a country in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two large islands (the "North Island" and "South Island") and several much smaller islands.
The official languages are English, Māori and sign language.
Name.
The name "New Zealand" comes from “Zeeland” in Dutch. Zeeland was a province of the Netherlands.
New Zealand is called “Aotearoa” in the Maori language. It means "Land of the Long White Cloud". "Ao" means “cloud”, "tea" means “white”, and "roa" means “long”.
Government and politics.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The Prime Minister is Mr. John Key.
New Zealand has made itself a "Nuclear Free Zone": They do not use nuclear power and do not allow nuclear weapons in their territory.
People.
About 4 million people live in New Zealand. They call themselves kiwis. Most of them have European ancestors. The indigenous people of New Zealand, the Māori, have a population of about 600,000 people. The North Island is smaller than the South Island, but most people (more than 3 million) live there.
The main religion in New Zealand is Christianity.
Cities.
Most New Zealanders live in cities. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand.
Other cities include Hamilton and Tauranga in the North Island, and Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson and Invercargill in the South Island.
Nature.
New Zealand was isolated from the rest of the world for a long time. Because of this there are many plants and animals that only live in New Zealand. Before humans came to New Zealand, there were no mammals except two bat species. Instead New Zealand has many different kinds of bird, for example the kiwi.


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